There Are No Cure-All’s for Social Media Mistakes

Thousands of blogs, podcasts, webinars, conferences, apps, consultancies, free agents (and the list literally goes on) exist to tell you how to be a social media superstar in your space. These ideas, best practices, and guides serve an important purpose. They are a great tool of reference to inspire new ideas, thoughts, and collaboration around the newest and latest in social media to keep you current. But there is no secret sauce. PERIOD. There is no do this and it will lead you to thousands of followers, it comes down to you. The time, effort, and energy that goes into building your brand and making it attractive to potential customers and fans.

Here are 5 common social media mistakes we find many small to mid-size businesses make:

1. #CommitOrDitch

Social media management for a business is a full-time job. This is why Social Media Manager is an actual job that people get paid well to do. Are we saying you need to post every day? No, not necessarily. What we are saying is that you need the time to think up content, create that content, and share it with your followers in some consistent schedule. Whether it’s daily, bi-weekly, or monthly. The more you share, the more people will care, especially if it’s the RIGHT content. Don’t post just to post. Post with purpose. If you have a mostly inactive account, look at how you can make this manageable, and take baby steps. Maybe start with one tweet per week or one Instagram post per week. But start somewhere and with content that matters to your audience. Can’t commit the time? Find someone who can, and who understands your brand and audience.

2. #BroadcastOnly

Talk to your audience. Like and engage with their social media posts, don’t just broadcast content and expect people to think it’s exceptional because chances are they won’t right off the bat. Add value to their conversations, give them an emoji thumbs up for goodness sake. Let them know you are there and can be reached if needed. Increase engagement and watch the engagement and followership on your accounts flourish.

3. #WhatEvenIsSocialMedia

As a business owner, you may or may not consider yourself “social media savvy”.  But the best social media strategies weren’t even really strategies, just a person who took a risk, did something, got a sympathetic reaction and then made it into a strategy. You don’t need a degree in social media management. You need imagination, an understanding of your customer, and a willingness to step outside of your box and be authentic to your brand. In today’s interconnected, app’d-out world, real is rare. So be real, take a chance, and soon people will ask you how you attained all that social media success.

The next point to this is the massive advantage you have as a business owner. No one knows your audience better than you. You know why your customers come to you; what sort of experience they expect when they interact with your brand, and you know their pain points. Own that all the way to social media success. You have the advantage to talk to them in their own language and really build a relationship with them.

4. #IdentityCrisis

You need to commit to a brand voice and vision across social media. Sure, leave room to be fluid, but when you examine popular social media accounts that seem to create culture and fandom around their brand effortlessly, it’s because their social media account is an extension of their brand. It’s not just something they should do. Sure, some of them can afford professional photo and videography but mainly, they are building on their culture and values. The reasons people fall in love with their products or ideas. They translate that identity to their audience via social media. Here are a few great examples of brand identity being translated across social media:

The moral of this story – be creative, and strive to achieve the same identity unity as these brands, but within your own means.

5. #SalesFail

Being overly salesy and promotional is not a fast track to making friends and definitely not making fans. In the example accounts above if there is a promotional splice, it’s balanced out by all the amazing, helpful content. And it’s typically a soft sell, like a delicious image of overnight oats with the caption “Start with delicious and keep creating.” If you provide content that your audience wants to see, they will naturally come to you for the sale because you get them, and they get you. They won’t even feel like they’re being sold to, instead, they’ll be like, “gosh, I am hungry. Let’s get yogurt!”

Trust us, we know the #StruggleIsReal. We understand that businesses and entrepreneurs don’t always have the time dedicate to their social media to grow it. So, here are some quick and dirty tips:

  • Add several apps to your phone to help deliver content on a somewhat consistent basis: HubSpot, Buffer, Font studio, Tweet deck, the list goes on – just Google it and start building a stack of tools to help you deliver content.
  • Hire a social media manager – they should understand your brand and audience and devote their time to creating, executing, and engaging.
  • Can’t afford to hire a social media manager? Get an intern – someone passionate about what you do, or looking for a great opportunity to add to their resume.
  • Hire an agency – this is not a hands-off social media zone for businesses and entrepreneurs, you will need to take part to ensure your content and messages represent your company. Make sure expectations are set on how quickly they can respond to last-minute social media requests.

There are a lot of great ideas out there in the space of social media, and people who can help you create a great experience for your customers. But if you are a small to medium-size business with a marketing budget that’s already stretched, we encourage you to learn to hone your own skills in this space. There is no secret sauce, just great ideas and the willingness to try.

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