Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

social mediaThere isn’t a definitive guide on how to use social media for a business.

Actually, I take that back. I’m sure if you Google it you might find something

But let me just say this: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution! Each brand is unique and has a different audience so what works for one company may not work for yours.

It’s also easy to make mistakes using social.

Here are a few mistakes I’ve made along the way, plus some tips to help you avoid them.

Not Having a Strategy

The biggest mistake I made was not putting a social media strategy into place as a social media manager. The previous manager didn’t have one, so I just went with the flow. Bad idea!

You need clearly defined objectives and measurable goals in order to be effective using social media. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Start with answering these questions: What do you want to accomplish and how will you get there? How does social media fit within your company? Why are you using it? Then pick goals that measure what you want to do, quantify them, and give yourself a deadline…which brings me to my next mistake.

Not Knowing What to Measure

I was clueless as far as what to measure when I first started, so I didn’t measure anything except follower growth. Obviously that isn’t enough “ there are other things to consider, and along the way I’ve learned that yes, it can be difficult to measure the ROI of social media, but it’s not impossible.

It’s important to track and measure your success otherwise how do you know what you’re doing is working? Again, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What I measure and what you measure might be two very different things – you need to do some research, and decide what to measure that makes the most sense for your business.

Not Being Social

Social media is social. I know you’ve heard that before, it’s vitally important to actively seek out and follow other companies, customers, prospects, journalists, and bloggers. Also, start conversations with your community, and comment on other company’s posts, not just those that are left on your company page.

Do these things daily. Your social networks aren’t just about you “ they are also about your audience so make sure you put in the effort to have conversations with them.

And these last two are mistakes I see brands make all the time so I wanted to include them.

Personality? What Personality?

Think about how you have conversations with people. Do you just list off the title of an article and that’s it? Or do you say, “I read this really great article on xyz about blah blah.” Most likely you do the latter, so why wouldn’t you do that on your social networks? Yes, it takes a bit more times, but it pays off to give people a reason to click on what you’re sharing.

Also, it’s important to be human. People do business with people so let your personality come through your messages while still being professional and relevant to your brand.

It’s All About Me

Your social networks aren’t actually about you, they are for your audience. Of course it’s fine to share what’s happening with your company, a new product or service, or a let your fans know of a promotion. But that’s not all you should share.

I follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the content I share are articles or images I think my community will find valuable, or maybe just to give them a break from their busy lives and make them laugh a little. The other 20 percent is about the business – whether it’s inviting people to a webinar we’re hosting or sharing a new service we’re offering.

We all know social media is a powerful marketing tool and if used the wrong way it can have a negative affect on your business. We all make mistakes. But on social media, mistakes can haunt you.

What mistakes have you made on social media?