5 Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making on Social Media

Posted by Andrea Collatz on January 23, 2013

Originally published by Financial Social Media

By: Amy McIlwain

Have you ever made a mistake that [at the time] you weren’t aware you were making? I know I have. For example, when I first started running, I remember assuming that all running shoes were created equal. As long as I found a pair that fit right and looked good, I’d be off to the races, right? Wrong. Over the years, I was plagued with nagging pains and recurring injuries. Before I examined the possibility that my shoes were bad, I resorted to the conclusion that I simply wasn’t meant to run.

One glorious day I discovered that all shoes are NOT created equally. In fact, there are remarkable differences in footwear—and certain types of shoes can actually injure you if they aren’t accustomed to your gait. Needless to say, I discovered that my shoes weren’t right for me—and once I was fitted properly, my injury streak all but subsided.

Because social media is a new phenomenon, it is likely that you’re making mistakes that are hurting you without even realizing it. But before you throw your hands up and say “social media isn’t right for me,” let’s take a look at some solutions that are as simple as changing your shoes.

Not editing and/or posting whatever comes to mind: I cannot tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard about erroneous and/or aimless social media posts. It doesn’t matter if you are a rookie or a veteran—posting mistakes can happen to you! You can avoid this by doing several things:

  • Make sure your posts are conducive to your overall social media and business strategy.
  • Aim to get two sets of eyes on each post.
  • Avoid being too politically or religiously charged.
  • Always double check to see where you are posting—business or personal?

Being too boring: Due to the endless barrage of posts and tweets, it’s very difficult to become a priority in the daily routine of your viewers. In order to be a diamond in the rough, you have to pique their interest in a profound way. In the words of HubSpot, “we need to stop interrupting what people are interested and become what they are interested in.” Instead of making posts that merely fill space, be intentional, interesting, and unpredictable. Here are some ways to achieve that:

  • Use Humor: People enjoy jokes, memes, witty diagrams, etc.
  • Use Images: If you take a look at the direction social media is going, you’ll notice that it’s becoming image oriented (Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr). Take that as a sign that images are effective.
  • Use eye-catching statistics: Who doesn’t love an interesting stat? Especially when it’s about something you care about or are interested in?
  • Create an emotional connection: If you observe any of the successful brands on social media, you will notice that they all aim to create an emotional connection with their audience. This consists of tapping into the deeper feelings and needs behind your services and products.
  • Catch them off guard: Don’t get the “same-thing-different-day” syndrome on social media. Keep it interesting by throwing in new things from time to time.

For more ideas on maximizing traction, check out Bullas’ 20 Ways to Increase Facebook “likes”.

Forgetting Relationships: Ironically, this is an easy mistake to make. The whole purpose of social media is to build relationships. That’s the reason businesses are on social media, right? Instead of throwing random content into the raging internet vortex, aim to strategically target specific people, interests, topics, and points. Also, go in with the mindset of piquing interest and starting conversation. Here are a few ideas for keeping relationships at the forefront of your social media activity:

  • Consistently build your network
  • Create content partnerships
  • Engage frequently in social conversation
  • Ask important questions that provoke interest and engagement

Did you know that 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies have acquired customers from Facebook? (Business2Community)

Only posting on weekdays: It’s plausible to assume that it’s ineffective to post on the weekends. But traffic on social media is very high on the weekends. In fact, Mindjumpers states that B2C Facebook interaction is 30% higher than average on Sundays. Don’t limit your postings to the 5 day work-week. There’s no rule that prohibits posting on the weekends.

Not keeping a consistent message across the board: You probably have presences on several social media platforms. And because there are vast differences across various platforms, it’s easy to lose your voice and/or branding. Here are a few strategies to ensure continuity across the board:

  • Have a social media policy and strategy in place and share it with everybody at your company.
  • Solidify a process for handling follower comments and interactions.
  • Foster a clear understanding of your company mission, image, feel, and values.
  • Don’t let a brand new employee or intern manage your social media without insuring they thoroughly understand the company culture/mission.

If you are relatively new to social media, it’s easy to stumble on simple mistakes without realizing it. Take some time to comb over your social media activity to ensure you aren’t spinning your wheels. Can you think of other silly mistakes to avoid on social media?

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