Happy Halloween from all of us at redPepper! Social media should form a big part of your business’s marketing strategy, and done right, can be really successful. However, as a digital marketing agency, we see loads of simple mistakes that businesses are making every day.
To celebrate Halloween, here’s our list of terrifying social media mistakes you could be making and how to avoid them! All we’re saying is, if you haven’t sorted a Halloween costume, this list could provide some pretty scary inspiration!
Failure to plan, planning to fail
Aiming for success on social media without a strategy is a recipe for disaster. As the saying goes, failure to plan is planning to fail! Don’t fret, though, because we’ve got a few tips on how to plan your social content.
Creating a content calendar to plan your social posts in advance is a great way to get started. First, consider the types of post that you want to make. You should aim for your content to be original, compelling and engaging. It should contain consistent themes that are relevant to your business.
You should also decide the frequency that your business will post. There is no set formula for how often this should be. You should keep in mind that too often may become annoying or overpowering. Posting too little may cause users to forget your business, or even unfollow it for inactivity. We recommend posting most days of the week for platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. This can be less for Instagram and LinkedIn.
Every industry is different and will have different trends and ways of utilising social media. Do your research, find out what your competitors are doing, and take inspiration from that!
Being too broad
Often, in a bid to be successful, businesses will sign-up to all social media platforms available. This could be a key mistake in your social media strategy. Take a step back and think about the networks that are relevant to your business.
For example, if you’re a corporate company who are advertising new job openings, Instagram probably isn’t going to be the best place to do this. You may instead want to focus your attention on LinkedIn. That being said, Instagram could be a great tool if you’re an upcoming e-commerce business, looking to advertise your new products. For more information on how Instagram can help you achieve this, check out our previous blog post.
The clue is in the name, social media should be social and not a one-way advertising stream for your business! Although social media can be a great way to advertise your business, this is not its only purpose. Nobody is going to want to follow an account that only posts links to their products. Use social media to create conversations, listen to your customers and generate engaging content. Try to teach, converse and engage rather than solely advertise.
You can create a two-way conversation by following relevant accounts. This includes people in the industry, significant organisations and news publishers. Doing this will increase the visibility of your business and open opportunities for conversation.
A two-way conversation can also be made by offering exclusive social media based discounts. Your followers will feel appreciated as they receive a special offer by engaging with you on social networks.
When beginning to use social media to advertise your business, it can be easy to forget the wider aims and goals of your company. It’s good to have internal social media goals, such as reaching a certain number of likes, shares or followers. However, you should ensure that this actually translates into your business’s wider goals.
So, while you want to create engaging content, this should have an overall focus on what your business can provide for their followers. This could be traffic to your website or blog, product sales or sign-ups on your weekly newsletter.
Remember as well that it’s all not about the number of likes and followers you have! If your audience isn’t engaging with you, then it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. If in doubt, make sure that your goals are SMART.
One of the biggest social media mistakes businesses often make is posting robotic-sounding content. Developing a particular tone of voice for your business is important. It help to makes you feel recognisable, engaging and welcoming. This voice should sound as human as possible. Followers will trust people far more than a robot!
The same rule applies when replying to customer inquiries through social media. You should try to reply to customer complaints or enquiries as soon as possible, they should not be ignored! Complaints should also be dealt with by adopting a humanistic and personalised response. You should use the user’s name and speak in a friendly and honest manner.
Ignoring social media tools
There are many social networking tools that your business can use to improve its social media strategy. When planning your content in advance, a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Tweetdeck is helpful. These tools enable you to schedule content to post automatically in the future across your social media accounts.
However, don’t forget that good social media requires person-to-person connections. Automated tools cannot replace this! We recommend that you attempt to monitor your accounts frequently, even if this is just 15 minutes every morning.
It’s proven that social media posts perform better if they contain images! If you’re feeling creative, you could create a graphic yourself. Tools such as Canva or Stencil are great for doing so and contain a lot of the tools you’ll need, free of charge!
If you’re looking for a quick image to compliment a tweet or Facebook post, you could use a stock photo. Websites such as Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash are a few of the many stock image libraries available. They offer lots of free images, but also the option to pay a little to download that perfect photo.
Finally, we want to remind you to be patient! It often takes time to see results with social media and it’s something that you have to consistently work on. It can take months or even years to see large growth in your social media presence but it’s worth it. Don’t give up!
If you need a little extra advice on your social media strategy and would like help from experts, get in touch with our expert social media marketers today!