This year, I’ve helped thousands of businesses with their social media marketing, and there are some common themes in the mistakes that businesses are making. Social media is tricky and many business professionals haven’t taken the time to really think through their social media strategy. They just start doing. The decision-makers don’t understand it well and the implementors haven’t really had time to go in-depth to be as strategic as possible.
Here are the 5 biggest social media mistakes that you are probably still making:
1) Your Content is Totally Boring
This is probably the biggest one that I’ve seen this year. More advanced companies have a plan for social media and have figured out their content strategy, however the stuff that they actually post is just really, really boring. If you want to stand out online you have to be really interesting.
How to Avoid It: Spend 5 extra minutes on each post to make it as interesting as possible. Get inspired. Do some research. Don’t just post.
2) You Don’t Have the Right Resources
Do it right or not at all. Get the right resources in place to give yourself a good shot of being successful. I see this problem on both ends. Many businesses don’t have enough resources to be successful — it is 5% of someones job to quickly post something to Facebook a few times a week. At the same time, other businesses invest tens of thousands of dollars to have an agency run their Facebook page, which will probably never generate tens of thousands of dollars in sales to generate ROI. Really think about what your goals are and the right resources.
How to Avoid It: Step back and think about what success looks like for you, and realistically how this fits with other marketing investments that you could make. Resource it based on what you need to be successful.
3) You Ignore Analytics
I gave a presentation recently at a trade show and there were about 200 business in the audience and 90% of them were on Facebook. When I asked “Who has seen a decline in their reach on Facebook in the last 2 years?” only about 2 people raised their hands. All studies show that Facebook reach is declining – the real issue was that none of these people actually looked at insights with any regularity. They had no idea that their reach had declined 50% or more.
How to Avoid It: Schedule monthly maintenance for your social networks. Once a month look at analytics and build a plan to learn and improve.
4) You Don’t Know Which Social Networks to Spend your Time on
This is a big one – lots of businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 have a hard time figuring out where they should invest and spend their time. It is difficult to determine if a newer social network like Instagram or Pinterest is worth your time and attention. What surprises me though, is how businesses make decisions about new networks. Some jump right in without really having a plan and others refuse to do anything new because they don’t have the resources.
How to Avoid It: Create a set of criteria for how you determine if a new social network is worth while and don’t be afraid to explore. ALWAYS EVALUATE A SOCIAL NETWORK against the ability to support your business objectives.
5) You Don’t Stay Up-to-Date Enough to Improve and Revisit Your Strategy
Many businesses create a strategy that makes sense initially, but they never revisit the strategy. They don’t stay up-to-date on social media news to make sure that they always have the most up-to-date information to build their strategy from. For example, as Facebook has reduced organic reach you need a paid component to your plan if you really want to reach people. If you aren’t paying attention and constantly improving, you won’t get to where you need to be.
How to Avoid It: Invest some time to stay up to date. Our social media training diet suggests how to build a personal learning plan for yourself so that you continue to be on the leading edge of social media marketing.