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Since we last posted this article, we have discovered another major mistake that companies make.  The mistake is inconsistency with social posting.  Companies need to post content on a regular, consistent basis.  This needs to be done for a couple of reasons:

Keeping your audience engaged

If you are not posting regularly, you are not giving your followers a reason to come back to your social page…or your website.  Get your content out there regularly.  Here are social posting frequencies that we have seen perform the best:

  • Twitter – at least twice per day.
  • Facebook – daily.
  • LinkedIn – twice per week

Sending algorithmic signals to the search engines

The search engines regularly monitor social media.  They use social listening to determine which user accounts are active, how well the content produced is engaging with the audience and whether the social media activity is leading to visits to the company’s websites.

The bottom line is that if you regularly post engaging content that is relevant to your audience, it’s going to help your company succeed with your marketing objectives.

Social media can be a great tool for reaching target audiences. Thus, many companies create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms to try and reach these potential customers. Just because everyone seems to be using social media doesn’t mean it is not difficult to navigate. Often mistakes can be made. Here are some to be aware of and avoid. 

Not having a strategy

The exchange between Alice and The Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” can be a lesson for marketers:

 “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

If you jump into social media without having a plan, you will likely get somewhere, it is just a matter of where you will be.

Leah Neaderthal, president of Growthwork Solutions and founder of FamilyBridge says, “Random acts of social media happen when someone says, ‘We need to do social media!’ and then puts in time and effort for a week before fizzling out. Take the time to plan a basic strategy that enables you to have a consistent social media presence for the long term.”

Not dedicating resources

In order to reap benefits from social media, you have engage with users on a consistent basis. You need to promote content, share information and monitor conversations. All this takes time. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the time it takes and improperly plan their resources (whether in-house or contracted).

When asked by BusinessCollective.com to name the number one problem owners can make with social media, John Berkowitz, co-founder of Yodle, a company that helps local businesses with marketing says, “Too many business owners jump into social media without a plan or the resources to maintain an active and productive conversation within their community of customers, prospects and employees. Social media is not a ‘set it and forget it’ medium. It’s better to not participate than to participate poorly or passively.”

Creating too many accounts

Because they are there, many companies make the mistake of creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Google+, Slideshare, Vine and Snapchat. Ask yourself if you have time to dedicate to all these accounts. Also ask yourself if you will be presenting your company and promoting your brand well on all these platforms. You don’t want to appear as if you don’t know what you are doing. Further, you don’t want to start up an account full force only to abandon it. Remember, you are trying to build a following and get users to trust you. You can’t develop that relationship if it is done badly or stopped mid-stream.

Focusing too much on your brand

Many businesses may be inclined to continually send out a message to those they believe will buy from them. The Content Marketing Institute says smart marketers understand that traditional marketing and it’s becoming less effective by the minute. Use social media to attract and retain customers by consistently pointing to valuable content. You want to provide something to people who may never buy anything from you, but want to read what is presented and then share the content with others. Marketing experts often remind that you’ve “got to give to get.” No one likes a hard sell.

Incorrectly using hashtags

Using hashtags in social media helps create visibility for your brand. Using keywords and jumping into trending topics can help immensely with your social media efforts. However, you don’t want to over use hashtags. Make sure your hashtags are most relevant to your overall strategy. Then, follow the best practices of Twitter and use no more than two hashtags per Tweet.  Remember, overusing a hashtag devalues its strength.

Forgetting the social part of social media

While it is important to point to quality content, people who engage with social media expect that companies will be responsive. Social media is the place to build relationships. The way to do this is to be proactive with your target audience. Thus, when you create a social media account, spend an equal amount of time responding to questions, thanking users for their comments and reposts as you do posting your own items. Doing so helps builds trust and intimacy between you and your audience.

Kyle Clayton, co-founder of Set Jet, a membership-based private jet charter, states he boosted his sales by 49 percent (https://businesscollective.com/11-social-media-mistakes-business-owners-make/) in one year by having effective social media. “Jump in the stream, talk to people, and provide content. Being social and interesting, while providing useful content based on your business, will get you results.”

Taking time to know what you want from social media, how you will use it and how you will be involved are basics that help every business. Sure, social media is an art as well as a science, but having a plan and going toward goals will make the effort more successful.

If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Michael Marchese is the founder and CEO of Tempesta Media. He is responsible for corporate strategy, executive team leadership and overall business operations across all the company’s segments.

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