You’re Doing it Wrong – Social Media Tips for Brands & Pages
Are you staying up-to-date on the latest trends, changes, and opportunities on social media?
The social media landscape is continuously changing. What worked for your brand yesterday might not be the best use of your time and resources tomorrow. It’s important to stay on top of the latest social media news to ensure that you’re bringing your marketing A-Game and not falling behind the curve.
Here are some of the biggest social media pitfalls that we see on a daily basis.
Facebook Pitfall — Posting too infrequently
Remember when we all limited the number of posts that we shared on our business pages so that our audiences wouldn’t feel “spammed”? This rule no longer applies.
Not so long ago that rule of thumb made perfect sense, but over time Facebook continued to tweak their algorithms. Now Facebook limits your posts’ reach; each post from a Facebook page will only reach a limited number of your followers unless the post is boosted (paid for), or unless your followers have specifically adjusted their settings to receive all of your posts.
Because of these constant algorithm changes, you need to post more often because very few of your followers will actually see each post. Even if they want to see your posts, they won’t be able to unless they proactively visit your page and adjust their settings.
It’s important to boost at least some posts with a small budget to ensure that your audience hears from you. Set a monthly budget to boost specific strategic posts, and for the rest of your content, posting frequently is a YES.
Facebook Pitfall — Not posting enough visuals
While it’s perfectly fine to post short text updates on your personal profile, it’s not the same for a brand. Your business page needs visuals. Custom branded visuals, photographs, memes, and especially videos are all significantly more effective than a text post for a brand. First of all, the algorithms don’t pick up on text posts for brands, and secondly, human beings are drawn to visual content.
People might care about their friends’ short one-liners because of the rapport that they share, but that doesn’t apply for businesses. You need visual content or no one is going to take notice.
LinkedIn Pitfall — Only posting to your business page
In order to build a following on your business page, it’s important that you first post on that page but then also share your page’s content with your personal network. LinkedIn is particularly designed for person-to-person networking and personal branding, so the more that you reinforce your business or brand’s posts from your personal profile, the more traction you’ll get.
LinkedIn Pitfall — Being a wallflower
Reach out and engage! That’s what LinkedIn is for. You can’t be a shrinking violet. The more energy that you put into your LinkedIn networking, the more benefit you’ll reap from your network. It’s definitely worth your while.
Twitter Pitfall — Posting too infrequently
Twitter moves quickly. If you aren’t posting often, no one will even notice that you’re there. You need to post frequently so that people notice not only your individual updates but also your recurring profile. That’s when they’ll start to associate your profile with certain kinds of content. Only then will your brand really start to take hold.
Twitter Pitfall — Only using hashtags that no one is looking for
Sure, it’s cute to use a hashtag like #BenBarkerforPresident, but keep in mind that only your existing followers will see it. Unless you’re talking about something that’s related to a trending topic, the chances of anyone ever searching for #BenBarkerforPresident are a bazillion to one. That’s very limiting. It’s hugely beneficial to choose hashtags that people might actually be looking for or that are already trending, and those hashtags are also more likely to be retweeted. If you’re going to create a proprietary hashtag, make sure that you have a darned good reason for it.
Twitter Pitfall — Using too many hashtags
Analytics have shown that two hashtags is the sweetspot on Twitter. You only have
140 280 characters*. Use them wisely.
Instagram Pitfall — Using too few hashtags
This is the opposite of Twitter. When it comes to Instagram, the more hashtags the merrier (up to 30), but again, they should be relevant words and word combinations that people might actually be searching for. If #BenBarkerforPresident didn’t get you anywhere on Twitter, it will get you even less traction on Instagram. Add hashtags to your images that are both relevant to your business and that people might be interested in browsing so that they’ll find you. It’s the key to building your audience.
Instagram Pitfall — Seeking perfection in your image feed
It’s more important to post “real” images than it is to post a few perfect/professional ones. Instagram your staff, objects, and moments to show a more real, personal side to your business.
Pinterest Pitfall — Posting directly promotional images
This is not the place to post directly promotional images. Pinterest is all about creating a visual hook for the public that will make them want to pin your image and also click through to read more on your website. If your image just says “sales” then no one is going to pin it. But if your pin promises something interesting—visually beautiful or stimulating or with the promise of information or entertainment—then they’ll become interested enough to pin your content, and hopefully also click through to visit your website.
When someone pins an image of a delicious cupcake, it’s because the photo is visually stimulating and also because they might like to click through to check the recipe. When they pin an image that says “5 Bootylicious Exercises for the Perfect Bum” it becomes popular because it hooks them to the idea that at the end of that pin they’ll be taken to a url that will answer all of their booty-prayers.
You can pin images that include your business name or url somewhere in the thumbnail, but that can’t be the entire point of the image. Your Pinterest hooks shouldn’t be telling people how great your business is, they should be providing a promise of something good that will fill a need or answer a question in their lives.
Social Marketing Can’t be an Afterthought
Social media is an amazing marketing tool but a poorly defined or half-hearted social media campaign can be more devastating than you realize. At best, it’s a waste of your time and money. At worst, a poorly executed campaign can reflect negatively on your overall brand image. A successful marketing strategy requires a full understanding of your target customer behaviour, brand messaging, ever-evolving technology, tools, and trends, and you need to be able to analyze your return on investment.
You can avoid a lot of costly learning curves, inefficiency, and overspending by outsourcing your social media to dedicated experts. If you’d like to discuss your marketing goals, why not take us up on a free consultation? We’d be happy to look at your current processes to determine if we can add value and help get you better results.
*NB: As of November 2017, the character count for Twitter has increased to 280 characters.