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5 Common Social Media Mistakes Brands Commit

Social Media HeartAs I was doing my daily reading this morning, I came across this article. It resonated quite well with me. Here at Branding Personality, we consult many clients that come to us with exactly these problems. ‘5 Common Social Media Mistakes Brands Commit‘ originally appeared on PR Daily. Digital marketing has come a long way in the last few years, evolving from a nice addition to your marketing strategy to a necessity for most businesses.

Thankfully, most small- and medium-size businesses (SMEs) avoid creating a social media presence just for the sake of being online, but there are other traps they fall into instead. Here are the most common problems.

1. Taking on too much

One of the biggest social media mistakes that SME’s make is trying to cram a multitude of social media projects into an already hectic schedule. The temptation to keep up with all the latest trends and any new sites that emerge is great and one that can’t be helped. After all, we don’t want to look like we’re behind or out of touch.

It’s all well and good that you have a Facebook page and a Twitter profile, but do you also need a LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram presence on top of it?

By taking on so much, we often spread ourselves thin and ultimately create profiles that are rarely updated. Sometimes this can make you look uninterested or lazy. Even if this isn’t the case, you may end up getting stressed out as you try to update all your profiles regularly.

How do you solve this?

There are two ways to make this work to your advantage. The first is to cross-post content. Certain types of content work better on specific sites. For example, images are among the most popular types of content posted on Facebook, so if you’re updating regularly on Instagram, post your images on Facebook as well. If you’re using Twitter regularly, why not post a link to content from your LinkedIn page?

While there are tools that enable you to cross post automatically, it’s usually better to post them manually because followers are less likely to click on automated posts, as there’s little personality behind them.

If that’s too much, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and get rid of the profiles that you’re no longer using. If you’re worried about losing your Twitter handle or unique URL, remember that a lot of accounts don’t necessarily use handles that have their official title.

2. Using the same social media profile for both professional and personal

There’s nothing wrong with maintaining the same profile for professional and personal use. Managing one account is easier than updating two different accounts, combining them means you can give your brand personality, which helps your followers relate to you. Plus, a more casual approach will make your feed more enjoyable to follow.

However, there are certain dangers to using this approach, mainly if you say or post something that could be deemed controversial. Doing so will not only reflect badly on you, but also your business, which may take a hit because its social media accounts are the

How do you solve this?

Common sense is paramount. While you should definitely keep your personality apparent in your tweets, be wary of what you’re posting. If it’s something controversial or could be deemed as edgy, you’ll need to take into consideration how your followers will receive it.

In the case of Twitter, if you do post something that could get a negative response, make sure you issue a second or third tweet to explain the context behind that tweet. While it’s a great place for snappy messages, Twitter isn’t suited to opinions that are more complex than 140 characters.

If you’re ever in doubt about how something will be received, don’t post it.

3. Not planning how to convert engagement into business

One of the great buzzwords thrown about social media is “engagement.” While it’s great that people are “liking” and commenting on your Facebook posts, is it leading to anything substantial for your business? People might be engaging with your content, but this audience isn’t going to decide one day that they want to buy your goods or services—perhaps a tiny percentage will, but the rest of them will be indifferent. Engagement is part of the process and is not a means to an end.

How do you solve this?

While getting people to engage with your content is half the battle, you will need to include content that will direct the audience to your services. Posting specific company updates, deals, or offers every once in a while is a good idea—just avoid going from one extreme to the other.

4. Posting only company updates

If people feel that following your account will only result in posts that are trying to sell them goods, they’re going to opt out quickly. People don’t like companies selling to them constantly, so you need to strike a balance between serving their interests and yours.

How do you solve this?

Adapt a content ratio that keeps your audience interested while also serving the needs of your business. Depending on how many times you post, five to one is a decent way to start—that is, five pieces of content in favor of your audience’s interest compared with one about your company.

5. Thinking one size fits all

Conventional wisdom states that every business should have a Facebook and Twitter account. While there are a lot of positives behind each choice, not all businesses are built the same way. Therefore, different sites will be better than others. Just because a site is popular doesn’t mean that the type of interactions happening there are suited to your company’s goals. Each site has different strengths and weaknesses; it’s worth considering which ones to prioritize.

How do you solve this?

Identify what your business wants to achieve, what type of audience you’re looking to connect with, and which social media sites tie in with these goals. Focus on the two most important sites first and develop them before you decide to add another one to the equation.

Quinton O’Reilly is a writer of social media/tech stuff for Simply Zesty, where a version of this story first appeared.

 

Anne Pelczar blogs for Branding Personality and Anne’s Career Blog. She has an BA in Communications from CSU Fullerton. Connect with her on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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