If you don’t have social media as a part of your marketing plan, you are missing out on growing your business.
Unfortunately, there’s no real guidebook when it comes to social media, but if you stay away from these mistakes, you could be well on your way.
Not having a plan – if you don’t know what your goals are then you are going to get stuck.
The first thing every single business owner should think about before starting with social media is their goals. You need a sense of direction – a clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to achieve from your social media. What do you want to get out of your social media? I’m sure your first reaction is going to be “more sales,” but you need to think about what actually drives those sales? Another thing to think about is what engages your community? Establish a purpose that aligns with what your community responds to.
What is the end goal of your social media?
- Gain sales / new clients
- List building
By identifying where you want to end up, it’s easier to create a strategy and connect the dots to your ultimate goal.
It’s about being laser focused.
Make your end goal SMART….
- We’re talking about real numbers and information
- Don’t say I will post on Instagram regularly
- Instead, have specific days and times
- Assign clear goals you can track
- Don’t say I will grow my mailing list through social media
- Instead, have weekly or monthly numbers and assign tactics that will allow you to achieve these goals
- Set yourself up for easy success
- Don’t say I’m going to get massive media attention with my Twitter contacts
- Instead, think what’s an easy to reach goal within a timeframe and then maybe come up with an “I’d be over the moon if”….scenario
- Based on your time, resources, budget and reality, ensure you are capable of meeting your goals
- Don’t say signing up 10 new coaching clients this week
- Instead, think what’s doable based on your schedule, current mailing list, working relationships, etc.
- Give yourself a deadline
- Don’t say I’m going to grow my Twitter followers
- Instead, think what can I accomplish by a certain date?
- Then, break it down into manageable mini-steps
No content strategy – content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships, and relationships drive ROI (Return On Investment).
Create an ongoing list of places you like to find content. For example, I have an Excel sheet for each of my clients with websites where I can find great content to share. I also provide my clients two sheets: “Whose content am I interested in?” and “Types of Content to Share“. Make sure to click on each of those titles to get those documents.
Always remember the 80/20 Rule: 80% of the information you share should be valuable such as articles you find or your own blog posts. You also want your posts to inspire people, such as quotes. That extra 20% should be posts about your company, such as specials, product information, and so on.
Think before you post….Is your post TRUE, HELPFUL, INSPIRING, NECESSARY, and KIND?
Here are 3 simple questions to ask yourself before deciding what to share:
- Who is your customer? – that’s why it’s very important to know who your target market is.
- What’s important to them? – look at your business from your customers’ perspective and think about what they care about, as it relates to your business.
- What action should they take? – should they visit your website, shop in your store, sign-up for a freebie? Make sure it is clear what their next step is.
Forgetting to show there is a human being behind your brand – everyone wants to know there is a human being behind your brand. They want to know they are dealing with a real person.
It’s OK to share personal photos on Facebook and Instagram. These are the sites where you can have more fun. When it comes to LinkedIn, share behind the scenes photos, such as presenting somewhere or you at an event. Even though LinkedIn is the number one platform for professionals, they still want to know who they are dealing with.
Ignoring or deleting comments – the faster you respond to someone’s comments, the happier they will be. These people are your customers or potential customers and what they have to say is important. That’s money in the bank.
NEVER, EVER delete a comment. By deleting a comment, it makes people think you are hiding something. It’s just bad customer service. You’re better off commenting back and saying sorry that they had a bad experience. Learn from it and grow.
Not being consistent with your social media – too many people get all excited about their social media and then 2 months later, they have already forgotten about it.
One of the keys to being successful is being consistent. Work it into your schedule – block time off on your calendar. If you are not sharing something every day, you are not going to get noticed. Use a third party automation tool, such as Hootsuite or Buffer, and schedule content for the week or the month.
I can’t tell you how many times I go to an event and I hear someone say, “I see you on LinkedIn all of the time!” I’m being consistent and sharing valuable information.
Forgetting to have FUN!!!! – it’s important for brands to remember that when it comes to social media, it’s about being social, showing the human being behind your brand, and engaging with your audience. They have taken the time to follow you so let them see the fun side of your brand.
Again, share personal photos, especially around the holidays. Ask silly questions like “Coffee or Tea?” Pictures of babies and animals have great responses on social media. Share funny things you find on the Internet. It’s good practice to share this type of stuff on Thursday’s and Friday’s because people are thinking about the weekend.
By staying away from these mistakes, you can build a social media following. People will love seeing what you post and will want to engage and share with their friends.
In my next blog post, I am going to talk about creating a social media strategy.
Until then, Keep Calm & Love Social Media!