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10 Social Media Mistakes Which Are Damaging Your Business

6th December 2018

If you are reading this article, you are probably already aware of the importance of social media as part of your business’s marketing strategy. If not, we have written a lot on this topic which may be of interest.

Being present on popular social media channels isn’t enough anymore, you need to be using these channels to the best of their ability in order to get the most out of them. And knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.

That’s why we have listed below what we found to be the most common social media mistakes that you should be avoiding.

1.    Not having a social media strategy

This is possibly the most overlooked mistake; we see a lot of businesses posting content on their social channels without following a plan or strategy.

Having a social strategy will allow you to set goals and objectives, therefore helping you establish what to post and when to post to maximise the impact that your social posts and social channels have on your business.

In contrast, not having a social strategy means you will post for the sake of it without much thought, which in turn is very unlikely to achieve any positive outcome.

2.    Only sharing content about your company

To really generate interest in your social presence, only sharing content about your company isn’t the best approach. Obviously, you do need to share content about your company sometimes, but in moderation.

As a business, what you should be doing is focusing your message on the users. What do your users want to hear about? And what are they likely to share with their friends and followers?

Follow social trends that your users are interested in and in turn, your business should become part of the conversation.

3.    Focusing on sales rather than personality

Sales focused posts can be effective now and then, but for the most part, your followers will lose interest if they feel like your company is too salesy. They want to interact and engage with you, not be “shouted at” about your latest deal every week.

Social media gives you the chance to show your human element, your personality, so you should use it that way to build trust and relationships with your followers.

4.    Limiting your content types

For your business’s social channels to be effective, having a mix of content is the best practice. If you post the same kind of content all the time, your followers will get bored and they will automatically scroll past your future updates or may even unfollow your business.

Your business should be including user-generated content, blog posts, videos, infographics, images etc. to give your audience a refreshing variety to keep them interested.

(Related content: What Content Should You Be Posting On Social Media?)

5.    Not engaging with your audience 

If your business has multiple social channels but you don’t engage with your audience, you’re missing out on great opportunities for building relationships with your customers.

Social platforms are there for being “social”, and engaging with your audience is part of being social. Moreover, engaging with your audience and building a relationship with them helps towards increasing your conversion rate. Engagement = business.

6.    Spelling & grammar mistakes

This may be an obvious one, but spelling and grammar mistakes really can have an impact on the overall message you’re trying to convey. This is likely because if there is a mistake in the text, people are fixating on that more than the message itself.

Mistakes happen, and your followers will understand and forgive that, but if it is a regular occurrence then this will make your company look unprofessional and may even make your followers trust you less. This is a common mistake in social media that can easily be avoided with extra care and attention.

An example of this is when the Department of Education sent out a tweet misspelling W. E. B. DuBois’s name, then misspelt “apologies” as “apologizes” in its follow-up apology tweet.

7.    Posting insensitive content

Sensitivity towards your customers should always be considered important, including in your social media strategy. You are trying to communicate with a broad audience, to build trust and brand awareness, so the last thing you want to do is upset, anger or offend anyone by posting a sensitive or inappropriate post.

For example, your business might want to share a funny post because entertaining your audience will get a positive reaction and more likes/shares. However, if this funny post is a sensitive subject, you may get more attention for the wrong reasons.

That’s not to say that you can’t post anything that is slightly risky because it might offend someone, but extra thought needs to be put in to determine whether the topic is worth the risk. If it’s something your brand is passionate about, it could actually be a good thing.

When Tesco came under fire for selling beef burgers contaminated with horse meat, the company had to quickly attempt to regain consumer trust. That’s why “hit the hay” might not have been the best idiom to use in this automated message that went out at the end of the day.

8.    Using hashtags incorrectly

Hashtags can be great for reaching a wider audience as long as you are using them correctly.

First of all, you need to know what the hashtag truly represents, as you could easily be misled by the wording of the hashtag. It’s easy to avoid this mistake, all it requires is a bit of research prior to posting to double check that the hashtag represents the same message you’re trying to send.

Moreover, using too many hashtags or irrelevant hashtags can be perceived as spam, which is the last thing you want.

US company Celeb Boutique made a big mistake using hashtags in 2012. The tweet above was in response to the Twitter hashtag #Aurora which was trending at the time because of a mass shooting that occurred at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.

9.    Deleting or ignoring negative comments & feedback

Everyone knows you can’t please everyone, so negative comments and feedback are to be expected. In fact, if a company doesn’t have any bad reviews, they are considered ‘less trustworthy’.

Obviously, you still want as little bad reviews as possible, but deleting any negative comments/reviews is bad practice. The person leaving the bad review could react badly to your deleting their comment, so they could take things further, ultimately making the situation worse. Moreover, if you respond to negative reviews showing that you care about the individual’s experience and try to resolve the issue, it will work in your favour as users care about your positive reviews just as much as how you handle your negative ones.

10.    Overextending yourself

Being present on multiple social media channels is an effective social media strategy. However, what a lot of companies don’t realise is that you don’t need to be on all of them for a good social presence.

Some social platforms may only bring little or no benefits to your social strategy, so you can end up wasting your time and resources on trying to make them work.

It’s best to start with just a few social channels that make sense for your business. Learning how to make the most out of those first few chosen channels is better than trying to use every available channel. Once you get the hang of those first few channels, you can then think about scaling up later on, if you feel it’s necessary.

Fix your social media strategy

We hope this article has given you insight into what social media mistakes could be damaging your business, so that you can avoid these from happening.

If you are interested in working with a team of digital experts to help you with your social media strategy, contact us here.

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