You wouldn’t let your office manager forget to order supplies or let your finance team balance accounts without spreadsheets, would you? You surely wouldn’t let your sanitation team skip emptying the wastebaskets or let your HR department misunderstand benefits. Most basic-level operations are expected to be optimized without oversight, so why are so many businesses making entry-level errors in Social Media 101?
In order to maximize your business’ social presence and impact, check this short list of common mistakes to see if there are any you need to avoid.
Doing Everything Manually
If you aren’t using some kind of scheduling system, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to reach people while you’re out. Pressing content should always go live at the earliest opportunity, but non-vital news and announcements can be scheduled in advance, giving your clients and connections a steadier stream of impressions. Not only are these easy and free on the majority of apps and platforms, they assure some level of presence during a time when an employee is needed elsewhere.
Doing Everything on a Schedule
Of course, with handy advancements, scheduling posts comes with a catch. If you’re logging in for five minutes a day and spreading out a series of posts and considering your job done, you’re misunderstanding the fundamental essence of social media: connection. Social stories move faster than news, and automated posts only go one way, out. In a time of need, you can cover the gaps between log-in time. But you’ll miss out on the chance to provide your network up-to-the-minute news, first reaction opinion, and responses to queries or comments.
Your direct competitors have a social presence. How good is it? How many followers do they have? How often do they post? Are their posts getting any traction? If you’re looking at a rival’s sales, marketing campaign, or press releases, you should be tracking their social media platforms as well. Follow their followers, learn from their mistakes or successes, and don’t be afraid to discuss industry news with them.
When it comes right down to it, hashtags are a filing system. The bigger and more popular the tag, the larger the file folder. They organize like-minded people and posts into relevant discussions. General industry hashtags can go a long, long way to finding the people and businesses that are important to you, and vice versa. And further, getting too gimmicky can be alienating, so make certain if you’re trying to push a new hashtag into the foray that its relevant, consistent, and usable by accounts outside of your immediate inner circle.
Chances are, you or your industry has run into some challenges. Bad press, harmful regulations or slipping sales? The all too common reaction is to pretend that negative stories or tweets don’t exist. Businesses misconstrue social media for marketing, and wash away all negativity in a hope to portray a flawless image. But this can actually be more damaging than confronting the issues at hand. Displaying a voiceless, false exterior will quickly deteriorate your client’s trust and your social credibility. Tweets aren’t commercials, they are your chance to speak publicly about issues that your business faces. They are a chance to reach out to clients who have questions or concerns. A business builds relationships the same way people do, with integrity and humility.
If it’s a lazy idea with a limited chance for engagement you’re looking for, then boy do I have one for you: post directionless, general, open-ended questions and repeated, connectionless announcements.
“Hey, which B2B companies do you love to work with?”
“Let us connect you to the experiences your business needs!”
Imagine a crowded restaurant buzzing with conversations about food and cuisine. Suddenly, the door swings open and a kid from the pizza place next-door shouts, “Hey everyone, which flavor breadsticks do you like a Joe’s Pizza the most?” or “Looking for dinner ideas? Try our hot wings!” He’d get nothing but rolled eyes and silence. Want engagement? Ditch the soapboxing and advertising and ask one person a direct question. I bet you’ll get a response, and maybe even a good back and forth started. Tweet interesting responses or good points made to your followers at large, see what they have to say about it.