The purpose of being on social media is to be social. Right? You would assume this was the case but remarkably many companies are not using it for this reason or make basic errors, just as I did.
With the emergence of websites that provide the opportunity to schedule your social posts weeks in advance, the social element of such social platforms seems to be lost. Mastering the art (it certainly is an art) of social media isn’t easy, as I discovered for myself.
Soon after joining the KG Moore team, I was tasked with managing the social media profiles of three separate accounts. I’m going to share 10 mistakes I made with social media so you can avoid them.
1. Not allocating sufficient time for social media.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog article people tend to overlook the role that social media can play. Initially, I would prioritize other more pressing work as opposed to dedicating an hour of my day to monitoring social media (I now see the errors of my ways). Many companies work tirelessly trying to get people to opt in to receive emails, normally to little avail but yet the people that have followed/liked you on social media want to receive your posts. The likelihood of them sharing your content is considerably higher than trying to persuade your customer/prospect list to forward your email to someone else.
You need to allocate time to creating great content that people want to share, preparing images that are optimized for social media (as posts with images are a lot more successful) and time for interacting.
2. Not being strategic.
Each of the accounts that I managed had considerable followings when I took over. As a result, I relied heavily on people following our accounts rather than being proactive and actively seeking out strategic ‘influencers’ and other important connections. It is important to use reporting to drive improvements. The social media platform we use Sprout Social, provides daily, weekly and monthly information about our account performance including data on how well we are conversing with our audience. Engagement and influence are charted as well as a breakdown of the type of content we are sending. We use this information to make sure we are sending the right tone of content that our audience wants to read.
3. Reliance on scheduling content.
Initially, I wasn’t aware that systems such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social existed which enable you to schedule your posts weeks in advance. While we have tweeted about the importance of scheduling posts in advance as it provides much needed consistency, many companies rely too heavily on these systems and have a tendency to overlook the need to BE SOCIAL. Who’s to say what those connections could have led to? This raises the much debated topic – is a poor social media presence better than none at all?
4. Haphazard approach to content release.
At KG Moore, we plan. And all plans link back into overarching business objectives. So if you’re going to be social, make sure your content has a purpose. It was only after listening to a seminar by Mack Collier that it dawned on me that I need to create a social plan for each of the accounts. It gives me an idea of the type of content that I want to release each day which are in line with company objectives. This varying content ensures the profiles remain fresh and interesting and that we are talking about what matters most. Having a plan also makes it easier to generate new content ideas.
5. Not Repurposing content effectively.
Initially when my knowledge about our client’s industries was lacking, I had a tendency to re-release useful content. As this Hubspot article highlights, old content is still valuable but if I re-phrased the posts it could have paid dividends. This is particularly noticeable in email campaigns when a new subject line results in considerably higher open rates.
6. Not leveraging hashtags.
As people are increasingly using social media to find solutions, the choice of hashtag is extremely important. Whilst personal accounts often use them as a source of humour, the hashtag takes on greater importance when used in a business context. You need to consider your keywords carefully and what people will be searching for.
7. Lacking a consistent personality.
Before you start posting on any social media account you need to carefully consider what personality you wish to convey. Do you want to be seen as serious and knowledgeable or humorous for example? The best example I have discovered is the Vo5 extreme style twitter page. It comes as no surprise to me that Vo5 dominate the male hair care market. They have adopted a ‘laddish’ personality and they release content that resonates with their 16-32 year old target audience. This is highlighted as they have garnered just short of 8,500 followers, which is in stark contrast to one of their competitors, Brylcreem, who have just 25 followers.
8. Assuming everyone’s trying to sell you something.
It’s worth remembering that not everyone is on social media to sell you something, some people genuinely want to form mutually beneficial connections. You wouldn’t question the motives of all attendees at a networking event, so why do people do it on social media? Finding the time for networking is a struggle, so don’t pass up the opportunity to be social on social media.
9. Focusing on one social media platform.
I have had a tendency to focus too heavily on Twitter and have neglected other platforms. Your industry and your audience will obviously dictate which platform is the most important, depending on where you can best reach your target audience. For business connections LinkedIn is an invaluable resource but Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest can be extremely useful to your business, at the very least just for SEO purposes.
10. Forgetting good manners.
This may seem obvious but it was something that I overlooked. On a personal account I don’t think people particularly thank their friends for following them or for retweeting content, but it’s simply good manners. In a business sense it is even more critical when you’re trying to increase awareness and generate goodwill. And it’s not just being thankful, it’s about being courteous and responsive to messages when they come in. Replying 2-3 days later is simply rude.
It is important that these mistakes are avoided. Being social on social media is an area where even the smallest business can gain an advantage over their larger competitors. Remarkably, despite the large budgets and their ability to hire someone whose role it is to monitor the company’s social media pages, large brands have been found to be surprisingly weak on social media.
In a 2012 study that recorded the satisfaction rates of social interactions with numerous brands, Dell scored just 32.7%. This is an incredibly low score when you consider that their mission is to “be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve”. In the last two years, Dell may well have greatly improved that figure but they have some way to go.
Apple don’t have any social media presence and if you’ve got a brand as strong as theirs then maybe you don’t need to master social media. For everyone else, it’s essential.
If you want help managing your social media platforms or would like us to devise a marketing strategy that includes social media, then contact KG Moore on 01206 646 006, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form below.