10 Social Media Mistakes You’re Probably Making
Social media is fantastic - if you do it right! We see people make all sorts of mistakes when it comes to social media, and in this article we are going to break down the 10 most critical ones to avoid, along with how to fix them. Even if you’re just making a few of these, it’s going to hurt your business and making growing online really tricky. Let’s get into it!
1. Not Understanding Your Customer
This mistake is not only the most common, it's also the most expensive and the most painful. If you don't understand your customer on a deep level, you're not going to be able to do anything that resonates or connects. Your ads aren't going to convert. Your content isn't going to resonate with anybody. Everything's going to be off.
What you really want to do is make a very specific avatar that represents your hypothetical dream customer. Not only is this going to help you understand your customer, it's going to help you target the right customers. Who is it? What do they want? What's already working? What are they into? Who are they following? Once you know all this, you can plan out what you’re going to offer them.
If you don’t understand your customer, nothing is going to work.
2. Not Adding Enough Value
This is a big one. Even if you understand your customer, if you're not adding enough value and you're just putting out boring, "subscribe to our newsletter," or, "here's 10% off," or just salesy stuff that isn’t valuable or interesting… nobody will care.
The market is saturated and noisy. There’s so much stuff out there now, that if you really want to get someone’s attention, you need to add value. If it's not interesting, entertaining, or useful, don't put it out! We don't need more stuff. We need better stuff.
So how to fix this mistake.... before you post anything, whether that's social media posts, blog content, Facebook ads or whatever it is, think to yourself "Is this useful, entertaining, or interesting?" If it's not one of those three things, then just don't put it out.
We don’t need more stuff, we need better stuff.
3. Not Understanding the Buying Journey
If I walked up to a complete stranger on the street and said, "Hey. Buy this thing off me that you know nothing about," they’re not going to do it, right? But a lot of people, they try to go straight for the sale.
If you want to marry someone, you don't go up to them and ask them to marry you. You give them a compliment, then ask for their number, then take them out for a coffee, then get to know each other etc. You don’t just go just 0 to 100! You've got to take these people on a journey from a stranger all the way to a paying customer that refers you business.
Understanding the journey of the customer and also what stage they are in right now is crucial. When it comes to social media, where are they right now? It’s likely the very start of the journey, meaning you need to add value first. If you’re running Facebook Ads, some people might not even know they have a problem. If they don't know they have a problem, why would they buy a solution? Think about the steps that need to happen before this person becomes a customer.
If you want to marry someone, you don't go up to a stranger and ask them to marry you.
4. Not Being Consistent
This is for both content and platforms. Let's do content first.
If you're just sporadically posting, this is bad. Not only because you're being inconsistent, but it's actually really bad for your social media accounts and the way that they work. If you're inconsistent, Facebook and Instagram thinks, "Okay, this person is not very consistent. So when they do post, we're not going to put it in front of as many people."
Once a day is a good starting point. I like one a day because it not only forces you to think of content, but it keeps you consistent because if it's every two or three days, you'll kind of forget, and it'll feel like two days but it's actually been six. And if you think, "I don't have enough content for one a day," well this is a chance to get creative!
The next thing is platforms. If you're not going to use a platform, just don't use it. Literally delete it. It's way better to have one or two accounts that you're doing really well than five or six that you're not really doing, because the only thing worse than no account is a dead account. With a dead account, you're publicly saying you don't care about your business!
With a dead account, you're publicly saying you don't care about your business!
5. Not Using Platforms Correctly
Especially with Instagram, I see people getting this wrong. It's called posting natively, which means you're using that platform the way that it should be used. For example, if you have a blog article, you can share that on Facebook, but if you just take a screenshot of the words and put that as an Instagram photo, that's going to look terrible.
If you’re using Instagram as an example, make Instagram-friendly posts and artwork. Tools like Canva make graphic designs easy, they even have pre-made layouts you can select from. Do it!
Additionally, try to use all of the features. Use Instagram Stories. Use Facebook Live Streams. This is a little social media hack - social media platforms want to roll out new features, so they will preference people that are getting on board and share that over other content. It works!
Use a platform the way that it should be used.
6. Not Engaging With Other People
This is so important, especially for Instagram and community platforms. It's called social media, social networking. It's a two way street, and the best way to get more engagement, if you want people to like and comment and follow your page, like and comment and follow with other pages.
