There are certain mistakes that come up time and again. These mistakes are easy to fix but they make you look like a rookie, whether you are one or not. Let’s take a look at what these rookie mistakes are and how to fix them so you look like a pro.
It is never good for your end-user to try to do business with you and not be able to find their preferred method of contact, be that email, phone, or carrier pigeon. They need this information to complete the transaction. Some younger entrepreneurs choose not to list a phone number in their contact information and this can be super frustrating. The over 40 crowd many times likes to pick up a phone and talk to the person they’re making a deal with. If there’s no phone number listed this can make them second-guess whether to do business with you or not. Make sure your contact information is complete.
Also, be sure to check the “Contact Us Now” button on each of your platforms regularly. Make sure it goes where you want it to go so people can actually reach you if they need assistance.
Again, it’s super frustrating to try and find a vendor or tag a vendor who doesn’t use the same name across all the different channels. If you’re going to be “Joe Loves Donuts” on Facebook, you need to be “Joe Loves Donuts” on Instagram. If you use your business name on Facebook, don’t use your real name on Instagram. If your business on Facebook is Magical Baker, I’m not going to find you as “Jane Smith” on Instagram. Your user names should all match and your branding should be consistent on each platform.
If you don’t have a website or your website is so outdated it won’t support your business, this is a problem. It’s 2020. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, Google is going to stop letting people see your website altogether. If it takes more than 10 seconds for your website to load, people will check out. If your website is slow, awkward, hard to navigate, or doesn’t have a mobile version you need to update. Social media is meant to drive people to your website so you can continue to engage with them. Only around 2% of people buy on their first visit to a website. You have to consistently have an excellent presence for them to want to come back and spend money with you. It takes a minute and if they go to a yucky website, they’re done. Make sure your website is supporting your business to the fullest.
Posting is great, but random posting is weird. Posting outside of your brand can be problematic. For instance, the public doesn’t need to know your political leanings. Now if you are a conservative talk show host and that’s what you do, then absolutely tell me about your political stance. However, if you’re not, your potential customers don’t really need to know that information. They don’t need to know about your politics or your religion or anything related to that to do business with you unless that’s part of your brand.
You need to have a strategy with a clear objective. Are you trying to create brand awareness? Are you trying to drive sales? Are you trying to grow your email list? Figure out what you want to do and create a strategy around that goal. Most people don’t just get in the car with no idea of where they’re going. They know the destination first. Social media is the journey. What is your destination? You have to know that before you start posting.
If your ideal audience is 13-year-old girls, you need to be on Tik Tok. If your ideal audience is the mother of the bride, you need to be on Facebook. If your ideal audience is homeschoolers, you need to be on Pinterest. There are businesses that benefit from YouTube or Instagram better. You have to know your audience so you know the best platform to reach them. Some people think that because Facebook is so popular they should just do that and they’ll be fine. Granted, it’s hard to go wrong with Facebook, but there is so much more available to you beyond Facebook so don’t miss out on a large portion of your audience. Most people focus on which platforms they enjoy doing instead of where their audience actually is.
You can do anything but you can’t do everything. Unless you’re a social media company, you don’t really need a presence on every platform. There’s too many. There’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Tik Tok, blogging…and that’s just the big ones. It is overwhelming. It’s more than a full-time job to represent your company across all of these channels in an effective and consistent way. Don’t do that. Pick what works for you. Choose one or two, three at the most, and really get good at those.
Wherever you start, get good at one before you move to the next one so you don’t spread yourself too thin, get overwhelmed, and then quit. Get really good at it. For instance, if you’re on Facebook, you should know what it does. You should know how to schedule your stuff. You should know how to use the publishing tools. You should learn to do anything Facebook can do. If you’re going to be on any platform you should learn to use it in a way that is most effective for you.
It takes a lot to get a client’s attention. It is frustrating as a client to go to your page and see it hasn’t been updated. Posting a ton of content for a couple of days and then nothing for a week and a half won’t cut it. Find a good balance.
Inconsistency will kill you quicker than almost anything else. Set a schedule and stick to it. Make it realistic for you so that you can manage it and then commit.
There is so much to be said about bad posting. Let’s look at some examples of bad posts.
Repetitive posts are terrible. You don’t want to post the same thing over and over. This is a bigger problem in some industries than in others. For example, real estate agents and car dealers have a tendency to post “here is what’s for sale” posts one right after another. This will kill your following fast. Being repetitive and too sales-focused are the top reasons people unfollow pages. 56% of people will leave a page that is too sales-focused. They hate that.
Also, don’t be repetitive by sharing the same post on the same day across multiple platforms. If you post something on Facebook today, don’t post it on Instagram. If it’s such a great post that you want to share it both places, wait a week or so and share it at a different time. Why would anyone follow both your Facebook and Instagram if they’re just going to get the same exact content on each platform? Quick answer: They won’t.
Another way you can have a bad post is to not use an image or to use a bad image. Nothing turns an end-user off faster than a bad image. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen them. These awkward graphics that are nothing but text or fuzzy or (the worst) a picture with a watermark on it. If you want to get sued, use a picture with a watermark on it because that’s how you get sued. There are so many free resources out there. Use them to create good graphics. Make Canva your best friend and create beautiful content.
Overdoing or Underdoing It
Posts can be bad based on the number of posts you put out there. You can overdo it or underdo it. If you are posting 6 times per day, that’s overwhelming for your audience and they will hit the unfollow button. If you’re posting once per week that’s not great either. You have to give enough information without going overboard. What’s a good number of posts to have per week? 3 to 5 per week is a good fit for most businesses. Remember, it’s better to do 3 great posts per week than to do 5 poorly.
Another post-killer is being boring. If you’re funny, be funny. If you see something you like and you want to share it, share it. Just make sure it speaks to your brand.
Not responding is a huge mistake. You work so hard and it takes so long to engage people. Answer them when they talk to you. If someone comments on your Instagram post, respond. It doesn’t have to be a monologue that goes on for 18 paragraphs. It can be as simple as responding with an emoji or a thank you. Just let them know you’re listening to them. Don’t let someone take the time to talk to you only to be ignored by you.
Private Accounts You Can’t Tag
If you have a business with a business page, it should be a public account, not private. If someone wants to tag your business, they should be able to do so. If they can’t, you could be missing out on some of your best user-generated content.
What do I mean by technical errors? I’m talking about grammatical errors, spelling errors, hashtag misuse, not formatting the caption, leaving your URL in your Facebook post, and things like this. These are technical errors. They’re very simple to fix so when the person posting doesn’t change them it makes them look lazy, careless, or not smart. As a business owner, this isn’t how you want to come across. Check those things. Grammarly is FREE. Install it on your browser and let it tell you if you’re making mistakes. It’s easy to check.
Take a close look at your platforms and see if you are making any of these rookie mistakes. Take your online presence to a more professional level and make the best impression you can.