4 Mistakes to Avoid With Social Media

Sarah McInerney

Head of Content

Sarah has almost three decades of experience in crafting compelling, engaging content specifically designed to boost sales and enhance brand loyalty. She’s also an expert in developing unique tone of voice that helps brands connect with their audiences. Her marketing and client service background has given Sarah a natural understanding of how to write content that makes readers take action. Whether it’s signing up to a mailing list, making an enquiry or donation or clicking the buy button, Sarah knows precisely how to convert with words. Pen down, Sarah is a proud member of the Essex Wildlife Trust and spends most of her free time enjoying inspiring walks through her local woodland and nature reserves, admiring everything that flaps, flutters and flowers.

There is plenty of advice out there about what you should be doing with social media, but what about things you shouldn’t be doing? Here are 4 things to avoid:

1.    Talking about yourself

Social media is all about engaging with your audience, getting to know them and letting them get to know you. You may think you are getting the message out there by continually posting about your business and your products, but you will not be making any friends or creating any interest.

Customers today do not want to be talked at and sold to. They want and expect to be listened to. The key is to find out what your target audience are interested in and then engage with them. Start conversations, ask them what they think, post links to relevant articles and blogs about topics of interest and newsworthy items.  A balanced approach to social media has been known to show a higher reach and will mean friends and followers are less likely to “unlike” you.

For every self-promotional message that you post, you should also look to have the same number of sharing content posts and engagement activity such as initiating conversations. Come up with content and links that you can share with your fans and followers.

2.    Being inappropriate

Inappropriate comments on social networking sites are often down to the perception of a target market. What one group of people may view as being funny, another will find offensive. It is therefore essential to ensure anyone looking after your media communications properly understands your brand values and key messages.

Social media is an instant channel of communication that is a two way process; delays are seen negatively, so it is essential that your staff can not only write posts in the correct way for your brand, but that they can react in a timely and sensitive manner.

Remember too that misspells and bad grammar can all be a huge turn-off to your fans and followers. A web copy writer can help with your social media strategy.

3.    Not measuring results

Whilst social media is all about building the perception of your brand and nurturing relationships, you can still use it to measure key performance indicators (KPIs). Measuring related conversions is the most obvious way to do this, but don’t forget to measure such things as number of fans and followers, number of mentions, retweets, likes and shares. Even less tangible factors like loyalty, awareness and goodwill are other aspects to look at.

Every post and Tweet and form of activity should have an objective linked to it, whether that is to increase the number of shares or to boost engagement, for example.

4.    Assuming it’s not working and giving up

It’s necessary to commit to social media and to work long and hard to build an audience and achieve results. A lack of direct sales does not mean that your social media programme is not working. Continue to measure your results and stick with it!

Social media is a communication tool. Your fans and followers expect something from you when they sign up. This could range from being interested in discounts and offers to an insight into your company or an interest in your opinions or trends. Find out what interests your audience and use this to engage and communicate. Make sure your communications are frequent, balanced and responsive. If you need help with planning or implementing a social media campaign, get in touch.

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