Once a day for 15 minutes, go on your feed, search locations, search hashtags, and just start chatting, joining the conversation and adding value first. You can't just have an account and expect everyone to follow it without doing any work! Make sure you're engaging with other people and do it daily, consistently.
The best way to get engagement is by engaging with others.
7. Not Enough Video Content
Video is where it's at. There is no denying that people love video instead of reading. It's also a really good way to show personality, so people can get to know you. With video you can build a relationship. With text is depends on how they read it (hopefully you’re reading this right now picturing Hugh Jackman… no?)
You can do videos of everything. How-to videos, behind the scenes content, live streams… whatever! If you're a restaurant, you can show videos of the food being made. If you're a real estate agent, you can show videos of inside the house. You can film anything. Just put more video content out!
If you’re super camera shy and don't want to do videos with you talking, do little fun animations. There's heaps of tools online where you can make little slideshows, graphics and all sorts of different stuff. Make video a priority in your business!
Make video a priority in your business!
8. Not Reading the Data
If you're not reading the analytics, you can't tell what's good and what isn't, and then you're just sort of throwing darts blindfolded. This is such a waste because social media has such powerful analytics! It is insane the level of data you can get with social media, and if you're not reading them, it's just a waste, and this goes for your website traffic as well.
If people are searching a specific phrase to end up on your site or they’re going to a specific page, you want to optimise that page. If you know what to look for, you can make good decisions based on the data, and that's a really important thing that I don't see enough people doing.
Let’s make this even more simple. Scroll through your posts for the last month, see what got the most engagement and what got the least. Do more of what worked, and less of what didn’t. I can’t make it any easier!
If you're not reading the analytics, you can't tell what's good and what isn't. You're just throwing darts blindfolded.
9. Not Leveraging Paid Advertising
This is more important now than ever. Organic engagement is absolutely possible, but it is much harder than before. And whilst this is annoying when you think ‘why do I have to pay to reach my own fans?’ unfortunately that's just the way that Facebook and Instagram work.
But! The upside is that it's really, really, really effective, and it's amazing the type of targeting that you can do. The cool thing is, you don't have to spend lots of money. You can literally spend 10 bucks a day to get in front of more prospects with the right content at the right time.
The stuff you can do in this, by leveraging just a little bit of paid advertising, is amazing. So we use a strategy where you're staying in front of the right people at the right time with the right content on Facebook and Instagram, 24/7, 365 days a year. Do you think if you did that you would get more business? The answer is yes.
If you've got good content and it's going to the right people, you're becoming the most relevant, valuable, and just obvious choice for people in that space, and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. This is the best thing. It's like your competitors aren't doing this, and you can just become such a consistent, valuable resource if you do it right. Just make sure you are adding value, otherwise you’re just loud and annoying. Like a mosquito.
Leveraging even just a little bit of paid advertising can make a huge impact.
10. Not Playing the Long Game
If you want to do social media and you're expecting it to grow your business in a month, don't do it. Seriously. It's just a waste of time setting it up or paying someone to create your social media accounts when you're not going to play the long game.
If you're focused on becoming the most consistent, relevant, valuable, reliable resource in your space, you will grow your business. If you're putting out all this content and you're leveraging advertising and you're staying consistent and you're just everywhere, you'll literally start creating those conversations, and that is going to grow your business. And it does take time, especially if you're new.
Let's say you just open a restaurant. You didn't tell anyone about it. Do you think it's going to be packed out in the first week? Probably not! You have to do some advertising, let people know about it, network, invite people to come in.
You've got to play the long game because then you're building a reputation and a brand. If you build a brand, if you build something that is bigger than just one campaign, you can reap the rewards for years, literally, and you can have such a big competitive advantage that it's not even going to be fair. Social media allows you to create that word of mouth, create their trust, and just give you such a priceless asset down the road.
If you're focused on becoming the most consistent, relevant, valuable, reliable resource in your space, you will grow your business.
Need Some Help?
Those are the 10 mistakes and how to fix them. If you’re reading this, I can assume you have an existing small business and you want to do your marketing better to get more customers and have everything more streamlined.
We’ve helped lots of different businesses - so if you’d like a hand with your social media marketing to build your brand and business, we’re happy to help! Get in touch below and we’ll have a look through your account, review your website, look into your strengths and weaknesses and see how we can help.