Social media is still relatively new, and many businesses are still unsure how the make the best use of content published online and interaction on social media platforms. However, used well, content and social media interaction can deliver more leads to a business, and have a big impact on branding.
If you’re just starting out on your content marketing journey, read out post on using content to boost your business. For those who have already jumped in but are still finding their feet, we’ve listed below 12 social media mistakes to avoid.
- Not having a social media strategy in place. You need to decide why you want to use social networks, what you hope to get out of it, and how you are going to measure your success. If you don’t have a plan, you probably won’t get very far unless you’re just very lucky!
- Posting and leaving. Social is just that – social. Take the time to participate. Use social networks to get to know your customers and to find out what interests them.
- Not targeting your posts. It’s not enough just to post out in cyberspace and hope it gets noticed amongst all the other noise. Learn how to target the audience you want to target, such as making use of LinkedIn network groups and Google+ circles, which categorise your audience into interest groups.
- Doing what everyone else does. Be creative and original with your profile pages. Make them stand out from the crowd.
- Thinking social media is just about numbers, such as likes and +1s, how many followers you have, or how many comments you receive. While analytics are important for measuring interest, numbers don’t mean much if you are not gaining new customers. Aim for quality interactions and not just quantity.
- Ignoring give-and-take. Take some time to participate in others’ posts and to listen and respond.
- Not using social media as a tool to point back to your main website. This might occur if you see your social media strategy as somehow separate or less important than your overall marketing strategies. It should be integrated with your overall objectives and other content.
- Not using Google+. Since this platform is closely integrated with Google itself, the world’s most dominant search engine, you might gain some distinct SEO advantages from using it. It might seem hard to find an audience there at the moment, but the platform is expanding quickly and persistence could pay off in the year ahead.
- Using the same approach across all your networks. It just makes sense to change your approach to suit the network. For instance, funny stories and cartoons may be more appropriate for Facebook than for LinkedIn. Take the time to get to know how each different platform operates.
- Posting the same headlines on all networks. You really need to vary your headlines to suit each one. This means they need to be shorter and more succinct for Twitter than they would be for LinkedIn or Google+ for example.
- Not asking for feedback. You should ask your followers what they like and don’t like about your profile pages and what they would like to see less or more of.
- Lastly, and most importantly – not making it all about your audience. When people visit your social pages and website, they want to know what value they can get from them. Always aim for the best – content that is top quality and compelling, stories that will grab the attention of your followers, and the best service you can offer in your business activities. And if you don’t feel confident or don’t have the time to write your own content, there are writing services and freelance content writers who can do it for you.
If you’re new to social media, or you would like to know more about the various networks, check out this Moz guide to social media use. It has chapters on the value of social, best practice, and on a number of networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.