How well do you think you know social media when it comes to your business? Are you using the right platform, targeting the right audience and doing the right things in general? Let's check that very quickly. Scroll down the post and let me know which of these mistakes you've recently made or continue making. At the end of the day, you should know not only the best marketing practices, but also what NOT to do on social media this year.
Use all Social Media Platforms to Target More People
This is a serious mistake, which will slow down your business and hurt it. You will spend a lot of time trying to produce content and engage in so many social media platforms, that you won't have time to actually create what you are selling, serve your customers or think about development. That said, another huge mistake would be to choose just one social media channel and only be active on it. Platforms come and go. Several years ago people were crazy about Vine. Some marketers leveraged it amazingly well and then what happened? It shut down. Snapchat was gaining tremendous popularity, especially with the young generation. It took one new update and a tweet from Kylie Jenner to lose all that momentum and potential. Now it's just an average social media platform where teens take selfies with funny filters and talk to each other. Not so great for business any more. In August this year, Google+ will be put to eternal sleep as well. So you see what I mean. You can never put all of your eggs in one basket. But make sure the baskets you choose fit your purpose.
What should you do instead: Have a clear understanding of who your ideal client is and which social media platform they prefer. Sometimes, it's 2 or 3, or you have more than one buying persona that prefers different social networks. Identify these channels and concentrate your efforts there. The recommendation is to maintain active presence on 3 to 4 social media platforms.
Delete or Ignore Negative Reviews and Comments
A lot of businesses make this mistake and it's just not working in their favour. No matter what social media or even another digital platform you use, you don't ever want to delete or ignore a bad review or a negative comment. Why? It just projects you as guilty in the eyes of other potential customers. The majority of consumers do check reviews before they buy something online. It's important to defend yourself in a smart and polite manner.
What should you do instead: Reply to all negative reviews and comments in a positive way. It is possible that some reviews are fake and you can easily expose them by saying "thank you for your feedback, but our records don't show you as our customer". That would be enough to prove your innocence. If the bad review is genuine, you would want to contact the user directly and try to reconcile by offering a refund or a replacement, or another incentive in exchange of removal of the review.
Use Full Automation
I know it's hard to be everywhere at the same time and follow the social media activity guidelines, but if you want to be successful in 2019 you can only use so much automation. Yes, you definitely need the help and I'm not saying you shouldn't schedule any posts, but find the balance.
What should you do instead: If you are pinning 50 pins a day, schedule 15-20 through Tailwind, mainly for the period when you will be asleep or busy. Then manually repin 25 at different times of the day (it only takes a few seconds). You will be left with 5-10 pins to publish manually, which also doesn't take that long if you have your content ready.
When it comes to Facebook, ONLY use the inbuilt scheduler when you need to set post to be published later.
Use Hashtags on Facebook
Speaking of Facebook, another thing that's just not gonna cut it this year is using hashtags in publications, and especially, many of them. We have seen a massive drop in reach and engagement for Facebook posts that contain hashtags. That's not so bizarre if you think about it, because people are not used to searching for something on Facebook through hashtags. They just type what they need in the search bar, or rarely look for something specific on the platform anyway. Keep in mind that this place is more "Let's see what's on Facebook" than "Let me check if I can find it on Facebook". You've got Google, Instagram and Pinterest for that. And perhaps LinkedIn, but very much niche related.
What should you do instead: If you have linked your Facebook page to your Instagram account, don't just share the Insta post automatically to the page. Let it be published on Instagram with all the relevant hashtags (they are really important on Insta - your hashtag strategy will make you or break you there). Then copy the caption if you think it's worth sharing on Facebook and publish a new post with the image and the caption directly on your page.
Use a Fake Name or Made up Name on Facebook
Facebook policing in 2019 is real. We will talk about more changes that have just been introduced in relation to security and positive user experience on Facebook in one of the coming blog articles here. For now, you really should know that you can't use a nickname or a fake name for your Facebook account. It's against their T&C and the social giant will require such accounts to provide official ID, along with some other documents to prove their identity. In addition, although this isn't new, if you have been using your personal profile for business, you really need to stop. That's also not allowed and you can end up in Facebook jail temporarily or permanently. Personal profiles are called that for a reason. They are meant to connect you with your friends and family, not your customers.
What should you do instead: Just create a business page or a group for goodness sake!
Expect Loads of Engagement from Videos on Facebook
Videos are great, they capture the attention, they make people feel emotions and all that. BUT, just before Christmas we noticed a massive drop in engagement from videos on Facebook. Pictures were doing much better and continue to do so.
What Should you do instead: I don't mean, completely forget about videos (especially, live videos!). I'd just say, add some other ingredients to your content recipe.
Buy Fake Followers on Instagram
That's the end of the easy way to get famous on Instagram. At the end of last year, Instagram officially announced that buying followers is against their T&C and all accounts who did it will be penalised. The fake followers were scrapped AND, in addition, those accounts' reach was slashed. Oops, not such a great gift for Christmas, I guess.
What should you do instead: It's simple. Be committed, create some great content, use your hashtags right and show consistency. That's all.
Post Selfies on Twitter
Ok, if you are a business on Twitter, I doubt that you will be posting selfies anyway, but it's important to know that on that platform the image of you is not as important as the image in front of you. In other words, when it comes to photos, people on Twitter want to see less of who you are and more of what you (can) do.
What should you do instead: Share motivational quotes as images or something funny (try out the gifs, they are hilarious). To unveil your personality, use text tweets. Make sure you can say a lot with very few words. If you can't, make it a thread.
Ignore the "Publish an Article" Feature on LinkedIn
If you know you have to be on LinkedIn to reach your ideal client, what you really DON'T want to do is miss an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. The perfect way to position yourself and showcase your knowledge is by publishing articles. You know, just the way you would run a blog, but natively on LinkedIn. Besides, LinkedIn Articles are a powerful traffic tool if you are trying to improve your SEO.
What should you do instead: Create high value articles and publish them natively on LinkedIn. That will send a notification to all of your contacts on the platform and prompt them to read it. To bring more traffic to your actual blog, just publish half of the content as an article on LinkedIn and then add the link to the full piece on your website.
Use Only Free Stock Images to Create Pins
Free stock images are a blessing! They've saved me so much money and time, but if you are going to use them for the majority of your pin creation on Pinterest, that's going to be a mistake. Pinterest is a visual search engine, which means it searches by the imagery content, as well as the keywords in the description. Free stock images are used by millions of pinners, and perhaps, your competitors too. How would Pinterest algorithm choose whose pin to show first if they are the same or look very similar?
What should you do instead: Invest in some paid stock photography, take your own pictures or design graphics from scratch only using the template size.
Whoa! That was a long article, wasn't it? But you made it to the end! I'm so proud of you! Well, I'm trying to make it up for skipping a blog day last week. Seriously, though, take notes of all of the above and if you have been doing any of it stop ASAP. Don't leave me hanging, share what are you guilty of, right here in the comments section. 👇