Having a presence on social media is one thing, but doing it right and getting the most out of your channels is another. In this day and age, it seems that everyone (and every brand) has some form of social profile and, as such, standing out from the crowd takes expertise, confidence and know-how.
While there are of course tonnes of brands that have great social media presences, which are producing rich content and engaging with users on a daily basis, there are also some who make easily avoidable blunders. To give you some guidance, we’ve put together five of the most common mistakes brands are making every day.
#1 ignoring your audience
One of the primary purposes of social media is to enable easy two-way conversation between brand and consumer – so don’t make the mistake of ignoring your followers! Whether social noise is positive or negative, it’s important to always try and respond where possible and factor this into your social media strategy. Negative comments may take priority over the positive, but both warrant a response or reaction. Whether it be simply liking the comment or positing a quick “Thank you” in response to positivity, or taking a bit more time to handle the negative comments with a considered response or a private message where necessary, it’s all important for engagement.
#2 buying your “fans”
This should go without saying, and for many is plainly obvious, but surprisingly the practice of buying likes and followers still happens in 2016. “Fans” which have been gained in this way will not be authentic and may be detrimental to the development of an engaged community around your brand. Having a substantial number of fans on your page is great IF they are engaging with your content. If you purchased those —grey’ fans they are much less likely to interact, leading to a significant decline reach/engagement percentage among your community. Think about it like this – if you throw a party and pay guests to come, the likelihood is that they probably won’t want to be there, aren’t going to enjoy themselves and won’t partake in any of the fun and games – and that’s no fun for anyone!
#3 constantly posting links to third party sites
Whilst there should be a healthy mix of owned and curated content across social channels, the latter should never take priority. Of course it’s important to share relevant content about your brand/industry from third party sites, as this engages audiences and encourages conversations online, but don’t overdo it. If you’re constantly directing people to other websites, you’re effectively increasing another company’s social referral traffic instead of your own. Instead, spend time sharing your news in an interesting and engaging way and creating your own content. To use the party analogy again – it’s like investing hours of your time and lots of money into planning a great party, but then writing the address of another party happening on the same night on your invites. Bad move…
#4 Instagram faux pas
With more than 300 million active daily users, it’s safe to say that if you make a mistake on Instagram someone out there is going to spot it, so it’s more important than ever to be on top of your game. One of the mistakes frequently seen across branded Instagram pages is the age old error of putting links into captions. If you didn’t already know, at this stage you can’t hyperlink anything in your Insta posts (hence that now familiar phrase “link in bio”), but brands sometimes forget this and paste links as they would on Twitter and Facebook. This faux pas just comes across as unprofessional and ill-informed.
#5 hashtag overload
Hashtags are a great way of making sure your content is discoverable. They allow for conversations to be easily found in one place and they have fast become part of our everyday vocabulary both online and in real life. However, as with most things, you can have too much of a good thing. There’s nothing worse than trying to #read #a #sentence #where #every #word #is #hashtagged. Not only does it look unprofessional, it defeats the purpose of why they were created. Hashtags should only be used for interesting and relevant words and/or phrases, whether they are brand/campaign specific, appropriate trending topics or tags that are frequently searched for/used across social channels.
Now you know how to get your ducks in a row, it might be time for your next campaign. Let’s get together. Give our social media team a buzz on 0121 627 5040.