This is one of my favorite topics. We actually get asked about this all the time. What are the worst things you can do on social media? Let’s jump right in.
Not Researching Your Audience
This is a huge don’t. You have to know who you’re talking to so you can get the right message to the right person. You want to have a strategy that includes researching your audience so you can get the right information to the right person on the right platform.
Making it About You
Don’t do this. Don’t make it about you. It’s never about you. It’s always “what’s in it for me” and by “me” I mean the client. You can’t be the hero in their story. They are the hero of their story. So what does that mean? It means you have to help them. You have to be the person who guides them through and that means not focusing as much on you. You need to focus on your client and their successes.
It’s about other people’s stories. You can feature your employees, friendly vendors, and testimonials. Feature other businesses even so that it’s not just about you and it’s more about your community.
It’s easy to transition and make the client the hero. You’re just telling them how to get to their end goal. You’re telling them how you can help them. As you tell them how you can help them it transitions that focus back to the client.
Engaging with Haters, Trolls, and Other Negative Influences Online
If you’ve been in business a minute, you’re going to get some negative feedback. That’s just how it is. Somebody is going to say something that is negative. Sometimes it might not even have anything to do with you. There are some people that just like to get online to be negative. It’s easy to get caught up in all of that. Don’t do it. You’ve heard the phrase that if you get into a fight with a pig, you get mud on you. It’s like that.
Instead, make sure you do respond to your follower’s questions, comments, and messages. Definitely engage the people already talking to you. They’re giving you their time and energy by posting and commenting. Those are the people you want to talk to.
If you do get a troll, there are graceful ways to deflect that negativity. However, if you’re not experienced and comfortable with that the easiest thing to do is just stay away from it.
Trying to Be Everywhere and Do Everything
You can do lots of things but you can’t do everything. It’s a little different if you’re a social media company. In that case, you don’t have a choice. Most businesses don’t have to be on every platform. Pick your favorite 2 or 3 where your clients are spending their time and focus on that. That’s a great way to do it. You have to do what works best for you, your strategy, and your clients. Your approach may look like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and that’s great if that works for you. When you start trying to be everything to everyone you get flustered and frustrated and things start to fall through the cracks.
Do remember LinkedIn and Pinterest. I think Pinterest is one of the most under-utilized resources. It is outstanding for traffic referral. Consistently, our top 10 pins every month are our own blog, which pushes traffic back to our website. It’s actually better at driving traffic than Facebook, which is kind of shocking to most people. Don’t forget to take them into consideration when you’re picking your top 3, but you don’t have to do everything. You don’t have to be everything to everybody.
Don’t Post Without Polishing
Your information needs to be good. Your graphic needs to be good. Do you think nobody is paying attention? Mess up a caption or misspell a word. People will point it out. Make sure your post is good or don’t post it. Now, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Done is better than perfect. It does need to have the correct information, grammar, and spelling with a great image.
Ask yourself if it represents your brand. Is it branded? Will people know it’s from you? Will people see that logo in the corner and know it’s your brand? I love the fact that you can look at our Instagram screen and without even seeing our logo you can tell it’s us. It’s got a very unique feel to it. I love that.
Using AI as a Substitute for Human Interaction
This includes buying followers. If you have auto-responders turned on for your social media, that’s great, but you can’t just rely on that. You do have to engage and monitor. That instant response is awesome because we live in an age of instant gratification but you have to follow up and engage to really use your social media effectively.
You want to make sure you’re building relationships with your community. AI doesn’t build relationships like you would if you were commenting yourself. Even if you’re getting a ton of comments and it’s impossible for you to respond to everything, you can still respond to some things. You may have to have your team help you out and that’s totally ok. Do what you can do. Do what your bandwidth will allow but it needs to come from a genuine place.
Do not buy followers. People know when your followers are fake. When I go look at an Instagram account and it has 10,000 followers but only 30 likes on a post, I know the followers are fake. It means that the account is worthless. An account isn’t an influencer unless their followers are actually engaged.
Dwelling on Your Competiton
Don’t dwell too much on your competition. This will give you serious imposter syndrome, which is real. You start asking yourself “am I as good as that person?” When they do something you wonder if you should be doing it too. Don’t get so wrapped up in following your competition that you don’t pay attention to what’s important. It’s a big waste of time. Don’t compare yourself to the competition. Compare yourself to yourself. Look at where you were a year ago and ask yourself if you are seeing the growth you wanted to see. When you compare yourself to yourself that’s where the magic happens. It’s how you get your best growth.
Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list but it’s a great place to start. If you’re doing anything on this list, stop today and improve your online presence.