Social media is pretty straightforward, right? You schedule a few posts each week, engage with your followers, and run some paid ads — a relative breeze, no? Well, these social media management tips will help make the business of running your social media accounts easier. Many businesses are guilty of social media mistakes because they fail to adopt social media strategy in order for it to be truly effective.
Studies show that overall user trust in social media declined in 2022. This highlights the need for companies to tread carefully when posting, engaging, or advertising through social media. It can vastly expand global reach. However, there are many brands that fail to warn companies of the fine line between success and failure.
Want to know what social media mistakes your business might be making without realizing it? Read on, as we delve into 6 common social media missteps — and discuss how to avoid them.
1. Being on every social media platform
It’s important to remember that each social media platform attracts different demographics. Facebook is the favored platform of Gen X and Baby Boomers, for example (who fall into a slightly more mature category), while TikTok is more popular with Gen Z. Interests inevitably differ between these generations. This means they’re unlikely to show interest in the same brands or influencers.
One of the most common social media mistakes brands make is assuming that it’s somewhat mandatory to have a presence on all of these channels fearing they’re missing out on huge potential audiences if they don’t. The reality is, however, that a brand’s profile simply may not connect with audiences on every one of these channels. Taking a wide-net approach may, in fact, be an inefficient use of time and resources.
The lesson: It’s not a given that every brand must have a presence across every social media channel. Assess each platform on its own merits, and don’t be afraid to disregard it if you feel there’s no value.
2. Prioritizing quantity over quality
You know the adage: throw enough you-know-what at the wall and something will stick. And while that approach may be perfectly acceptable in certain circumstances, it’s rarely a healthy way to approach social media content. On average, brands post 11 times per day across the entirety of their social accounts. This may already seem like a significant number, but some businesses feel it necessary to post content even more frequently than this.
It’s important to post often to maintain engagement and relevance. It’s easy to focus on the quantity of content you’re posting and overlook the quality. If you’re posting 15 to 20 times a day, can you really put the time into ensuring each post is adding value? The likelihood is you’re posting a lot of content simply because you feel you should, rather than considering whether it’s valuable or even necessary.
The lesson: Slews of low-quality or extraneous content will likely have a damaging effect on engagement and brand reputation. Adopt a less-is-more approach. It’s better to post well-thought-out, relevant content in smaller quantities than to achieve lots of volumes but little value.
3. Duplicating content across platforms
Sure, when you’re managing multiple social media accounts (and particularly if you’re a small business with limited resources), it can be tempting to replicate each piece of new content across each channel. It’s one of the most damaging social media mistakes because the content will likely not resonate with all audiences. Remember, each platform attracts a different crowd and serves a unique purpose.
For example, a post highlighting a recent blog article on the merits of recurring billing might be perfect for LinkedIn (as it’s closely related to business practices) but it may be considered a little dry for an Instagram audience. Conversely, a post recommending the best rooftop bars in NYC will likely generate plenty of engagement on Instagram, but it’s not really appropriate (or particularly useful) content for users of LinkedIn.
The lesson: While it may seem more efficient to repost duplicate content across platforms, you’ll earn more engagement by tailoring your content to each one. You may simply have to make some subtle tweaks. Besides, there are other ways to streamline your posting schedule, such as using an automated post-scheduling tool.
4. Neglecting the “social” part of social media
It’s called social media for a reason. Social media platforms are community-based, relying on interaction and engagement between users, brands, and influencers. Social media is the number one channel for brands to connect with consumers, encouraging more informal — and crucially deeper and more meaningful — interactions and relationships. However, many brands still overlook this by failing to engage meaningfully with their followers.
Failing to properly engage with your audience risks your company coming off as a faceless, corporate entity with little personality or empathy. This is precisely the thing that businesses should aim to avoid by using social media. Users who feel that brands are inaccessible or aloof are likely to disengage. On the flip side, businesses that encourage and facilitate engagement can create a community of brand advocates.
The lesson: Social media is not simply a channel to advertise on. It’s designed to promote community-based engagement, so remember that it’s a two-way street. You should encourage your followers to interact with your brand and be willing to engage with them in return.
5. Running scared of negative feedback
If there’s one thing many brands dread, it’s negative feedback. And it’s not difficult to see why. 93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their buying decisions, and when negative opinions appear on social media — where they’re potentially seen by millions — it can be tempting to feign ignorance and hope no one notices.
Staying silent is likely to do far more harm than good, however. This will suggest that you either don’t care, are in denial, or are simply unwilling to admit to mistakes or change for the better. All brands receive negative feedback from time to time. The ones who recover the quickest are those that embrace it, learn from it, and do their utmost to turn it into a positive by seeing it as an opportunity to get better.
The lesson: It’s important to remember that all feedback is valuable, good or bad. In fact, you’ll often find the negative stuff more valuable since it highlights areas for improvement. Instead of ignoring negative feedback, engage with it. Offer a solution (or a compromise), show you care, and you may win back consumer trust.
6. Underestimating the power of video content
In 2022, 82% of all global internet traffic came from video content. It’s fair to say that video is fast becoming the dominant form of content across many online channels. Younger internet users such as Gen Z in particular engage frequently with short-form videos — whether they’re user-generated or brand-created. On social media, where competition for user attention can be fierce, videos can be a highly-effective engagement tool.
Of course, a platform such as TikTok relies on video content. However, statistics show that video is still being underutilized across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, comprising 14%, 11%, and 5% of each channel’s total content respectively. There’s no reason brands should be reluctant to post video content on these platforms. The potential to boost engagement and stimulate interest is huge.
The lesson: While there’s still a place for other forms of content, you can’t afford to overlook video as an engagement tool. Video is still being underutilized on many social media platforms, yet it’s often the most compelling way to draw user attention and create engagement.
Is your business guilty of any of these all-too-common social media mistakes? Rest assured that you’re not alone if so, and be encouraged by the fact that it’s never too late to change tack and right the wrongs.
Remember, effective social media management is about choosing the right channels, focusing on quality over quantity, tailoring your content appropriately, engaging with your followers, embracing all feedback (negative or otherwise), and leveraging the power of video content.