Whether you perform your social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of the other popular sites the possibility you will make a mistake is truly great. Before you began you have most likely used the social media outlet you're going to be working on. You also most likely investigated your competitors that are both local and across the nation if not the world so that you can "do it better". By moving to social media, even with an expert, there will be uphill battles as well as mistakes that are made. In this article we will cover some of the common mistakes we see people make as well as how you can avoid them for each of the core areas.
This is by far not a complete list as there truly is a lot of items in regard to digital marketing but this will give you a great starting point.
Not following social media standards
Problem: You've created this great magazine cover, flyer, business card, post card, etc. You now upload it to social media to share it with the world. After you do so you look at the image and wonder why it looks "funky" (technical term).
Solution: Each social media site has recommended image sizes and posting guidelines for their site. Follow these standards as it will allow you to promote a cleaner image of who you are. This is a great way to easily stand out above your competitors as well as many don't follow the guidelines.
Not being consistent
Problem: Every post that you make is completely different. You have broken out the preverbal shotgun and fired it multiple times to try and find out what works.
Solution: Engage your audience, create a clear and consistent message, and make the colors you use consistent. Even though a social media site is not your brand you can be consistent in your images that you put on the site. By staying consistent and in your own color scheme you will be more likely to create original art work for your page and further differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Ignoring your target audience
Problem: You are on social media because you know you have to be there. You build it and expect everyone to come, like your page, follow you, and engage your customers and your sales will go through the roof.
Solution: The reality is that social media is a lot of work. You won't start noticing a benefit on your sales until you start putting effort back into it. Watch for what your customers like, what they share, and what they say. Respond to them in a clear and professional manner. Be uplifting and let your personality flow. Be honest in what you do and make certain that everyone that is replying for the company comes across in a clear and standard way while allowing room for their personality to come out some as well.
Mimicking your competitors
Problem: We see this one all the time when someone starts off. They will copy their main competitor to the letter. Possibly with a few tweaks here or there. More or less though you've copied your competitor so much many times people will see that you're copying and know that you're playing catchup and could go to your competitor which is the exact opposite of what you intended in the first place.
Solution: Your social media page needs to be catered to who you are as a company (even if you are a solo-entrepreneur). Your voice, your culture, and what you stand for is how you should start out your page. Knowing what your competitors do is important but the key is to make it your own and bring people in because they want to know more about you. Be original in what you produce, tie it to specific pages of your website to further build your company brand, engage your audience in your voice, and provide a solid value for your fans.
Not filling out your profiles
Problem: You create your page and leave it completely unfilled and with all of the defaults.
Solution: Fill out the information so that it is accurate, provides information, and is informative. No one wants to go to any social media page or website that has old, outdated, or incomplete information.
Not setting goals or building a strategy
Problem: It takes only minutes to build and create a social media page. It takes even less time to start posting about items on your page.
Solution: Establish a strategy before you even create your site. Decide who will be writing articles, posting, how frequently, and on what social media networks. Is Facebook the optimal place for you? Is posting the standard of three times a week right for your brand? Is it once a day? Twice a day? Be prepared to adjust this frequency and engage your customers. Learn where they are and what they're looking for.
Having only a social media page
Problem: You created a Facebook business page because it's free (we all love that price!), expect the world to now come to you as there are billions of users and thousands in your immediate vicinity, and expect them to buy from you because you are a great and unique business.
Solution: A Facebook page, or any social media page, should be used in conjunction to a social media page. We don't say that just because we build websites (of course that's a great reason to say it!). We say this because Facebook and the other social media sites are not your company's brand. Your colors, how you would like information displayed, the call-to-action buttons, etc. are probably not what you want for your business. You won't know what your customers, future customers, etc. are looking at beyond what the social media platform provides. You will have complete control over everything with your own page and can sell your products and services your way. Use social media as a mechanism to help sell your brand (e.g. website). Keep the two tied together and most importantly working together for you.
Paying for fans, likes, etc.
Problem: I want to build up my ego so I just paid $20 to add 1,000 friends.
Solution: Out of those 1,000 how many are going to buy your product and services? If the answer is 10% or more great. If the answer is none then please send us your $20 as we will be glad to take your money. ;) Really what you need to do is build your audience organically (not paid). Build your ego if that's what you need to do one fan at a time. Engage them and work with them to build your brand.
Joining every social media network
Problem: Joining every social media network under the sun a few years ago was all the rage.
Solution: Facebook is obviously a great choice with a billion users but still might not be the best place to go. Find out where your current, and future, customers are. Be agile and change as needed. Allocate enough resources to do a proper job, and best of all have a documented plan of how to best be on each network.
Sharing the world
Problem: Every piece of information under the sun you share as you find it important. Doing so will make you the definitive source of all knowledge on the Internet.
Solution: Post items that will matter to your current and future customers. There's no reason to be the be-it-all news source as there are plenty out there that have trained staff who are experts in their field. Become the expert in your field. Even better than sharing content take the time and energy that you would be sharing and develop unique content that is valuable and not duplicated everywhere else.
We have only touched on a few of the common problems and listed only a subset of the solutions. For every problem there is always more than one solution. Digital marketing is extremely unique and developing a plan of attack before you even begin needs to happen. Avoid the shotgun approach and be surgical in your attack on each of the social networks you feel you need to be on.
If you would like assistance in developing a strategy, determining where your clients are, or help in maintaining your social media, search engine optimization (SEO), or digital marketing we would love to discuss that with you. We can be reached at 855-456-2669, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our online contact form here.