Let’s be honest: To most brands, social media is still confusing.
Use Facebook to boost business—but how? Find success on social networks—but what does that mean?
If these are questions that you’ve asked yourself, you’re not alone. The truth is, most brands are making the same mistakes on social media, and you might be one of them. To help you find out, here’s a look at five of the most common mistakes happening on social networks. Take a look and see if they describe you.
1. Ignoring Social Media Completely
Brands that don’t understand the impact of social media may overlook it completely. Calling Facebook a distraction and Twitter “empty noise,” they miss valuable opportunities to connect with fans, reinforce their brand messaging, and promote their products. While their competitors engage with audiences online, they’re nowhere to be found.
2. Thinking “Likes” = Sales
A lot of brands get on social media with the goal of “getting a million likes” or some other arbitrary number. Getting affirmation on social media is fun, but it’s not the ultimate goal. Will a certain number of likes translate to a certain number of sales? The truth is, probably not. And because likes don’t equal sales, you shouldn’t make them your end game.
3. Talking More Than Listening
Nobody likes a blowhard. But when all you do on social media is talk about your own products and promotions, that’s exactly what you become. Fans will get bored of listening to your constant hot air and likely run the other way. Plus, what’s even worse is that you miss the chance to learn about your audience. Make social media a conversation instead of a monologue. Rather than only talking, try listening to what your readers and customers have to say. When you learn to listen and engage, you learn to build meaningful community—and that usually translates to more sales over time.
4. Being Inconsistent
This week, you’re on Facebook every day; next week, you forget all about it. Today, your Twitter voice is helpful and professional; tomorrow, you’re cracking casual jokes about your customers. Who are you? What is your brand all about? If you don’t make the answers to these questions consistent, your audience will notice—and they probably won’t stick around to watch your changing tides. It’s important on social media to be consistent, both in terms of voice and content, in order to make the most of your influence.
5. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
With so many social networks available today—from Pinterest to Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram—and more developing all the time (Vine, anybody?), it’s easy for brands to bite off more with social media than they can chew. Rather than taking on every social network, brands do well to strategically choose a few to which they may devote more time. Take time to figure out which networks mean the most to your audience, and stick to those.
Is your company guilty of any of the above social media blunders? If so, take heart: You’re not alone. What’s more, it’s never too late to start making changes.
Photo credits: Nettsu