I’ve spent quite a lot of time filling my brain with social media and marketing knowledge and along the way I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. Fortunately, most of my mistakes were through the trial and error of my own personal brand. But hey, you gotta have a guinea pig when it comes to marketing and the ever changing social media world. I decided to create a list of my biggest newbie mistakes when I started in social media. These are also the mistakes I see budding businesses making as they move along in their own marketing efforts. So hurry! Read the rest of this and avoid wasting your time on silly mistakes.
Social media isn’t something you can post to whenever you feel like it and get a great response. The average tweet’s “lifetime” is about 18 minutes. (source) Yes, 18 minutes and your tweet is likely dead and buried. That means, posting just a few times a week isn’t going to get you seen. It’s also not building you a portfolio of goodies for followers to peruse and use to validate your knowledge.
Note: If you’re posting inconsistently because you’re a budding business and just don’t have the time, I can help with that.
Lesson Learned: Create a posting schedule and stick to it.
TREATING EACH PLATFORM THE SAME
Twitter is not the same as Pinterest. And Instagram might be owned by Facebook, but it’s not the same. You can’t post the same content to every social media platform and expect amazing results. Each platform has its unique qualities and audiences that interact differently. While your goal is generally to lead people to your website, you can’t do so in the same way.
Lesson Learned: Create a plan for each social media platform.
USING DIFFERENT USERNAMES
I can’t be @somethingwinnderful on one site and @winncreativeco on another. You want to keep it the same across all platforms so you can be easily found and recognized.
Lesson Learned: Update your usernames to all be the same. (Don’t forget to update the links on your website.)
Your characters are limited but you gotta pack a solid punch with your bio. The perfect bio clearly shares what you do, who you do it for, and what makes you unique. No pressure, right? Hint, it shouldn’t include anything generic like “coffee addict” or anything you’ve seen multiple times.
Lesson Learned: Update your bios to be consistent to your offerings and unique to who you are.
NOT INTERACTING WITH USERS
The whole point of social media it to interact! If you aren’t checking out what’s happening, you not only are out of the loop, you also aren’t forming a relationship with your followers or ideal customers. I’m a huge advocate of disconnecting from the internet/phones, but you should definitely be setting aside a couple minutes a day to interact with your ideal market and followers.
Lesson Learned: Set aside 15-30 minutes a day to interact with your followers and target audience.
WANTING 1000S OF FOLLOWERS
Here’s a secret about social media that really isn’t a secret, the number of followers you have really means nothing. Yes, having 100K followers would be FABulous, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to bring 100K sales. Engagement is what gets you business. The more connected your followers are to you, the stronger customer base you have.
Lesson Learned: Focusing on engagement from your followers, not on the numbers.
NOT BEING AUTHENTIC
It’s very easy to get caught up in the comparison game and trying to live up to the ideal image. We are all human and we can’t let the desire to craft a perfect looking profile take away from who we are as people.
Lesson Learned: Be aware of what makes you unique and share that vision throughout your social media.
ONLY SHARING YOUR OWN STUFF
It’s not always about you. In fact, it’s mostly about how you can help your ideal customer. You prove yourself to be a resource and a team player when you share other peoples’ (relative) content. It goes back to creating community. Sharing other content show support for those individuals and helps reinforce that you know what information for customer needs.
Lesson Learned: Create a system of storing articles to share. I use Bloglovin to follow relative bloggers and save posts I want to share later. I also use the Buffer extension to schedule a post to Twitter whenever I come across one I want to share.
NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR BRAND
You want to be recognizable online. The goal is to produce something and have the proverbial they go, “so and so made that.” Thing of XO Sarah and By Regina, you see their stuff and immediately know it’s theirs. Pay attention to the content you’re putting out there and take the time to ensure it aligns not only with your brand’s visual guide, but also what you stand for and believe in.
NOT MAKING TIME FOR DEVELOPING A STRATEGY
You can’t just post random ish and hope for the best. Social media that truly helps your business grow is not done by accident. It’s done by taking the time to really focus on your goals and creating a plan to reach them.
Lesson Learned: Carve out some time to clarify the purpose of your social media and how you will use it to support your business. Having trouble? Send me an email and I can get you on the right track!