You’re Doing Social Media Wrong. Here are Four Common Social Media Mistakes Your Business May Be Making.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. TikTok. Pinterest. Reddit.
Whatever your social media platform of choice, we’ve come a long way since the days of Six Degrees. You do remember Six Degrees, right? Friendster? Myspace? Yikes, now we’re really starting to sound old.
The point is, in the 25+ years since the advent of the first modern social networks we’ve seen a myriad of platforms designed for a myriad of purposes. From celebrities to canines, mommy bloggers to travel vloggers, businesses to brands – no niche of career, hobby, interest or, yes, even life form has failed to utilize social media for its own creative or business purposes.
While individual users may have their own reasons for using social media, there are some rules – both spoken and unspoken – that demand careful consideration, especially if you are a brand or business. Many an article has been written about social media mistakes in business (yes, we’re about to write another one). Social media platforms are not all created equal, and yet too often businesses treat them as if they are.
So, for the sake of a good read, we’re going to assume you’re making these common social media mistakes in business (give yourself a point for each one you’re guilty) and help you fix them:
1. You’re Using the Wrong Platforms
As we said, not every social media platform is the same. The audiences, content, expectations – even attitude and culture – differ from one to the next. One 2013 article by Yoke personified some platforms as follows:
Facebook = The Blabbermouth
Twitter = The Scatterbrain
LinkedIn = The Suit
Pinterest = The Daydreamer
Reddit = The Know-It-All
Add in the addition of SnapChat, Instagram, TikTok and others, and the differences from one platform to the next are, indeed, vast. Many businesses assume they should be on every available platform (or at least the platforms they have the capacity for). Not so. You can improve your social media branding strategy by determining who your target demographic is and which platform they’re spending their time on.
The average age of Facebook users in 2022 is not the same as the average age of TikTok users. The attitude of folks on LinkedIn is very different to the attitude of those on Twitter. Even though they’re both photo-based, the way content is consumed on Instagram is different to the way it’s consumed on Pinterest.
All to say, your business does not need to be on every platform. Be intentional, be selective (if appropriate), and invest in the platform that is right for you.
2. You’re Using the Wrong People
Don’t take this the wrong way, but just because your nephew’s a nice kid does not mean he should be running your business’s social media for you. Sure, he’s young and tech-savvy, maybe he’s even “going to school for social media.” But that’s not a strategic…well…social media branding strategy. There’s a lot that goes into effective social media use – like understanding of the platforms, creating engaging content, building brand awareness and more – that only comes with time and experience.
Finding someone who has “some experience” or can take photos on their phone or “thinks” they “can figure it out” doesn’t always cut it, especially if you’re selling a product or service. In an age of swiping, you need to give people a reason to pause and engage with your content. No matter how small or great your brand’s social media presence, finding the right person or people to manage it will do wonders for your social media branding strategy (and keep you off any future lists of common social media mistakes) in the long run.
3. You’re Using the Wrong Hashtags
When used properly, hashtags in social media branding can be a great tool! Most platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are hashtag-friendly – that is, they’re designed to increase visibility of your post when a hashtag is used. According to Facebook, “Hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in your posts…This helps people find posts about topics they’re interested in.”
For example, if you’re a company that sells patio furniture, using the hashtag #PatioFurniture in your post would be entirely appropriate. Other hashtags related to your furniture or the outdoors would also be appropriate.
A common social media mistake, however, is using hashtags without the purpose and intentionality they deserve. If you’re considering a hashtag that’s not relevant to your post, you don’t need it. For example, your patio chair may be comfortable to sit in, but using the hashtag #SoComfy isn’t going to expose your post to the audience you want to see it (unless you really want your product to show up with photos of women wearing bathrobes, sweatshirts, bras, pajamas and shoes. Also, dogs asleep on couches. #SoComfy). For an additional list of ways you may be misusing hashtags on social media, check out this article.
4. You’re Not Advertising
Unfortunately, this point breaks the whole “You’re Using the Wrong _______” theme we had going, but this social media mistake is too important to leave out. Paid advertising on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever platform(s) you use – is a hugely beneficial tool that many brands and businesses make the mistake of underutilizing.
Think of it this way – you want to reach people with your brand or business. So you post content and hope it reaches people who may be interested in it. Due to algorithms, finding those people organically can be difficult and frustrating. Paid advertising gets your content in front of those people (that is, targeted audiences who are actually interested in your product or service); it also does it at a significantly more affordable cost. If you’re a business or brand with an advertising or marketing budget, not investing in social media is definitely a mistake.
Bullseye Media Can Help You Do Social Media Right
So, how’d you do? If you gave yourself three or four points for these social media mistakes in business, you may need help with your social media branding and strategy. Guess what – Bullseye Media can help you do that! Our Social Media, SEO, Copy and Web teams know exactly what they’re doing to help your brand or business take your social media game to the next level. Learn more here!