Marketing, Strategy
May 2, 2019
7 things you’re doing wrong on social media and how to change
7 things you’re doing wrong on social media and how to change

By Felicia Guthrie

There’s no denying that social media is a powerful marketing tool. In fact, Smart Insights reports that there are almost 3.5 billion social media users worldwide in 2019. While many people and small businesses think that anyone can run their social media accounts, it’s important for the person coordinating your accounts to recognize and acknowledge what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. If you’re not getting the results you’re hoping for or expecting, read below to discover 7 things that you may be doing wrong on social media.

#1: You’re not engaging with followers or your community

Whether you’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or another platform, it’s incredibly important to engage your audience through discussions and comments. Actions like starting or joining Twitter conversations and replying to Instagram comments help build trust, loyalty, spark more conversations and can attract new followers, provided your tone stays positive.

While engaging with people who visit your profiles is important, it’s also important to reach out to your target audience. You can easily search Twitter for relevant hashtags and terms to find people who are already talking about something that relates your business so you can join in on their conversations.

If you are on Instagram, this is a great platform for engaging with users on THEIR profile. Many small business owners are tempted to use automatic bots for ease and reach, these bots add random followers and comment on photos. NEVER use a bot on social media. Not only is it against the terms of use for Instagram, but bot comments are easy to spot because they are generic and often don’t make sense under particular photos. When users see that you’ve commented and it’s an automatic comment, they don’t take you seriously and might block you – if Instagram doesn’t penalize you first.

Find users that are already generating content relevant to your brand, maybe they’re tagging you in photos, using a relevant hashtag, or frequently shop in your area. Like their photos and comment on them – but do so in moderation. If you’re liking and commenting on several photos at once or every day, they could find you annoying or creepy. However, nice comments in moderation that feel genuine can help you gain followers that engage with you, advocate for your brand, and buy from you.

#2: You’re giving too much, too little, or you’re just inconsistent

Twitter is a great place to have a thread of conversation but on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, you want to make sure you’re not over posting (or under posting!). When there are too many posts you run the risk of your audience getting annoyed and if you’re not posting often enough then you’re inconsistent and your audience can become disinterested.

If you’re just starting out, test out your posting options. For example, pick three days, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and post only on those days. Later, review your insights and tweak your strategy depending on your results. For example, by clicking the Audience tab in Instagram Insights, you can review which days and times your followers are more active, then compare with the engagement data from the content you have been posting. By comparing you can better strategize when to post so that you can reach and engage those who are already following you and those searching for you. Through testing and reviewing you can optimize your content and accounts.

#3: You’re not utilizing Insights

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, three of the most popular social media platforms, all offer easy to access, free analytics for users with business accounts. It’s important to take a peek at these Insights as they hold key info such as the demographics of those who follow you, which may or may not match who YOU think your audience is.

Insights offer you a look at stats such as the locations your followers are in, gender, and age range. If you have a business in Toronto, for example, take a look at where your followers are located. If many are from outside of Toronto, you may want to find ways to reach a local audience. Perhaps you can start tagging your location on your posts (and hashtagging relevant community locations such as #QueenWest) so that people who frequent your area, can find you as well. Insights offer your business an opportunity to analyze data based on your content and audience which you can then use to refine your strategy and tactics.

#4: There’s not much thought behind your choice of platform – or your posts

While it would be great to have a large following on social media, it may not be that simple for a small biz. It’s important to carefully consider each platform choice based on your industry and audience behaviour. Not sure which platform(s) would be best for your business? Take a look at our Blog where we take a look at some of the most popular platforms, what they have to offer and which business categories they may work best for. Once you choose your platforms, don’t just post anything, think about what you want your content to say and what message you want to portray to those visiting your pages.

#5: You’re not telling people you’re on social media

You can’t rely on simply starting an account and letting people find you. Sure, you may get some followers and engagement but you’re missing out on opportunities to engage with your customers. Have a website, email signature or newsletter? These are all places where you can include links to your social media. Adding social media buttons to your website, if you don’t already have them, is a great opportunity to attract new customers who are looking at your website to your accounts, or to engage those who already frequently visit your page.

If your company is hosting or attending an event, be sure to let others know that you’re present on social media before, during and after the event. This could include actions like location-tagging your posts and displaying signage asking people to visit your page or tag you. For example, if you’re attending a trade show or market, such as Canada’s Bridal Show, talk about it on social media before the event! Tag their accounts on relevant photos and engage with them on social media. People who are looking at those accounts will find you based on their searches for posts related to the event.

Along with capturing a particular audience, you also create the opportunity for your audience to tag your location and business and act as advocates for your brand.

#6: You’re setting unrealistic goals

Sure, some content goes viral and gets a surge in popularity, but most accounts have to work hard at building, curating, and maintaining their online presence. It’s important to know your brand, know your audience, implement a strategy, and analyze your progress in order to create a successful presence that is successful over time and not just in the present.

#7: You don’t accept feedback and you’re unwilling to change

It’s important to understand that something might not be working for you and that’s okay. It’s also important to check your ego and be open to criticism and feedback in order to refine your strategy. The world is constantly changing and as humans we often make mistakes. There’s always room for improvement and it’s important for us to be constantly learning in order for us to grow and be better in the future.

Are you still unsure what you’re doing wrong or simply need more guidance? We can help with that. Visit our website to learn more about our Social Media Starter Kit.

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