When I started managing social media accounts in 2008 I could see it growing to what it is today (trust me, this is only the beginning). I tackled it like a traditional marketing campaign back then, using many of the rules of engagement with social media as I did with print, billboard and radio. Today there are so many statistics and “insights” that can be used to tell us when to post, when not to post, how often to post and so much more. I have showed some of these charts and graphics to clients over the years and the reaction is the same: “Say what?!”
In the end, the marketer or social media manager is the one that should be determining timing of posts, regularity and more. BUT, there are some things every business owner and social media manager should know about social media as a whole with or without statistics, charts and expert opinions.
Here are the 5 biggest mistakes companies can make when it comes to social media.
Just like with traditional media (print, radio, billboard, direct), consistency is key. I recently had a consulting client tell me that she didn’t understand why her social media page wasn’t growing. She had a Facebook page that was nearly a year old with just over 200 fans. When I looked at her page she was making a BIG mistake. She was only posting every couple of days. There was no method. She was inconsistent and her numbers were proof. Being consistent doesn’t mean that you have an actual daily repeating schedule of posts. You DO need to change it up a little every day, but you do need to keep in mind the various time zones and busy times on the social media channels you are using.
2. To much social media, not enough social media managers.
You’ve heard the phrase “spread to thin,” right? I believe this term was invented for use in social media. Brands that are struggling to use the channels that would benefit them the most are usually wrapped up in trying to manage to many social media accounts. When consulting with a client last month, she was completely sure she should be using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest but had never heard of Polyvore. She was barely posting on Facebook. She was posting the wrong things on Pinterest (and her boards were a hot mess). She wasn’t posting on Twitter (even via a feed from Facebook to Twitter). She was trying to manage her three main accounts while completely failing to properly care for any of them. She was spread to thin. When you are managing your own social media account you have to keep in mind that you are working part-time at best. If you hire a social media manager that is working for you full-time you could pull off four social media accounts.
IN THE END, you have to remember that you need to decide how much time you have to manage social media accounts and then decide how many accounts can be successfully managed with that amount of time. Decide which accounts are important if you don’t have the time to manage them all properly, and manage them as best as you know how.
3. Failure to create conversation.
Look, we made this too.
Wow, we are AWESOME!
Hey, buy this too!
This is my friend, buy their stuff!
What is your favorite crock pot recipe?
Are you excited about your Halloween costume?
(Post a photo) Baby wearing dads are HOT!
The last three are samples of conversation. They entice response, they build community, they encourage sharing (photo). It’s as simple as that.
4. Forgetting about the importance of imagery.
People want to see. As if Pinterest wasn’t enough proof, imagery is king. People aren’t reading, they are looking at photos and reading later. They are watching video. They aren’t reading. Post at least two photos or videos a day. You’ll see your engagement & share rate go through the roof.
5. Post. Post. Post. Post. Post. Post.
Stop it already. If you are posting 17 times a day, your social media manager needs something else to do. Imagine opening your mail box every day to find a sales promotion postcard from XYZ company. Then again the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next. What would you do if you opened your mailbox on the 17th day to find yet another postcard? (yeah, me too) People want to see you, but they don’t want you to be the only thing they see over and over again every day. Time your posts. Plan them out. Quit spamming your audience.
Put these rules to use and get to it. Let us know how it works for you!