In business, no one wants to make mistakes. Mistakes can cost you time, money, customers and reputation (just to name a few). Social media mistakes can be particularly costly because these mistakes are made on a stage in front of a large audience and can be difficult to reel back in.
We’ve all seen the horror stories of social media engagement gone wrong.
Even still, if you don’t take time to learn from mistakes like these you may find yourselves with your own social media crisis on your hands. Social media can provide great marketing opportunities for businesses. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of a free way to connect personally with your customers and target audience. Unfortunately, because social media is free and (seemingly) easy to do, some businesses unknowingly get tripped up using it.
It pains us to see businesses make mistakes that could have been easily avoided with a bit of training, planning, and attention to detail. So today we run through five of the more common social media mistakes we see businesses make and offer suggestions on how to fix them.
Mistake 1 – No Plan
One thing we continually drive home around here, a consistent theme running through everything we do, is commitment to strategy. Developing a strategic plan underscoring why and how we do anything is always our top priority because marketing without a strategy is like a ship without a sail. You cannot expect a satisfactory ROI in social media or any other area of marketing without a plan in place. Charging into the social media world haphazardly with no real direction is a recipe for failure. This is probably the biggest marketing mistake we see organizations make.
Strategy is our bread and butter here at Cross and Crown and for good reason: the right strategy can solve a million other problems all at once. We can help you put together a plan that includes all the elements of a strong marketing strategy and prevent the next four common mistakes from ever becoming an issue.
Mistake 2 – No Consistency
Consistency is key when communicating with your social media audience. If you are inconsistent you will lose credibility and influence. There are several areas where you need to check for consistency in your social media strategy. Here are some questions to help you evaluate how you’re doing:
- Messaging — Is your content and brand voice consistent across all platforms? Is what you’re saying and the look you’re portraying on social media consistent with the experience you are promising to your customers? If not your customer’s may lose confidence in your ability to deliver on your promises.
- Authenticity — One of the biggest areas of criticism about social media is that it doesn’t give people the full picture. There is a general concern across all social platforms that we only show the highlight reel of our brand. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep your messages, visuals, and engagement authentic.
- Quality — There is nothing worse than seeing a good brand post that includes sloppy, pixelated — or worse — ripped-off images posted on a social media channel. The answer here is simple: if you can’t do it right, just don’t do it. Again, planning will prevent this kind of mistake from happening.
- Customer Service — if your brand prides itself in great service, yet you fail to respond to social media posts, your brand experience will feel inconsistent to your customers. When you decide to venture into social media, you need to be ready to carry over the same level of quality and attention you offer in real life into the virtual space.
Mistake 3 – No Owner
Managing social media for a brand can quickly become a 24-7 job. Because social media channels are always on, many brands choose to have multiple people or teams jumping in to manage content and respond to messages. This is fine, but there must be a strategy driving how your brand engages with the socialsphere and this strategy must have an owner in order to work correctly. The owner will be the one responsible for monitoring and working the strategy to ensure consistency. When there is no owner, you risk losing a consistent voice which may result in conflicting experiences for your customers. Again, this chips away at your credibility and customer’s confidence in your ability to follow through on your brand promise.
Mistake 4 – No Content
This mistake is just embarrassing. How many times have you visited a website, clicked on the brand’s social icons, only to find zero content on their social channels? We understand that you may want to secure your brand’s handle on the various platforms but that doesn’t mean you need to advertise that you are actually on a channel if you’re just securing a presence.
Furthermore, if your engagement has grown sporadic on a channel, hold off on advertising that channel until you have fresh content. Old, stale content is just as bad as no content.
It’s fine to secure the account with the name you want, but at minimum update the social channel with a profile pic and a link to your website so that if people do find you through searching they won’t see your social channel as a dead end.
Mistake 5 – No Engagement
Here’s the deal—it’s called social media for a reason. It exists with the expectation, dare we say requirement, that back and forth engagement will take place. Social media may seem like a free billboard you can hoist on the side of the information superhighway, but at the end of the day, if all you are is a billboard, people who expect you to be social will realize you’re not listening to them and stop paying attention to you. People are on social media to be social. If you don’t plan to talk back to your customers, or don’t have a plan in place to engage with them on these platforms, your efforts will fall flat—fast.
How to Nix and Fix the Problems
We’ve said it before and we will say it again, the right strategy will fix and prevent all these mistakes and establish your brand on social media the right way. If you have not yet started a social media strategy for your brand, or if you are on social media without a strategy in place, we can help you organize it, come up with a game plan, and knock your social media engagement out of the park.
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