Facebook, check! Twitter, check! LinkedIn, check! Your company has a profile is on all the right social media platforms — complete with a profile picture and all — so you’re checking all the all the right boxes, right? Wrong — well, maybe. Having a profile is not enough. Companies must ensure they are utilizing their social media platforms properly in order to really reap all the benefits they have to offer. If you want to know what not to do, take a look at these five basic mistakes companies make on social media.
1. No activity. Being on social media and having a social media presence are two different things. It is not merely enough for your business to have a page; you must consistently post. Being active shows your customers that you are a flourishing business devoted to building relationships, growing your company and sharing your industry expertise with others. Another reason to post consistently is that future employees will look at your social media pages when determining whether to apply. To attract the right talent, you need to ensure you are putting yourself out there and building a well-known presence.
2. Little interaction. Maybe you are posting consistently (another box you can check), but are you interacting with your audience? You cannot just create a great post and leave it at that. You need to promote your content and engage with people who take time out of their day to like and comment on what you are sharing. In addition, be sure to make your responses personable. If you tend to post cookie-cutter responses saying, “Thanks for your comment Bob,” you are losing an opportunity to show your genuine, authentic voice. Viewers expect you actually read their post and engage with them, expanding upon the viewpoints they had to offer. By building a relationship with your audience, you never know where those connections could lead. Which leads me to my next point.
3. Not building the right audience. We live in a day and age where, unfortunately, the number of followers we have seems like the best way to measure popularity, while the number of likes (or lack thereof) can have a direct impact on your confidence. Whether you have this mentality on your personal social media accounts, this mentality cannot be applied when posting on a company’s social media account. Two hundred likes on your post from random businesses/people does not mean you are winning the game at social media, just as only 10 likes on your post from reputable businesses/people in your industry does not mean you failed. Quality is more important than quantity. You must build your audience with people and other companies to whom your content matters.
4. No strategy. A social media strategy cannot be a standalone strategy. It must be intertwined with your overall marketing and content strategy in order to achieve the objectives you set out for the year. There should be reason driving all of your posts, whether it’s to promote thought leadership or generate awareness.
5. Treating all social media outlets the same. Not all content is universal and can be carried over into every social media platform. Content posted on LinkedIn may not be suitable for Twitter — for more reasons than just character count. If you dig in a little further, you’ll find that each social medial platform has different features, offerings and methods of targeting your audiences. Do some research into the platforms and become familiar with how best to utilize each. If you’ve noticed that certain platforms seem to be working well for you, stick to those! Evaluate the platforms you are in and ask yourself why each one is necessary for your strategy. Is it necessary to have a presence on every social media site? Again, quality over quantity — continue putting your effort into platforms that make the most sense for your business and its objectives, and rid yourself of those that don’t.
Whether you’ve successfully avoided these five basic mistakes or you still have some growing to do, I hope you’ve found this refresher on what not to do helpful! For more social media advice, check out 8 social media tips from a 2-year-old.