Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

  • 3 January 2014
  • Author: MAYACO
  • Number of views: 5132
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Here are five of the most common social media mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

No. 1: Starting without a plan.
It only takes a short amount of time to plan for a successful foundation but many people don't create one. It's like taking a trip but not having any idea of where you're going. Include such things as:

  • Do you know who your target audience is?
  • How do you plan to talk to them?
  • Do you know how your social media campaign ties into your traditional marketing plan?
  • Do you know who is going to staff your social media efforts?
  • Do you know your social media business objectives?
  • How will you measure your success?

Once your plan is set, determine who on your staff will be responsible for carrying it out and hold him or her accountable.

No. 2: Poorly timing social media posts.
Know how your intended customer behaves online with social media.

  • When are customers/readers most likely to be checking in or reading posts online?
  • Keep the time difference in mind if you are posting from the West coast; three (3) hours later than the East coast. If you're dealing with an international audience, be aware of their local time.
  • Time-sensitive posts. If you have a "time-sensitive" post, post it when you get the largest audience. For example, a restaurant daily special post would do great in the morning and even better, an hour or less before lunch! People are thinking with their stomachs at that time.

No. 3: Breaking social media rules of etiquette.
Don't start a social media campaign without having at least a basic understanding of some of the rules.

  • Ask questions. Use timely topics and trends to engage the reader. What's hot news to you is probably the same for your readers.
  • Don't follow someone on Twitter, then un-follow them when they follow you. The only reason you should follow a person or a brand is because you value the content he or she shares.
  • Promote other people as well as your own brand. For every personal social media mention you share, you should mention another person or business five times. When you do self-promote, make it a short mention that focuses on the benefit for your readers.
  • Don't spread yourself too thin. Focus on using 2-3 social media networks or fewer at a time. Otherwise, you might not have the time to consistently provide relevant content that engages users. (Know what you're customers/clients might be using. Think from their perspective.)

No. 4: Failing to measure social media success.
Although it might not be easy to measure something like a conversation, you are able to measure factors such as your total online community size, the number of mentions of your brand across the social web and all the traffic referred to your business's website. The following tools can help you stay on top these important metrics:

  • Apps such as FollowersPlus and InstaFollow for Instagram can be helpful. Be aware of "ghost followers" because they never like or comment but they are counted as followers.  PageLever is a paid tool that helps you see your impressions for any date range on Facebook.
  • Simply Measured is a paid tool that can collect social media data such as engagement per blog post, or tweet distribution per country into an Excel report.
  • SocialMention is a free search engine that allows you to have alerts sent to you daily containing mentions made online of you and your brand.

No. 5: Ignoring your competitors.
Knowing who your competitors are and what they are doing is just as important as knowing everything about your own business.
To keep an eye on your competitors over social media, look at their website, locate the social media icons, sign up as a fan and start watching what they do. It's just as important to see what their fans are saying and use those reactions to improve your own business. For example:

  • Are your competitors' fans complaining about a missing feature? Can you easily and profitably include that feature into your product?
  • Are they praising something both you and your competitor do, but you aren't actively promoting it in your ads? Maybe you should.

If you create a Social Media plan, you can avoid these top mistakes in social media. This will also help you be more effective in your online marketing efforts.

Good luck!

NOTE: Some information contributed by Neil Patel, co-founder of San Francisco-based online analytics provider KISSmetrics.

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