Are your social media marketing efforts really working for your business? In this article I'll share 10 of the most common mistakes I see online business owners making, so you can avoid them.
First up, it's worth noting that I take a very strategic approach to social media. I've learnt to play the long game, in order to avoid leaving heaps of cash on the table. This wasn't before I walked before you and made several mistakes myself. Learn by mistake has been my experience despite ignoring advice from the experts. There are no shortcuts.
Grab a cuppa and let's dive in.
Mistake #1 - Too Many Platforms!
Easy mistake to make. Where do you start and draw the line?
The problem is, it's an impossibility to manage more than 3 platforms, even with a well organised scheduler and run a well oiled business alongside. As entrepreneurs we wear many hats right?
Production manager, content creator, researcher, planner, accountant, budget controller, marketer and social media manager! Are you a super hero?
Why spread yourself even more thinly than you already have? In my experience, hanging out where your most profitable clients hang out is better than trying to be everything to everyone, everywhere.
Start with one platform first, figure it out, learn the basics, understand the algorithms, pick off the low hanging fruit and create system that works for you.
Once that ones running, add a second platform. Repeat. If it's not delivering, don't be afraid to ditch it.
Me? I spend most of my time on Facebook because that's where most of my clients hang out. I brand build, educate and have fun on Instagram whilst I've ditched Twitter!
Jump off the platforms that your prospects don't use and start using the ones they are. If you're not sure which one they're using, the majority of people are on facebook so start there and master it!
Mistake #2 - Wrong Platform
You are on the wrong platform - this happens a lot! It mostly occurs out of reluctance or fear to change.
I’ve seen clients, who even though they KNOW they need to get off Snapchat and get onto Facebook, because that's where their their clients and audience hang out, they don’t.
Most people tend to be active on Facebook because the boys and girls at Facebook done an amazing PR job over the last decade (plus little effective competition. Add in the old "FOMO" factor (fear of missing out), and you've got a very popular network choice.
But I want your to think about this. Are your audience likely to engage with your posts on Facebook?
When deciding which platforms / networks to choose, you will need to consider not just where they hang out, but how much they'll be engaged with you on that network.
If you’re a coach, then Facebook and Twitter maybe good options for you. They work for me, because many of my clients are of my generation, whom tend to stick to the platforms that were around at the beginning.
Therefore, consider the age generation of your audience.
If you have a younger audience then Instagram and Snapchat are places where they'll probably engage more with them.
If you sell creative products or services, e.g photography, handmade items or art, then Instagram maybe a good choice because it’s very visual platform and people go there to be visually inspired.
If you’re a writer, depending on the age group of your target audience and the genre you’re in, Twitter and Facebook may work for you.
Where is your audience likely to engage with you?
Work out where your audience is hanging out. Choose 2 networks maximum then create accounts on each one for your biz (assuming you're new to them). Have a browse to see what conversations are taking place. Get involved and join in the conversations. Even start some!!
Mistake #3 Frequency
Not posting enough and I mean in terms of consistency and frequency.
I can’t stress enough how important this is. It's a deal breaker!
If you haven’t got yourself a scheduler to lighten the workload, then get one today and you only need one. Check out my scheduler comparison guide below.
You can post manually in between your scheduled posts and in fact I encourage it. Because you want to be connecting with people. That’s what social media is all about right!
Enter your details above and get my Scheduling Guide. Then choose ONE scheduler. You need the one that accommodates your 2 chosen networks. Start planning your content at least 2 weeks in advance, if you can. This may take you a few days initially, but you will become more efficient.
Mistake #4 Giving up!
I see this so much! Building a social media following takes time. We all get a little impatient from time to time, but it is worth reminding yourself, that building an online business is a long game.
Most bloggers I know, tell me, it takes them at least 6 months to make their first affiliate sale, so give it time and use that period to keep creating awesome content! That’s because it takes time to build the know, love and trust factor between you and your audience.
It helps if you’re on video. If you can get in front of your audience a few times a week, they will get to know and love you more quickly. It’s a bit like the personal contact you get from visiting a shop, so consider that route if you want to get fans quickly.
Secondly the social media and the Google algorithms love video! That means they’re going to display your videos in front of more people than your written content and the written content of other companies and bloggers!
Perform all the action points in this article for at least 6 months consistently! If you feel like giving up, return to this post and tell me why! We don't want to see you give up my friend!
Mistake #5 Wasting Time!
How many times have you gone to post something on your network for your biz and then taken a little D tour to see what else is going on?
Then 2 hours later you're shocked by how quickly time has passed and you've not achieved your goal! Ha ha it's cool to watch cats play the piano but watch them out of office hours! You're running a biz right!? Would you allow your employees to do this?!
