Sometimes, you just wanna shake people! They keep making the same social media gaffes time after time. So, I thought I’d take a minute and list the top 5 social media gaffes I see repeated every day. Today’s post on the common social media marketing mistakes was inspired by something on Social Media Today.
Top 5 social media gaffes
1. Talk about yourself all the time
Frankly, no one really cares about YOU (sorry, it’s nothing personal and I’m sure your a really nice person). This is a carryover from the advertising mindset (here’s how social media is different from advertising). With advertising, consumers let you get away with talking about yourself because you were providing the shows they WANTED to watch. But, social networks are for people to share with each other. They’ll only let you into their stream if you provide something valuable. Provide enough value and they’ll let you talk about yourself — a little.
Social media is definitely a “pay it forward” system. That’s why this tops my list of social media gaffes.
2. No strategy
This is one way social media marketing is EXACTLY the same as traditional advertising — you need a plan. And, that plan MUST include concrete goals (SMART goals). But, it doesn’t mean your social media should sound as polished as your advertising. You need to develop a voice that sounds authentic to your audience. Having no plan or having a plan that’s too general is one of the biggest social media mistakes.
And, don’t think you can use the long approval process you need with advertising. In social media, swiftness, freshness, and responsiveness to trending topics helps ensure success.
3. Not being responsive
#3 in my list of social media marketing mistakes is not responding to comments and other forms of engagement — especially when these are related to customer service. Increasingly, customers use social media to complain about you, your products, and your service. Are you LISTENING? Recently, a passenger paid over $1000 for promoted Tweets complaining about poor customer service at British Airways — expanding his reach from his 500 followers to the 50,000 followers who saw the promoted Tweet. If your customers have to promote Tweets to get your attention, there’s something seriously WRONG!
And, if customers aren’t complaining, reward them for mentioning your brand, sharing your message, or just liking you. A little courtesy goes a long way to turn social media connections into loyal followers.
4. Not monitoring results
#4 on my list of social media gaffes is not monitoring results. In a recent presentation at a content marketing conference, the InboundWriter president shared results from a recent study showing that
10-20 % of your website content drives 90% of website visits.
Understanding what features shared by highly productive content and creating more of it relies on knowing WHICH content drives the most traffic. But, do you know?
I constantly track the performance of my content — and you can, too. I list the top 8 pieces of content on my homepage so everyone can see what brings traffic to my site. I use this to drive more traffic.
If you’re still looking at the # of Fans/ Followers and THINK you’re monitoring results, you’re making one of the top 4 social media marketing mistakes.
5. Not optimizing your content
Content is KING, but only when it’s optimized for social and search. Are you making social media marketing mistakes by:
- Not using on-page SEO optimization
- Not making content easily sharable
- Sharing the same content across platforms without paying attention to the differences between them
- Matching your content to the problems/ needs of your target audience
- Not sharing fresh content
- Scraping duplicate content from other websites — this is actually illegal!
- Not sharing when your target audience is online
- and other social media marketing mistakes
Actionable social media marketing fix
A number of actions can fix these social media marketing mistakes.
1. Create a social media marketing plan with SMART Goals.
2. Learn HOW to share effectively on social networks.
Read great advice from leading bloggers on social media marketing. I’ve curated a list of many of these folks and you’re welcome to add to the list with your own favorites.
3. Install and monitor critical metrics
At a minimum, you’ll need Google Analytics (which you’ll need to access on a frequent basis — I do every morning). Next, look at your Facebook Insights.
I’d also buy a simple tool to help you monitor metrics. Hootsuite is really good for monitoring mentions of your brand (and responding to folks who engage you) — and it’s free. I like SproutSocial for helping me find and share great content from Twitter and Facebook, as well as manage my feeds so I can learn from others and get ideas for creating compelling content. Trackur is good for assessing sentiment and monitoring your responsiveness to folks engaged with you.
4. Install plugins to optimize your social media marketing strategy
I use WordPress SEO by Yoast to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and recently started a trial of InboundWriter to help me write content that brings traffic to my website.
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