We all make mistakes some more costly than others and some can even be avoided. When it comes to social media the majority of the of the time mistakes are made due to lack of experience or trying to achieve results quickly. During my time as a social media and search professional, I have seen quite a few but here are five that I see reoccurring more often than others; lack of posting great content, spreading too thin across several platforms, unoptimized profiles, purchasing fans and engagements, and unbranded profiles.
These mistakes are not as costly as violating Google’s Guidelines so they will not cost your company ranking but they will make you look bad when an audit is performed by a third party. I have been brought in to consult on several social media accounts and before I present the social media audit, I like to sit down with the team or person responsible for social media to let them know what I am going to report back to the C-suite. During our chat I ask them a few simple social media related questions and about 50 percent of the time they have no experience in social media. They are doing it because they were volunteered by their boss. I do it just as a courtesy so they know how to prepare themselves for the meeting and to make the appropriate recommendations.
Failing to Post Unique or Useful Content
One of the most frequently asked questions is what to post on social media to get more than 2 to 3 engagements from the same people. Well, it depends on what industry you are in. If you are in a niche industry such as cloud security or provide software to reduce fraudulent merchandise returns to the retail industry your posts will differ from the content that a food company will post.
Your posts that will go on LinkedIn should be different from Facebook and Twitter posts since your audience might differ based on the social media platforms. For LinkedIn you might want to post the latest industry trends via a whitepaper for Facebook try posting mini-infographics that show data from most popular items customers returned from Mother’s day. While on Twitter you can post a combination of both.
There are options to use paid campaigns on all three platforms you should consider gating your content on LinkedIn to try and collect emails to add to your database to use on future campaigns. For Facebook if you decide to use paid try creating look-a-like audience campaign to increase the success of your campaigns and reduce CPCs.
Focusing on Too Many Social Media Websites
If you find yourself struggling to create enough content for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Do not attempt to take on any new platforms, instead audit the social media channels you are active one to see where you are having the most success and narrow it down to those only. This can be done using a few different tools, here are the tools I use to help me make the decision on what platforms I should focus on; Google Analytics, Fan Page Karma and Nuvi.
Google Analytics – Shows me how many visits the client received from our posts and if tracked properly I can even pull in data to see if any leads or sales came in from social.
Fan Page Karma – On this tool I can pull just about any social media report and it even integrates with Google Analytics. So if you are not using this tool, you are missing out. By using FPK, I can track the success we are having on just about any platform to make an educated decision on which social media platforms I need to focus on.
Nuvi – Is a listening tool that allows me to see who is engaging with my posts on most social media platforms, let’s me pull reports, identifies influencers and tracks your brand’s sentiment on the Internet. Therefore if your client is taking a beating on Facebook but you are not focusing your efforts on this platform it might be time to pay attention to it.
However, if you are getting pressure from your boss to post to more platforms; content calendars will come in handy to plan posts and there is nothing wrong with repurposing content.
Failing to Optimize Social Media Profiles
This mistake gets made more often than one might think, missing descriptions on company pages and profile as well as most of the items listed below. But you might wonder why this is important, well Google has been serving up LinkedIn pages as well as other social media profiles for different types of search queries, examples: “Real Estate SEO, Keller Williams Post Cards, Orange County SEO and others”. Therefore it is vital that you do not neglect using keywords within the company’s description.
- Cross linking channels
- Missing link to company website
- Missing Facebook call-to-action button
- Integrating other social media profiles on Facebook using an app
- Missing NAP
- Missing company logos
- Not taking advantage of LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Buying Likes and Followers
If you have ever managed a social media campaign, I am certain that you have been asked; Why does this company or person have more followers than we do? In all fairness the majority of the time that company is a major brand or the person is a celebrity but management does not understand it. So now the pressure is on you to increase the number of followers and engagements.
So since the pressure is on to increase followers buying them is an easy fix but what you might be buying is fake likes and fans from click banks. Therefore you are not going to increase any type of fan engagement with your content even if it is very cool and useful.
Instead of buying likes and followers from click banks consider running likes campaigns on LinkedIn and Facebook, and followers for Twitter. Also do not forget to created a retargeting code to place on your website to use on any future paid campaigns and improve the odds of running a successful campaign. Another type of campaign you can run is an engagement campaign and since you have the retargeting code your campaign will be more successful by using look alike audience. Lastly, if you have an email database create a campaign that will target people with matching emails on Facebook.
Forget buying likes and fans from farms when there are more effective ways to increase engagements on your channels.
Failing to Brand Social Media Profiles
This one is not as crucial as the rest but it should not be overlooked, but brand consistency should be carried over to every social media profile. In some instances I have seen where the company’s Facebook page has completely different header and icon design from Twitter and LinkedIn. Other times the person who is managing social just found an image they thought was cool and posted it on as the header. Which in my opinion is not the greatest idea.
Creating images like the example above will not cost you hundreds of dollars if you know where to get them. If you have the budget by all means hire a professional, but if you are working with a small budget, you can use Fiverr. On Fiverr you can get custom and professional looking headers and icons for all of your social media channels for under $50. So know there is no excuses for lacking brand consistency on your social media headers and icons or using some random image.
Even though mistakes are made it is important to learn from them to ensure we can improve the success of the social media campaign you are running whether you were hired to do or volunteered. There are different tools to help you make educated decisions from creating great content, improving posting consistency, optimizing channels, growing a following, optimizing channels and branding. So now that you have the necessary tools it’s time to make the required changes and make yourself look like a rock star!