Updated: Apr 29, 2022
You’ve probably been “doing” social media for some time now, but is all that effort positively impacting your bottom line? It’s an important question to ask, especially because there’s rarely a direct line from your social media spend to your sales revenue.
Social media is a critical element of your overall digital marketing strategy. It gives small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to reach millions of potential customers and compete against the largest brands.
Social media is a critical element of your overall digital marketing strategy.
To put the numbers in context, DigitalMarketing.org reports that nearly 53% of the world’s population is active on social media and that YouTube videos are viewed for more than 1 billion hours each day. The article also notes that in 2017, 80% of social media B2B leads came from LinkedIn.
So, you know you should be active in social media, and that it’s generally cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising (e.g., print, television). But are you doing it “right?” To help you answer that question, we’ve pulled together 10 social media marketing mistakes that could be preventing you from achieving better results.
1. Approaching All Social Channels the Same
This mistake can express itself in several ways, but the gist of it is that a brand identifies a bunch of different social platforms and posts the exact same content, in the same format, across all of them.
While you can use the same piece of content across platforms, try to make the accompanying message distinctive for each audience.
Here’s the problem with that. The user demographics of TikTok are very different than those of Facebook. More importantly, the features, marketing tools, audience interests, and behaviors of each platform are different. TikTok is video-oriented, LinkedIn is geared to work-related topics, Facebook skews middle age, and so on.
The better strategy is to select fewer channels – the ones that are in best alignment with your target groups – and focus on delivering quality content. While you can use the same piece of content across platforms, try to make the accompanying message distinctive for each audience.
2. Not Publishing Consistently
Every platform is different, but one thing is clear: whether you post three times a week or 12 times a week, strive to stay consistent with that pace.
One reason is that your most loyal followers expect it, and when you fail to publish regularly and consistently, you risk damaging that loyalty.
Just as important, when you fail to post at your regular interval, it can negatively impact your post impressions and engagement rates. This means your content that showed up in your followers’ feed one day doesn’t show up the next.
One of the easiest ways to stay consistent is to use an automated social media scheduling app, like Hookle.
3. Not Having an Editorial Calendar
One of the reasons brands fail to publish consistently is that they don’t have a content publishing plan, also referred to as an editorial calendar.
This calendar lets small businesses plan out their social posts from month to month, filling it with industry-related updates, sales events, or seasonal promotions happening throughout the year.
Gaps in the calendar can be filled with user-generated content, behind-the-scenes content from the business itself, or from monthly content calendar ideas like this one.
4. Lack of Quality/Too Much Brand Promotion
When people decide to follow you on social media, they generally do it for a handful of reasons: they know you or someone in the business personally, they get something of value out of the content you post (e.g., tips, education, skills, recipes), they’re a competitor, or they are entertained.
When you bombard your feed with your products and services, many followers will lose interest. In fact, there used to be an 80/20 rule for social media stating that 80% of posts should inform, educate and entertain, while only 20% should directly promote your business, however the actual ratio is no longer hard and fast.
Another common mistake is thinking any content is better than none at all, but brands that hastily slap up a post about the family pet may quickly find they’re losing followers. The best course of action is to stick to your editorial calendar and deliver high-quality content.
5. Failing to Monitor Data
Nearly every social platform now has an analytics or “dashboard” feature that offers valuable data on who is engaging with your posts, for how long, and other important insights. One best practice is to set up a notification to get an automated report at the end of each month so you can monitor the data to identify important trends.
For example, you may find that certain end screens on your YouTube videos are converting more viewers than others. This could prompt you to use those same end screens in your other videos. Or, on Facebook, you might notice that users are engaging more with posts that feature videos than those that feature photos, which may cause you to schedule more video posts for the next month.
Hookle even has a Social Score that aggregates your business’s performance across social media into one simple score. Additionally, it gives you personalized recommendations on how to improve your social media marketing. This simplifies your social media strategy and the need for monitoring data significantly.
6. Not Engaging with Followers
Social media is called social for a reason. The more you engage, the better your performance will be. Your followers will appreciate being heard.
You’ll be developing a sense of community with your followers. And, your content has a better likelihood of showing up in followers’ feeds because your engagement is higher.
In contrast, when you don’t respond to users’ comments, you give the impression your brand isn’t interested in being part of a community or that you don’t care about them.
7. Using Only Landscape Images & Videos
When Facebook and Twitter were the primary social platforms, landscape videos and images were the norms.
Instagram, an increase in mobile phone usage, and an explosion in digital ad formats have made square videos and images more the norm.
The company Buffer did some testing and found that square videos and images generate higher views and engagement, especially on mobile phones, than landscape videos. Be sure to mix it up!
8. Deleting Negative Comments
Believe it or not, receiving negative feedback is an opportunity to build trust within your brand community and deliver great customer service.
Rather than ignoring these comments, deleting them, or worse yet, responding with snark, take the opportunity to give a thoughtful response to the person.
Explain how you can (or cannot) resolve their issue, and there is a good chance you can turn that unhappy user into a loyal customer. Stranger things have happened!
9. Not Using Enough Video
It started years ago with YouTube. In recent years, things accelerated with Vine and then TikTok. Now, with Reels, virtually every social platform is in the video game.
One thing is clear: video is one of the most important mediums for social media consumers. It gets people’s attention, creates more engagement, and can be repurposed easily.
The good news is that today’s mobile phone cameras can produce high-quality footage that can be quickly edited and uploaded into an effective social media post.
10. Not Managing All Channels in One Place
The last faux pas busy entrepreneurs often make is spending dozens of hours each month doing social media marketing one channel, one post at a time.
Instead, they could be using social media management apps like Hookle.
“You’ll save valuable time and energy,” says Anne Silmälä, owner of the brewery, OlutMylly, in Finland. She and her husband, Mikko, use Hookle to manage their social sites in one place, schedule posts in advance, and cut down on administrative tasks each week.