This blog is focused on what goes wrong with your strategies in making the presence of your business felt through social media. The open platform of communication is a great mode to get in touch with your audiences but what goes your wrong and make all your efforts fruitless? I will throw light upon it in this blog and will give some tips on how to deal with them.
Top ten reasons you suck at Social Media
Social media as I call it a ‘blessing’ for the SEO industry is what we will be discussing again today. But I won’t be discussing much about the perks it provides rather it will be more focused on the aspects where you are going wrong in the use of this amazing platform. People who blame social media for being a waste are either using it for the wrong purpose or either they are bad losers.
If it wasn’t the smart use of social media, names like hubspot and zappos wouldn’t have become what they are today. It doesn’t need spending fortunes rather well conducted research, learning from the mistakes of others and not repeating them makes all the difference. Social media as a matter of fact is a great bridge to successful SEO operations, given its utilised in the right manner.
It needs very strategic execution and in depth understanding, plus you must not run in circles and must know what are doing because the result of that labour will be fruitless.
Let me help you with the most common points where people go wrong while using social media:
I Suck at Social Media
1. Self blabbering and self obsession will make your presence on social media irritating: Well the first argument that comes to the fore by a lot of people against this is Social media is the platform to share about your own product or service so that’s what we do. All my friends with this mind set need to understand that you don’t have a monopoly in the market and there are plenty of other players who are intelligent enough to reflect their thoughtfulness and come out thoughtful brand leaders, so this attitude needs to go.
Second argument given by webmasters is that when our offering is for the people and we will sell business from telling them all about our offerings which we are doing through social media, what are we going wrong? This calls for need of understanding a very important reality that social media marketing is very different from the traditional marketing.
A very nice example comes to my mind in relation to this- If a group of buddies are sitting together, sharing their thoughts and whereabouts and a colleague of one of them barges in their conversation with the aim of selling his personal business or offering, out of courtesy the group will listen to it for a while and after a while will get bored and irritated of his/her presence.
On the contrary if this business or offering idea is shared by one of the people among the group, they will not only take interest in it but even might give some suggestions. Do you realize what’s the difference among both the scenarios? Trust and care for the person’s thought makes all the difference.
A secret page on Facebook representing an offering and sharing information on interests of customer is one brilliant idea to gain trust and confidence of customers as well as to emerge as a thoughtful leader.
For example- A makeup brand giving tips on taking care of skin through the use of domestic ingredients.
Here are a few things that can help:
- Digging into the tastes and preferences of target audiences and developing an almanac revolving around them.
- The golden 80/20 rule should be followed through which out of 80% of posts made by you, 20% must have pure marketing content in them.
- Keep a check on the results and do what it takes to deal with the deviations
2. Posting on social media too frequently is a turn off for audiences: Do you know that among the top most reason why people unlike pages they were following, top third one is the high frequency of posts made on it. The wall of a person using Facebook is kind of personal space and nobody likes it to be filled with your posts only.
If you wish to be active there, limit yourself a bit and choose a post worth sharing, example if you are sharing the name of your best performing employee, a guide in the form of video on you tube as well as a blog giving tips on a well researched topic altogether, you are going to the path of disaster. So how to decide how much to post and through which platform?
The following points might help you deciding it:
- Do not post blogs more than thrice a week
- Do not exceed Facebook posts from twice a day
- You can tweet around five times a day, but make sure to post them all during different hours and not altogether.
- Do not exceed posting on LinkedIn from thrice a day
This frequency will definitely suffice in engaging and being close to your audience. It’s very important to lay emphasis on the quality of your posts rather the quantity in which you post them.
- Do not share every damn thing going around you and happening with your business, nobody is interested in it.
- Root all the posts you share to the interests of your audiences and you brand name and value. Every post of yours must make sense.
- Keep in check duplication of postings as most of the time auto post settings are kept by businesses so that whatever you post on one social network the post automatically gets posted on others.
- Encouraging your audiences for feedback and suggestions is greatly done through social media. Pay heed to them.
3. Your audiences are not getting enough of you: Just on the contrary of the last mentioned point, there is probability that you not posting enough and your audiences feel that you are under hibernation.
It’s a very common scenario, businesses start posting on the social media with a lot of zeal initially and over time, their focus on it diminishes. It’s very important to mark your prominence on the social media platform if you wish to make your offerings a brand name.
