If you've kept up with any of my previous articles, you've read about various tips, tricks and more to help maximize your social media strategy. While it's great to learn about what you should do, one could argue that it's just as important to learn about what you shouldn't do. Here are 3 common mistakes that new social media users make when taking to the web:
1) Overused Automation
In my article 5 Powerful Tools for Interior Designers, I expanded on the use of social automation programs like Hootsuite, and explained how they can help maximize your time online. While these tools can be a huge help for social media users (especially if you're a team of one), they can also negatively impact your engagement if overused. Too often, marketers will look to these programs as a one-stop-shop, dumping all of their content into a scheduler and blasting it across as many social media platforms as possible. While this may be appropriate for some things, I would say only 15-20% of your content should be treated this way. Why? Well if you take a step back, the reasons become pretty obvious. Each platform follows a different format, and therefore, the content should be customized to fit the different houses it'll live in. Not only that, but you want your audiences to feel that the community they're engaged with is authentic. Whether they follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all of the above (especially if they follow you on all of the above), you want the messaging to make sense where they see it. For example, anything over 140 characters needs to be reworded for Twitter or your message will end up getting cut off. Instagram has a video limit of 1 minute - so you'll probably want to mention where they can see the full version... a message that wouldn't make sense on Facebook's platform. These are just a couple of examples of how you want to be careful with automation. It's a great tool to help handle your accounts, but you don't want to come off as robotic.
2) Mismatched Usernames
I get it. You probably didn't check username availability before deciding what to name your company. We've all been there... you go to create a social media account only to find out that someone already has the name you want. Even more frustrating is when the account isn't active! Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about that. It's what you do next that matters. Obviously you want your social media usernames to be as close to your company name as possible - but even more importantly, you want your various accounts to match. Why? Because like everything else online you want to be as accessible as possible. If your Twitter username is different than your Facebook URL, which is different than your Instagram profile (and so on), you're making it more challenging for potential users to find you. A great way to prevent this is to use a tool like https://www.namecheck.com/ to check availability across all the platforms before deciding what you want to use. It even checks it against domain availability so you can be as uniformed and professional as possible.
3) One-Sided Engagement
No one wants to be in a one-sided relationship, and your social media followers are no exception. A lot of companies view social media as nothing more than a way to deploy content - where you put your message out there, and then engage/respond to people as they engage/respond to you. While that's a great first step, a successful social media campaign doesn't stop there. You should be reaching out and engaging with your social community on a daily basis. That means perusing your timeline and liking people's posts, commenting on pictures, following accounts that make sense for your brand... don't make the mistake of just sitting back and waiting until someone starts the conversation. Not only will it make your audience feel more connected to your company, but you'll see a notable boost in your engagement. How many times have you found yourself clicking on profiles that have liked your picture, or commented on your post - to see who they are or what they have to offer? The same concept works in reverse. Talk to your audience and they're much more likely to talk back.
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Ryan lives at the crossroads of marketing strategy and content curation. As Content Manager for Designers Today, Ryan strategizes with companies to develop integrated marketing campaigns via custom content and other vehicles.