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7 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

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When it comes to posting online, mistakes are inevitable. But, being inactive on social media can really put a damper on your business’s success. To see positive results from your social media marketing efforts, you need to know which social media mistakes to avoid.

Social media mistakes

There are roughly 2.77 billion social media users around the world. And, this number is growing every day.

If you want your business to prosper in this technological era, you have to avoid making social media blunders. Steer clear of the seven mistakes below to keep your social media accounts in tip-top shape.

1. Not having a social media marketing plan

When you start a business or want to reach certain goals, what do you do? You create a plan. Shouldn’t the same thing go for your business’s social media? If you want to succeed on social, establish a social media marketing plan.

Not having a social media marketing strategy is a surefire way to run your social media accounts into the ground. Before moving forward with social media, create a plan. Determine your target audience, which platforms you plan to use, and what type of content you want to post.

As your business evolves, so will your social media plan. Revisit your strategy from time to time. If needed, tweak your plan and add new ideas to keep content fresh and relevant.

2. Failing to engage online

How would you feel if you gave someone a compliment and they ignored you? Imagine how your followers feel when you don’t respond to their comments or feedback on social media. If you want to connect with your followers and target audience, you must engage with them.

Human interaction is key on social media. Failing or forgetting to engage with others can be detrimental to your social media success. Avoid putting a dent in your business’s response reputation by actively engaging with others.

If someone comments on your page, reply back. If a customer gives your business a positive review, thank them.

Even the smallest interaction can make a huge impact. Engaging customers through social media can make them feel special. It shows them you value their comments, support, and feedback.

Keep in mind that your audience doesn’t always have to be the first one to engage. Instead of waiting around for conversations to happen, start one.

Create posts that ask your audience questions and give others an opportunity to respond (e.g., How do you stay productive at work?). Asking questions is a fun way to showcase your business’s personality, connect with others, and learn more about your audience.

3. Not including images

According to one source, posts including images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only content. As you can tell from this statistic, not including visuals in your post is a major mistake.

Not using images on social media can mean a lot of lost opportunities. Visuals attract people to posts. And, images help individuals remember information.

One study shows that online consumers only retain 10% of the information they read about. But when you pair that information with a visual, consumers can retain 65% of the information.

Incorporate images and videos as much as possible on social media. Weaving visuals into your posts is an easy way to boost engagement and enhance your aesthetic.

4. Treating each channel the same

Just like each country has its own customs, so does each social media platform. Although social media outlets may have similarities, each platform is unique. Treating each channel the same way can spell trouble for your social media strategy.

To be effective on each platform, you must understand each network’s customs, such as tone, language, audience, and type of content.

Do some research to see what content performs well on each platform. Then, tailor your posts for each channel to avoid being counter-productive.

Say you use Instagram and LinkedIn to post content for your small business. On LinkedIn, you might craft posts with more text to connect with your audience. And on Instagram, you can focus on more visuals and less text.

Regardless of which platforms you use, make sure you remain consistent (which you will learn more about later) and transparent to avoid any confusion.

5. Utilizing the wrong platforms

You wouldn’t open a pool cleaning business in Antarctica, would you? Of course not, because you’d be targeting the wrong market. So why would you use a social media platform that doesn’t mesh well with your business or audience?

Some businesses may think that in order to succeed on social media, they need to be on every social media outlet. However, this is far from the truth.

Like many things in business, platforms that work for one business might not for another. Before choosing social media sites, research which ones your target audience uses. That way, you don’t waste your time committing to a platform that isn’t fruitful.

6. Being inconsistent

Being inconsistent is a major faux pas in the social media world. Inconsistency can puzzle your audience and scare them off. Not to mention, your audience may lose faith in you if they see you only post when you need something from them (e.g., sales).

Not posting frequently can cause your audience to forget about you. Your audience may even move on and unfollow you online. Instead of posting sporadically, get on a schedule.

Create a social media posting schedule for consistency. Research peak times to find out when your audience is most likely online (e.g., Monday at 12 p.m.). You can even automate your social media posting process with platforms like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Along with posting more frequently, also keep your colors, visuals, values, and personality consistent across all platforms. That way, you keep your brand consistent, too.

7. Not posting what your audience wants

Hearing someone only talk about themselves gets old pretty fast. The same goes for companies talking about themselves on social media. The truth is, people won’t want to engage with a business that thinks it’s all about them.

Rather than posting about your events, products or services, and projects all the time, give your audience what they want. Sure, you can still post about yourself every so often. However, you should make sure the majority of your content is what people want to see.

Post content that you know others care about. Find out your audience’s interests and pain points to craft posts with them in mind.

Author Bio: Maria Tanski is a content writer at Patriot Software, LLC. Patriot Software offers online accounting and payroll software for small business owners. At Patriot, Maria writes about accounting, payroll, and other small business topics.