By: Sarah Ann
In today’s digital era, social media is an indispensable tool that no single company can go without. If you own a business, you must have an online presence to succeed. But when it comes to startups, your actions must be thoughtful and strategic. Not every activity performed on your social media channels can be beneficial to your new business.
In this blog, I’ll cover some of the most common social media mistakes that can harm your startup and how to avoid them. While I will focus on startups, you can also apply these tips to more established businesses.
Focusing On Only One Social Media Channel
When it comes to social media, the most common mistake startups make is concentrating efforts on one channel to save time and money. The flaw in this approach is that your target audience may actually be on another social media channel, so your efforts to save money may actually end up costing you, potential customers.
The best thing to do is market research. If you already have an existing base of clients, engage them in a discussion or survey about their channel preference. You should integrate a cross-channel strategy to reach different segments of your target group. Research shows that 72% of consumers prefer to interact with brands across multiple channels as opposed to a single marketing channel. Click To Tweet When it comes to more substantial businesses, remember to continually check and re-check your engagement across all of your social channels.
Posting the Same Content on All Social Media Channels
Posting the same content on several social media channels divides marketers. Some approve it, while others are adamantly against it. However, consider the following:
The content isn’t tailored to a particular social media channel. That means, if you are sharing the same post on Facebook and Twitter, you are not actually optimizing it for either. For example, Twitter is a platform that is suited for more frequent updates. Facebook, on the other hand, for far less frequent, more personal posts. By cross-posting the same content, you could be alienating some of your audience.
Another reason is that if customers follow you on both platforms, cross-posting can be perceived as laziness. If you post the same content on Facebook and Twitter regularly, you run the risk of being perceived as unoriginal and repetitive. Even worse, it may cause your customers to unfollow you.
To increase engagement across social media, refrain from sharing the exact same content on every channel. All social platforms were designed for mixed-use. You should treat them accordingly. For established businesses, consider examining your cadence and channel strategy. Do you have different cadences for Twitter and Facebook? Or are you blasting your followers with the same content across the board? Consider A/B testing your frequency and varying what you post to increase engagement.
Posting Spammy and Inappropriate Content
Although the purpose of social media is to promote your startup, posting too much can chase your followers away. Startups often start their social media strategy with enthusiastic and aggressive content. However, your social media followers like to see fun and engaging content that is varied and not just promoting your company. If you bombard them with sales promotions, they will unfollow or unlike your profiles. The same is true for larger and more established companies.
You should always provide value to your customers and enable them to enjoy your content. That is why content marketing should be one of your main focuses. Keep your users engaged with fresh and valuable content. Educate your audience and use your social media profiles as a tool for providing knowledge, information, and fun content to keep them engaged.
Make sure to post original content that provides advice and solves a real problem your customers have. Create a community where you will nurture your relationship with followers by publishing blog posts, images, videos, and jokes that will capture their interest.
Videos can be your golden goose. Startups are usually hesitant about producing video content because of production time and costs. However, you don’t have to go through the process of video production alone. There are numerous video production companies that can provide video services for you to lighten the load. Events you produce can serve as material for your video and provide both engaging content and promotion of your startup. While it may not be as challenging to introduce video to an enterprise-level company, it can still be a task that requires considerable effort. Start small and scrappy to prove your ROI before jumping head-first into a larger budget video series.
Ignoring Negative Comments and Being Rude on Social Media
Dealing with negative comments on social media is a very sensitive subject. One wrong answer and any social media complaint can turn into a disaster that can stain your company’s reputation. However, it’s even worse to ignore negative comments because it can give the impression that you don’t care about customer service. If someone is criticizing your company, it is crucial to respond constructively. Responding to negative comments reassures your followers that you care and will try and resolve adverse situations.
Of course, it is very hard not to take every negative review or comment about your company personally, especially when you have invested so much in your business. However, social media is full of dissatisfied customers and trolls.
It is important to remember that every reply you craft should be polite and calm. Replying publicly is an excellent way to show your customers that you care about them. If the issue discussed is sensitive, you can continue the communication privately. However, even in direct messages, you should keep a professional tone. After all, what you say represents the company.
Not Creating a Social Media Plan or Strategy
Just like any other aspect of your business, your social media presence should be based on a well-established social media plan. Creating a social media strategy will help your startup define how you are going to achieve your communication goals, and which platforms and tools you are going to use to reach them. A targeted social media strategy will help you choose relevant platforms to connect with existing and potential customers.
Another important reason for creating a social media plan is that today’s purchasing decisions are made on social media. In fact, 46% of social media users research products on social media channels prior to purchasing. While 40% of users are deciding what to buy based on stuff they have seen on social media, including reviews and recommendations. Your social media strategy should help you plan how to encourage people to share and talk about your products. Having a clear social media strategy will give insights into what role social networks play in your customers’ buying processes.
Social media is a powerful tool to promote your business and attract new customers. However, not every action you implement can be beneficial to you and your business. Make smart decisions and take deliberate steps to set yourself up for success!
What tips do you have for a company just starting out? What social media mistakes have you made in the past and how did you overcome them?