It doesn’t mean that you are supposed to post 24X7, but there must be some rate of consistency in them. To deal with the consistency issue you need a well planed arrangement with discipline.
There is a requirement of daily update on different social networks, not multiple times though but yes on daily basis you are supposed to make your presence felt, without making it look like a scream for attention.
I have mentioned before, maintaining an editorial almanac or calendar can help. Its need is mainly to deal with the days that are low on news. Maintenance of an editorial almanac can help you tackle the days when you don’t have anything new happening around you or worthy enough to post on the SNS.
This calendar will revolve around the interests of your audiences as it is organized on the basis of your pre-scheduled launches and trade shows.
4. You are using a lot of lingo/Jargon: This focuses on the aspect of how you are posting it? What you post is important, the language you use to post is even more important. See, social media is a very open platform, it says ‘come one, come all’ which is why you need to post in a manner that is understandable by everyone.
Marketing is not just about keeping customers happy by interacting with them only. A very important facet of marketing is to keep close to the prospects and convert them. Use of Jargon is great with your audiences as its quick and explains a whole situation with a single word, but it can confuse your audiences too.
For example- the word PR has so many different meanings. It might be used for Page ranking, Press release as well as Public Relations! Confusing, isn’t it? Over doing Jargon might cause you big trouble as your new followers might feel out of place as they face difficulty in deriving the context. On social media, people connect to you just after reading your name. It depends on you how you keep them close to yourself.
The very famous social media expert Dan Zarrella indicates from his research on the same that on social media the content that sells itself the most is clear and simple one. Do you know why?
It’s because time spent on social media by your followers in reading your post is very little. People do not focus on the posts that are too long or contain difficult terms, if they were to gain the technical information, they would get it from journals and magazines because on social media there is ample of other interesting exciting stuff available already.
So, if you want your posts to be liked, shared and commented, keep it simple and candid.
5. There is a probability that you are making a mistake in choosing the right platform: Now there are situations when you realise that your timing of posts, language used etc is fine, why are things still not going in the right direction?
You need to see in such times, whether the channel you have selected to share the content is right or not. It’s very important to be present where the inclination and interest of customers lie. You can’t just choose Pinterest because it’s hot and everybody else is using it!
You have to see if it holds potential of having customers, the existing as well as the potential ones and if that’s not the scenario, you efforts will be a sheer waste. Do not make the mistake of not evaluating in advance what benefits you will derive from using each of the platforms you are picking to share your content through social media.
How to do it?
- Monitor all your social media and evaluate how much grip you have in your audiences through each of them.
- Twentyfeet.com is a great website to analyses what’s working for you and what’s not on your social media.
- It’s important to pay attention to suggestions and feedback. It will help you gain insight on where the interests of your audiences lie.
6. You are not linking yourself to the web as much as you should: Social media is made to share stuff. Any kind of stuff that engages the audiences. It’s the beauty of social media and I am sure a lot of your twitter feeds and Facebook posts link themselves to several web pages or other online content.
It’s a very brilliant idea as it helps in reflecting thoughtfulness on your part by telling your audiences that “I found this interesting or helpful, hope it will be helpful to you too.” If this sharing technique is executed correctly, it can do wonders for your business and your bounce rate will diminish. But if it’s not done or done and mismanaged it will harm your business.
There are two types of mistakes made in this context-
- Either you do not link in totality
- You link but all of it to your content and stuff
My point is not that you should not link to your blogs, or websites or content. All I am saying it’s always great to take a mid way through it. It’s nice to maintain a balance between self promotion and keeping your audience engaged with whatever pleases or interests them.
How can you do that?
- Keep in track the bloggers and other prominent figures that guide people whose interests are similar or complimentary to yours and link to their blogs or content frequently.
- Maintain association with the influencers who share your content and in return share their content as well. This helps in building corporate relations.
- And like I have been saying it throughout this blog, nothing can help you better than knowing and understanding what your customers want. Ask them what kind of blog posts interests them, which websites they trust. Include them in your list and link to them.
7. You cry and complain a lot: It is human nature to distant himself from a person who keeps crying how miserable his/her life is or who always has issues and complain in his kitty.
There are so many examples of issues that we share on social media and they are mostly common. A client ditching you, high taxes etc. Overdoing such complains and crying for issues all the time can take a heavy toll on you social media feeds.
