3 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Everyday I work with event professionals, solopreneurs and small business owners and every day I get questions about social media.
Why? Because that sh*t is constantly changing!
Yes, it is in fact difficult (for all of us) to stay up to date with all of the changes across all the various platforms. Even so, there are some principles and tactics that have stood the test of time. There are also the same number (if not more) mistakes I see made every. single. day.
So in the interest of saving you time, frustration, and potentially money on content creation, let me outline the biggest mistakes I see made over and over so you can avoid them and make your life easier. Sound good?
Mistake 1: Posting the same content at the same time across all your platforms.
People go to each social platform for a different reason. Think about it. You likely have more than one, right? Do you turn to Facebook and want to see the same content you just saw on Instagram?
Of course not. You want to see something different in each of your news feeds, so you need to deliver exactly that to those who follow you!
This does not mean you need to create completely separate content and messaging and posts for each platform. What it DOES mean is that you need to tailor your content to the platform it’s posted on AND post at a time that’s ideal for your followers there.
Here’s a graphic I posted on the DCM Instagram account.
Now, this did quite well on Instagram and sharing it to my story only boosted that engagement.
However, I did NOT post this immediately on LinkedIn or Facebook. Why? Because people do not go to those platforms for inspiration, motivation and one-off tips on those platforms the way they do for instagram.
Instead, I posted a link to this article about choosing the right social media for you on LinkedIn and Facebook with a caption tailored to the audiences I have on each platform. It tied into the same campaign overall, but the content fit what people expect to find on each of those social media channels.
When to Post
As for timing of posts, think about the times YOU use Instagram v. Twitter v. Facebook v. LinkedIn. It’s different times of day and at different frequencies, right?
Exactly! So apply that thought process to when you post your brand’s content. Better yet, use the inherent road map to what times your post (i.e. your profile analytics) to determine when the most of your followers are online. Then share away!
Mistake 2: Unrealistic expectations for how long it takes to create and post content effectively.
Here’s the deal: every social platform wants to be a special snowflake. Yes, even though Zuckerberg and Facebook own Instagram, they want you spending time on each individual platform and every day. To encourage this, they have added new features (stories, guides, boomerangs, reels, live video, etc) that will give you new options to do so AND they reward accounts that use them.
How do they reward them? By showing that account’s content to a wider percentage of their following.
More eyes (aka reach) = more opportunities for engagement (aka clicks, saves, shares)
But quite frankly, who has time for that? I’ll tell you :
- Influencers who’s JOB is to create & share content
- Large corporations with full marketing teams of 10+ people
- Full-time social media managers
Read that last one again. Full-time social media managers. Yes, this is a full time job for millions of people so unless you fit into that bucket, relax and use social media in the way that is the most conducive to your life. (Or hire it out. That always works too.)
It takes time to create the photo/graphic, the story, the article and then the promotional copy to go along with it. It takes time to engage with your existing followers, the accounts you follow, and source new ones on a daily basis, so don’t give yourself a hard time by comparing your account to others.
Similarly to how we never know how much money someone actually has in the bank by the clothes they wear, you never know how much time someone spends on their social media.
That “perfect” account you covet that seems to grow and grow, or is constantly pushing out new content, could have NO clients and that’s why they have so much time to create. OR, they could have a team of people (yes, a full team) behind the accounts and that is why it looks the way it does.
Again, relax. You’re a small business owner and unless that business is social media marketing, you have other priorities so reset your expectations for what it takes to create content and how long it’ll take to grow your account. If this is not your full time job, don’t put the pressure on yourself or those kinds of results.
Mistake 3: Focusing solely on follower numbers.
Seriously y’all, let that sh*t go! I totally understand wanting to grow your account. After all, you are spending time creating content, you want people to see it. Makes PERFECT sense!
However, followers do NOT equal revenue. And if you’re a business owner, you are in the business to make money.
Let me say that again:
Followers do NOT equal revenue.
I know plenty of people who have anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 followers that make little to no money from their Instagram account. These are vanity metrics. I know others who have less than 2,000 and have brought in more than one $20,000 contract because people found them on Instagram, liked what they had to say and the quality of the content they shared, and reached out with a DM that led to a qualifying call and eventually a signed contract. (Yes, I am “others” ??♀️)
Keep your eyes on the prize: engagement.
Your followers will usually fit into one of these categories:
- Potential clients
- Referral partners (i.e. industry peers or partners)
- Brand ambassadors (not your ideal client but love your content & ready to refer you)
- FANS (whether they love you or hate you, as long as they follow, they are FANS and they are talking about you)
- Passive followers (never engage, just a number on your account)
Now, who do you think is going to provide you with revenue? Numbers 1, 2, and 3 – exactly! So focus on getting them to engage with you. Every like, share or comment is one action that moves them further through your sales funnel, or at the very least, keeps you top of mind for that always appreciated referral.
Avoid dismissing or discounting the power your existing followers have to become clients or refer them to you. Those people chose to follow you so appreciate them. Just like when it comes to finding your significant other, all it takes is one to change the game.
Happy social media-ing!