The start of a new year often means creating a new social media marketing plan. And just like most new year resolutions, it’s easy to think big and have great intentions — then slowly let old habits creep back in. This year, commit to building your business up on social media by avoiding these five common mistakes.
The Don’ts of Social Media Marketing
- Don’t Be Inconsistent. Inconsistency may be the number one mistake most small businesses make on social media. Often this means posting regularly for a while, then slowly going radio-silent. Inconsistent posting makes it hard for people to recognize your brand and get excited about what you have to say. This year, aim for consistent posting to help improve your overall branding, instill loyalty in your audience, and build trust with your customers. Aim for at least three times a week, every week, and start tracking the results.
- Don’t Be Too Self-centered. It’s great to be passionate about what you do, but every post can’t be about you or your audience will tune out. A good rule of thumb is to have one-to-two posts a week be self-promotion and have the rest related to topics your audience is interested in that also correlate to your brand. And, for those posts that are focused on what you are selling, they need to be messaged in a way that speaks to how it solves your audience’s problems. At the end of the day, your target customers don’t generally care about your business, but they do care about their problems and how to solve them.
- Don’t Take On Too Many Platforms. It’s easy to think you need to be everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. The truth is, it’s much more effective to do one or two platforms well than to have lack-luster performance everywhere. The key is to know who your target audience is and where they are. If you are B-to-B and aimed at professionals, that might mean LinkedIn is important to your efforts. If you are B-to-C and looking to engage with a younger audience, you will want to work harder at Instagram or TikTok. You also can always start small, with one or two platforms, and grow as your social media skills grow.
- Don’t Ignore Your Followers. Too often companies work hard to build an audience and a content plan, only to ignore customers who engage. If you have someone ask a question on your post, answer it. If someone leaves a thoughtful note, thank them. If they leave a complaint, address it. You want your followers to feel heard and like there’s a real person on the other end of the communication. Be real, be authentic, and you will do well!
- Don’t Be Off-brand. It’s hard to know what content is right to post for your brand. You know it can’t be all self-promotional (as mentioned in tip 2), but outside of posts about your products, services, and company, what’s right? Look for topics that align with your brand and your core values. Make a list of three topics that match and try to select content from those buckets. For example, if your company is a gym or you’re a personal trainer, your on-brand content buckets could include healthy recipes, self-care, and inspirational stories and quotes.
When in Doubt, Turn to an Expert
Doing social media marketing well takes a lot more time and effort than you think. And that time grows exponentially with every additional platform you take on, as each platform has its own rules and best practices that need to be followed to give your posts the best chance of performing. If you have the goal this year to get better at social media marketing, but you’re feeling overwhelmed with adding this tactic to your already overfilled plate, talk to the experts at The Social Julie. We help small-and-mid-sized companies across the country with their social media marketing and would love to put our expertise to work for you.