Off course you can’t fill your social media page with all positive and happy posts, you have to keep it real and mention ups and downs. Well, a simple solution for this is to understand the pattern of your posts. If the last two posts made by you have been negative, don’t depress your social media page more and make this one vibrant and happy. It will help you keep a balance.
A few tips:
- Social media is an informal platform so keep your tone light hearted and frank most of the time.
- Don’t go overboard with complains and issues, keep it real but don’t sound too negative all the time.
- Never badmouth a team member, client or a customer. You will cry later for making this mistake.
8. You are not following one of the golden rules of communication, listening: It’s a great thing that you share the content that interests your audience. But if that’s the only purpose of your existence on social media, it could suck! Well social media is a platform for communication and it must not be one sided.
If it is one sided, you are making a very ghastly mistake. When a person follows you on a social network, it’s your responsibility to make them feel at home and part of your concern. If you won’t engage with your audience they will leave your side, because your competitors are not just engaging them, they are cherishing them.
It is indeed difficult to answer every follower but paying attention on their comments by dedicating a little more time each day won’t disrupt your routine much. You have to do it, if don’t want to lose them.
A few quick tips:
- Go personal! Post a thank you or an acknowledgement in return of a share or a tag.
- Select entertaining or informative posts like an informative video or funny image shared by a follower of yours and share it personally.
- Congratulate your followers on their achievements
- Importance of taking feedback and suggestions of your audiences is highlighted directly in this point, so don’t compromise on that.
9. Exploiting the facility of Auto-posting: Number of social media platforms is increasing each passing day. Initially it was just Facebook and twitter, but then came Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Google+ and blah, blah, blah! The list just goes on.
Bottom line is businesses cannot overlook any of these and have to reflect prominence on them, because their audiences take interest in them and they are a pool of readymade database of customers. But updating all of them on daily basis becomes difficult. Auto posting came as a very helpful feature to deal with such a situation.
Auto posting is a superb option, through which businesses can auto post on all the social media platforms altogether. Mistake lies in going overboard in using this feature.
As each one of them have similar purpose of existence- Providing open platform for communication, their features and style is very different. For examples Facebook gives a very fun feeling, suiting every age.
Instagram has hash tags and so does twitter. Pinterest is about pinning and repining images and has the element of glamour attached to it, making it women’s favourite, LinkedIn gives an open professional atmosphere, Google+ helps in sharing interests etcetera, etcetera.
So, it definitely is a mistake to think all of them just as similar platforms of communication. Each of them has different purpose in this manner, so in times of confusion, do things in the old school manner- make posts on them one at a time.
- Try understanding style of each one of the social media platform and what audiences look them up for
- Maintaining a cheat sheet helps you comply with the regulations of each social network as it keeps you updated of all their norms.
- Hootsuite, tweetdeck are some tools that are multi network. Make good use of them, just keep in mind to use the option of ‘publish to all’ very cautiously.
10. Where are the images and videos sweetheart? : Use of witty and interesting words is the essence of a blog or any other form of content. Words are what tractions the audiences to keep reading further.
But all words and no images makes content dull. No matter how interesting it is, the eyes of your audiences will wander here and there if you do not support the text of your content with some interesting and complimentary images. Gone are the days when just words would have sufficed.
Support your content with images as well as videos and notice the difference in your social media presence. As per a survey conducted by Pandemic labs it was reflected what audiences actually wish to see on social media platform in contrast of what businesses post on Facebook.
Success of Instagram and Pinterest are live examples of what wonders images can do.
- Make sure to add at least one image in each of your blogs. Fotolia is a great tool to get high quality images and it’s economical as well.
- Try to replace an all text blog with a video each month. It will make a remarkable difference in your social media presence and you can go closer to your audiences too this way.
- Sign up on Pinterest if you are not already there and make full use of the platform to share most interesting images and keep in mind don’t just do self blabbing, share stuff shared by your audiences as well as by other influencers.
- Your audiences can help you in a big way to decide on what kind of images or videos you should post, so stay close to them.
I hope this blog will help you identify the mistakes that you might be making till now with your social media presence and hope you avoid making them in future. Stay cautious, stay updated and stay a winner!
The idea to write a post on this topic came after a casual chat with one my readers, Nisha Shah. She had a genuine curiosity for succeeding at online marketing especially at social media so I thought why not to write a post about social media and help all readers who are as curious as her. – Vishal Vivek- Follow me here.