The majority of us now have and use social media on a daily basis. It is estimated that an average person will check their Facebook feed up to 14 times a day, and this is just from their phone. If you are promoting yourself, or an organisation, on social media, you need to be aware of how a few avoidable mistakes could be damaging your online brand and reputation.
We all want to grow our audience and followers online, and the best way to do this is to keep engaging the people who see your content. Make sure you are not making any social media faux pas by reading the top tips below.
1. Posting the same content on a regular basis
Take a moment to look down your Facebook Page, Twitter feed or Instagram photos. Give yourself a quick self-analysis about the content you have been publishing on a daily basis. Is it fresh? Is it reflective of current events in the media? Is it different to everything you are sharing below?
Too many feeds are full of the same kind of content. There are the Instagram’s filled with quote after quote, or the Twitter feeds full of external links but no original thoughts or photos. Don’t let your brand become boring. You need to keep your followers engaged and the best way to do this is post some original and unique content that you personally would want to see.
If it wouldn’t make you stop, click or share, then don’t post it.
2. Promoting your own brand or products constantly
There are still far too many brands and organisations who are still using social media platforms as a way of pushing their products and marketing messages directly to their follows.
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business, or an individual, on social media channels. People don’t want to have a social feed where they are overtly being sold to and regularly have products waved about in front of their faces.
Always remember the 80/20 content rule. For the majority of the time (80%) you need to post content that is interesting, unique and will appeal to your target audience. If you are a fashion blogger, share discount codes that you have come across on the web. If you are a small local restaurant, share a great recipe from a top chef that you think your followers will love.
Then, 20% of the time, you can share updates about your products. You might have a new item in stock, you might be hiring for a new role. Keep it subtle, and keep it interesting!
Kit Kat – Posting videos of cat fail videos to improve brand popularity!
If you build a good relationship with your followers, and they see you as a great source of interesting and refreshing content, the engagement and sales will quickly follow. Let them appreciate what you have to say, not what you have to sell.
3. Starting a tweet with a mention
When you start your tweet with a @mention you are really limiting the audience of your posts and what you are sharing.
Tweets that start with a @mention are considered as a reply on Twitter, and therefore only your followers, the recipient and some mutual followers will see what you have to say!
Make sure you are adding any mentions in the middle or end of your valuable 140 characters so that you are reaching a far wider audience!
4. Being Hashtag Happy!
Hashtags are everywhere these days. You can’t watch a primetime TV show without seeing one pop up in the bottom corner to encourage you to share about the show.
Now while they clearly are popular, it is essential that you bear in mind what they are actually for when using them. Hashtags are used to categorise Tweets, Instagrams and more so that people searching for particular themes or photos can find them easily.
They are used to group discussions (trends) on Twitter so you can easily see what everyone is saying about a recent news event or sporting result.
Therefore, using too many irrelevant hashtags makes your post hard to categorise and will damage the overall visibility of it to your intended target audience.
I suggest sticking to one – two relevant hashtags on Twitter.
Keep it to under ten on Instagram.
However do feel free to try and start your own trend such as #SummerToMeMeans and encourage people to share their thoughts with you and your brand.
5. Not including media with your posts
If you include media alongside your social media post, you will boost engagement by an estimated 40%. Buffer’s social media blog has also outlined that if you include an image with your Tweet you will receive 150% more retweets than if you didn’t – read more about that here.
Make sure that you are added interesting and visual content to your text posts to make them stand out. You need something that is going to grab people’s attention and make them stop scrolling down their feeds to have a look at what you’ve got to say.
Sharing a great new job role, add a photo of some of your colleagues at work (with their permission of course!) Talking about a new recipe? Add a photo of the finished product.
It’s been said that a picture speaks 1000 words. So let yours do the talking for you and increase your engagement today.
I am all for posting high quality content regularly on your various social media platforms. However you need to make sure you don’t be one of those dreaded over-sharers that we all end up unfollowing or hiding from our feeds.
If people are seeing updates from you every hour, and the content is very similar, they are going to become immune to what you have to say. Worst case scenario is that they will unfollow your page because they are seeing too much from you on a daily basis.
I have written a post about how regularly you should be posting and to which platforms, so see how you fit in by measuring your updates here.
Great Tweet from ASOS that is less about the brand and more appealing to followers – they have the perfect mix of not being a corporate robot and more like an actual person speaking on behalf of the brand to their target audience.
7. Buying likes or followers
I know when you first start to post you are really keen to see a quick growth in followers and likes across all your platforms. However this often isn’t a reality, and the truth is that it takes hard work and a strong marketing strategy to build a large and engaged audience over time.
So do your best to not be tempted to buy any followers because in the long run it really won’t be worth it!
With the right content, marketing and frequent posting, your follower base will steadily grow organically and you will have a base of listeners who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. If you buy followers, you won’t gain any engagement, and you could end up with your account being blocked.
Put in the hard work, and stick to the real people who want to hear what you have to say, it is worth it in the long run for the great engagement and sales you will see.
8. Inconsistency across platforms
Make sure that you have a clear brand message and marketing aim in place before you start sharing on your social media channels.
It is really important to keep your branding similar across your platforms so that people recognise your brand and feel linked to it. Keep logos the same, have a branded colour palette and keep your message similar in your posts.
You want people to recognise your brand across platforms, so make sure you give them a uniform and help your followers out.
9. You’re not responsive enough
When you put out content that is interesting and sharable, you are likely to get comments and questions from your followers and target audience.
You really should try to reply to everyone who directly replies to your posts or tweets as this is the best way to engage with followers and grow your audience when starting out.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you are posting content is up to date and timely. A big news story has just broken that is relevant to your business, make sure you are posting about it to your followers. Too many big brands miss out on big marketing opportunities because they are just not aware of them or in a position to post content about it at that time.
Don’t let that viral post get away!
Hopefully this list will have given your social media marketing a bit of a spring clean. However if you do have any further questions please do connect and get in touch or comment below! Would be great to hear your suggestions and ideas!