To stop this mindless activity(!) be mindful of it and simply have a chat with yourself! Or, do what I used to do and set a productivity alarm. A productivity or "Just Do IT - JDI Alarm I call it, is when you set a timer to go off in 20 minutes whilst you complete your task. When the alarm sounds you can take a 5 min break - don't go on social or Youtube though as this defeats the challenge!
I allowed myself to work in 25 minute intervals. I used an alarm to let me know when the time had passed and it helped me stay focussed and not wander from the task I was doing. My productivity instantly shot up!
If you find yourself going "off piste" whilst creating your social media content, try a JDI Alarm!
Mistake #6 Failing to create a strategy!
Do you find that you’re spending way too much time on social and not seeing results?
You are on a number of platforms posting fabulous content but no-one is liking, commenting or sharing. In fact the landscape is bare. Cue the tumbleweed!
You need to have a plan.
Don’t let the networks suck up your time. Be clear about how social media marketing activities will help you to deliver your business goals and objectives then develop a plan around how you’re going to achieve them.
The process doesn't have to be boring
The process doesn't have to be boring. Enrol the help of a friend and set up a creative session over coffee to get your ideas flowing. Grab some paper and coloured pens and enjoy doodling and making notes!
Love the process!
Spend a week just focussing on your social media marketing strategy.
Think about your:
- which platform you should be spending your time on
- what key messages you want to communicate
- what actions you want your audience to take
- how to schedule your posts so they are consistent
Mistake #7 Allowing negative comments to dictate your content!
We’re all different, we ain't all going to please everyone.
If someone makes a negative comment you need to decide how to deal with it. The last thing you want to do is start an online spat, "oh no!".
If the comment is valid, consider how you're going to respond in a positive way. Thank the person for their comment.
Sometimes I ask them to PM me so I can follow up personally with them. You never know they may have a little golden nugget of wisdom for you!
If it’s nasty, you have a few options. Ignore it or report it.
But here’s the thing, you will experience negativity sadly. It comes with the territory!
Remember, you can always block someone who is persistent behaving badly.
If you receive a negative comment, try responding as I've recommended. See the positive in it.
Mistake #8 - Not Responding To Comments
Not responding to comments!! I can’t believe this happens! The purpose of Social Media is to be social and create positive interactions with each other. I see it so often where comments by lovely, adorning followers are not responded to.
If people are investing time in commenting on your content, be polite and respond back. People love to be loved so it will increase your social value by doing this.
Furthermore, the network's algorithms love this too and they will show your content to more people the more interactive you are. After all that's what the networks want from us!
ALWAYS respond to the negative comment too. You want to find out what’s driving the feedback and as a business owner you want to prevent it from happening again.
The last things you want to do is delete them!
From today, respond to ALL comments!
Mistake #9 - Radio Silence!
I know we’re not all extroverts - me especially, I think I’m a born introvert.
However, we need to tell people our business exists. Don't expect "them" to find you. We all lead busy lives. We're too busy to notice you exist. You need to disrupt our daily routines. You need to grab our attention.
You need to build your social value if you want followers and people to know love and trust you. So that involves POSTING and COMMENTING on a regular basis.
You need to be actively social on social. It's how your content gets displayed to more people. I hear people complain that their content is not reaching people. Make it visible, make it shareable.
Here's the thing. If you're only posting once a month, you will fail. Stay current, stay consistent. Illustrate you business is alive and kicking. Keep giving value. Develop your visibility strategy.
For example if managing a Facebook Group is part of your strategy, its important to show up and serve consistently. Particularly in the early stages.
Remember, being social is a 2 way process. Social media marketing is effectively relationship marketing.
From this moment, start conversations on your social media platforms at least 3 times a week. Use a scheduler or hire a social media manager. Step back to write your content strategy and plan. Re-purpose content if you can. Encourage engagement and always respond to comments.
Mistake #10 - Cold Selling!
How often have you purchased from a stranger in the street? Not often right.
Selling requires an element of trust. Social media provides a great platform to help you prove your expertise, knowledge and other credentials so that you can make it easier for prospects to know, love and trust your brand.
Nobody really likes a pushy sales person. So the next time you find yourself consistently publishing the same old sales message and links to your shop or product page, without any recognition of the needs of your customer, reconsider your strategy
Please don’t be spammy!
I understand your ultimate objectives are revenue and profit growth, however, by building the relationship first you’ll have much more success.
Avoid getting spammy at all costs. Avoid cold selling. Discover your audience, build a rapport and engagement, then invite them over. It's rather like dating!
I hope you found these tips useful. Please leave your comments below and let's continue the conversation. Have a great day.