Achieving social media success can be difficult. Failing at social media, on the other hand, is extremely easy.
Social media success is achieved through understanding what your audience wants and pressing the right buttons and saying the right things that convince them to interact and engage with your brand.
Social media failure is achieved through so many different avenues that we had to devote a blog of 15 different examples to address it and how to avoid it.
Paying Attention to Surface Stats
Your audience see the amount of likes, comments and shares a Facebook post gets or the amount of retweets and likes a tweet gets, but you have the tools to see well beyond that.
With Facebook Insights alone, you can see how many clicks, both link and photo, a post gets. Go a little further and use Facebook Business Manager and the amount of metrics at your fingertips are borderline limitless.
Say you post a video for an advertisement. Did you know metrics are available not only to see how many views that video receives, but to see how long users were watching it? You can actually see the percentage of the video users watched before clicking away.
Facebook, Google and Twitter all have extremely advanced analytic platforms that enable account managers to discover what works and what doesn’t. And the best part? It’s all free!
Posting too Much
You want to remind your audience of all the incentives your product or service offers, but you can’t overdo it. By posting too much you clutter up news feeds and annoy your fans to the point of not only hiding your posts, but unliking or unfollowing, as well.
Posting too Little
Post too little, however, and you run the risk of having your audience forget you even exist!
Not Engaging with Customers
Besides being able to consistently get your brand’s name out there, the greatest incentive of owning a social media page is the connection you can make with your customers.
Unlike the past where customer service was just a one-on-one conversation, social media is essentially a one-on-the entire internet conversation. When a user leaves a comment on a post or on your page, everybody can see it, including those negative comments that are the bane of every social media manager’s existence.
Comments, good or bad (but especially bad), need to be addressed, otherwise you’re showing your audience that you don’t care about their comments or are trying to purposely avoid them. That may not be your intention, but it’s what your audience sees.
Take the time to address the comments, questions and concerns of your fans.
Using Poor Images
Shutterstock has plenty of clear (although sometimes way too stock photo-y) pictures to choose from with a subscription, as do many other stock image sites, such as istockphoto and BigStockPhoto.
Using an image that’s either resized incorrectly, poorly photoshopped, blurry or irrelevant to the content damages the integrity of your brand’s social media standing. It’s unappealing to your audience and will definitely have as much of an affect on any potential new customers.
Just imagine going to a brand’s website and seeing it’s poorly designed. Would you navigate through it or stray away from the eyesore that it is?
Your audience liked your page because of your brand. They don’t want to see viral videos or dank memes you thought were funny. They have other avenues they can go down for that sort of entertainment.
Stick to what’s relevant and post content that’s meaningful to your audience, who made a conscious decision to like your page because they’re dedicated and loyal to your brand.
It’s a bad look on your brand that you don’t even have the attention to detail to correct any grammatical errors in what usually is a succinct piece of copy.
It’s grating and disrupts your reader’s flow when they stumble upon a misspelled word or error in syntax. If they’re that interested in what you have to say, they’ll go over and try to read it again, but the damage has already been done and their brand-focused mindset has already been broken.
But the worst part of all of it? It’s easily avoidable. With every piece of copy you create, take the time to read it and re-read it over again. Every writer initially makes errors because they’re more focused on creating content. Once you finish creating the copy, put on your editor cap and correct any mistakes you may have made.
Not Doing your Research
Nobody likes getting called out for being wrong, so here’s two ways to avoid being wrong on social media:
- Don’t say it if you’re not sure.
- Do your research to make sure you’re right
If you’re worried that a commenter is going to comment with “Well, actually…..”, then refrain from making the post without doing the research into the content to confirm it.
No/Poor Communication with Client
One of the greatest reasons for the failing of an account on social media is the lack of communication between the account manager and the client.
If you’re a digital marketing agency and not an in-house social media copywriter, communication between you and the client is especially important. There need to be weekly updates of possible themes going forward, content the client wants to produce, and images from the client at the worksite to provide the writer with transparency for the reader.
Otherwise, one day the client is going to be disappointed with the results of your page because you’re not producing the content they want you to produce. Had there been a direct line of communication between both parties, there wouldn’t be any disappointment because the client likely would have reviewed the content and themes before it had been posted.
Not Planning your Posts
Whenever you have to rush something, it’s almost certain you’re going to overlook small details that are going to compromise the final product.
The same applies to creating your social media content. Here’s a tip that I personally use: Create the next month’s worth of content in the week leading up to it. That way you have enough time to create general content, as well as specific content for holidays you can identify.
You’re not going to be able to plan every post because of the opportunities presented by trending hashtags. But control what you can, otherwise you’re going to be rushing, and inevitably, negatively affecting the quality of your posts.
Not Having a Clear Tone and Voice
As the social media manager, you give your brand a consistent voice in the digital world. Get to know your audience, the brand’s past, the copy on its website and the overall message it’s projecting.
Consistency is key when applying a personality to your brand. If you want your brand to have a serious tone, then maintain it. The same applies if you want a tone that’s playful or has a tinge of both.
Stay on message and stay on point.
Pandering to Milennials
Accounts that try to use memes or popular catchphrases from Twitter to get their message across, I have a message directly from the milennial you are targeting:
Memes are not funny when brands use them.
We know what you’re doing.
You are making us cringe.
It’s just a lame, transparent attempt to pander to the younger generation that speaks in memes. Sure some kids will fall for it and you’ll get your retweets and like, but at the cost of your dignity and the plentiful replies calling you out on it? It’s just not worth it.
Focusing Only on Sales
Not every post has to be a sales pitch. In fact, some of your best posts, especially in terms of engagement, will be posts that pose a question to your fans.
Ask your fans about what they like about your product, if they have a specific product they like, how long they’ve been a fan of your product, etc. I remember doing a post like this for a big client that’s been selling two-way radios for decades and receiving a ton of comments when asked what their first two-way radio was.
Not only is it a great way to generate engagement, it’s an extremely effective way to crowdsource and know a little more about your audience.
Trying to do too Much
Don’t dilute your product because you’re trying to expand your reach. Spending too much time trying to make things work on a channel where your product isn’t receiving much attention can negatively affect the work you’re posting on a channel where success is a constant.
Some channels just aren’t effective platforms for certain products. If you’re highly technical and promoting mainly business services, LinkedIn would be your preferred outlet as opposed to a channel more focused on engagement like Twitter.
Not Knowing your Audience
You’ll usually be able to pinpoint the demographic of your audience just from the type of product or service you’re selling, but it’s still valuable to the direction of your content to get a complete picture.
If you use Facebook, this information is available simply by going into your Insights and going to ‘People’. From there, you’ll have easy access to the age, gender and location of your audience.
Sure we could have guessed that the majority of our audience would have been women in the age group where most couples get married, but isn’t it reassuring to know that the information is at your disposal?
This information, like most of the metrics that can indicate paths to success and failure, is all available, often for free.
Use it and avoid the mistakes that have plagued many community managers of years’ past.