Social Media is very easy to use. Most of the time. But by avoiding these five key mistakes you can maximise the returns you get from investing your time in social media. In this episode of ‘Internet Marketing for Humans’ we speak to Social Media brand warrior Jen Meredith and learn some simple tips to create a social media presence that wins.
5 mistakes you’re already committing on social media
1. Brand consistency
Is your brand represented in the same way across all networks?
In the same way that you would use the same branding on physical advertising, use the same branding across all your social media. Whether that’s your name and your handle (which is the little @ sign followed by your username), or your profile photo, or your header image.
Visually, you want your potential followers to see the same logo and the same brand colours, and then they’ll make that association between your accounts.
If you don’t do that, your followers might be confused, they might think that they’re following the wrong company, they’ll get confused about how to interact with you. There’s nothing good that comes from inconsistent branding.
2. Content consistency
Is the tone always the same
Discuss the personality ‘feel’ of the brand
There are two sides to content consistency. On one side you have posting too much of the same content across all your social media channels, which can be boring for followers and not give them much of an incentive to follow you on different platforms. Then on the other side you could be posting wildly different content across all your socials, and lose your brand identity.
If you have lots of time you could create variations of the same graphic to post across your socials. Or if you don’t have time you could just use a written message and just change the language to suit the platform. For example, Wendy’s is really good at this. On Twitter, they’re known for being really sassy. On Facebook and Instagram, they’re still sassy but it’s just turned down a notch. Perhaps this is because of Twitter’s transiency, contrasting with the semi-permanence of Facebook and Instagram.
You don’t need to post a lot, but you do need to be consistent
Followings take time to grow organically, but it’s a good investment
All social media platforms want you to use their platforms. They reward you for using them by showing your content to your followers. Posting consistently helps your content to reach more screens; if you posting very infrequently, your followers don’t see your content as often, they’re more likely to forget about your brand.
I would advise keeping up appearances on every platform that your brand is active on, at least a few times a week. Conversely, if you’re posting too much, that could also have a negative effect on your brand – however, this depends on the platform. Again, because Twitter is so transient, you could post every hour and it shouldn’t have a negative impact on your brand.
With Instagram and Facebook, however, engagement is important and your clout is measured by the amount of likes your post has. If you’re posting five times a day, people won’t have enough time to interact with all of your posts, so it then appears as if you have really low engagement and that doesn’t look great to new followers.
4. Being boring
Don’t ever sent out a message for the sake of sending out a message
If you don’t know what to say then react to industry news or look for something to repost / retweet. Buzzsumo is great for finding content
This links to brand consistency. If you’re posting great quality content, then you suddenly have a slow news day and post about something that’s not very interesting or relevant, then your followers will notice that that’s low quality content and they won’t interact with it.
If you’re really struggling, Buzzsumo is a great tool. It’s free, and you can just type in a keyword like ‘alpacas’ and it’ll give you a load of articles which relate to alpacas. Then all you need to do is add your thoughts about the article into a post on your social media.
If you can’t find any inspiration, just don’t post. Come back to your socials the next day with a fresh mind and hopefully inspiration will come to you.
5. Failing to be human
Nobody expects any business to be perfect
Sophie Robinson of SoRo put it nicely when she reminded us that ‘people buy from people’.
We are all human. No matter how big your business, there are people behind it, and that’s really valuable on social media. People don’t go on social media to be sold a really corporate image. They want to be able to relate to things in some way. If they can see the more human aspects of your business, they might be more inclined to follow and interact.
There are loads of ways to do this. You could post about yourself or your staff, what you’re up to at work, who’s birthday it is today. Generally positive, fun news or imagery does really well.
When you’ve finished listening to this episode, go on your phone or your computer and audit your social media to make sure that your brand is consistent across all your platforms.
Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is start posting interesting, relevant content regularly across all the platforms that your brand is active on. Remember to be human, be relatable, and play around with your tone on each platform to keep things interesting.