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Opinion

Top 10 social media marketing pitfalls to avoid

Amber Harty - SEO, Social and Content Marketing Executive at Supersonic Playground Ltd

By Amber Harty on

Supersonic Playground Ltd

Creating a successful social media marketing strategy takes a lot of planning, researching and psychology. We’ve already covered the ‘5 Ws’ – why, who, what, where and when, and now we’re going to explore some of the top pitfalls to avoid when posting on social media as a business.

1.    Posting too much

There really is such a thing as posting too much on social media. Imagine a salesman ringing you relentlessly every hour… that’s similar to over posting. Sharing too much, too often can often lead to unfollows, as you become more of a hindrance than a help to your followers. No one likes to be spammed, and frequently seeing the same company and similar content will bore them quickly.

2.    Not Posting Enough

On the other end of the spectrum is not posting enough. You don’t want to spam your followers, but you still want to be seen on their timelines. Posting once in a blue moon will have you seen as a ghost follower, with people becoming uninterested in what you have to say, when you do say anything and unfollow you. Be sure to stay relevant and interesting to your audience.

3.    Automation

Many people use automation in their social marketing efforts, which can be really effective. But when used incorrectly, it can have a negative effect on your business. The lack of personalisation that comes with automation can leave your audience feeling unimportant. Simple notes such as ‘your message has been received, someone will be in touch in x hours’ are a great way to make your audience feel valued, whereas generic messages which doesn’t touch base with them can push potential customers away.

4.    Over tagging

How often do you see businesses tagging a few different Twitter handles and adding a few irrelevant words? Over tagging companies in your tweets unnecessarily can not only bore your audience, but potentially burn a few relationships. Spamming your followers is a sure-fire way to lose them, not engage them, as they become uninterested in what you have to say, as they start to associate your messages as spam.

5.    Ignoring comments and replies

Social media for business, should be used for building relationships, and engaging with your audience and customers, so ignoring their messages, especially when they’re negative, is very bad practice. If a customer called complaining, would you just hang up on them? On social media it is a public statement, seen by the whole community, not just the original poster, who will pick up on the lack of customer service if the comment is ignored. It’s a good idea to have a complaints guideline, so the social media manager can respond promptly with a personalised and engaging message.  If an item was out of stock, or something wasn’t delivered when expected, provide the customer with an update on when it will be back in stock, or an update with their order.  Ensure you engage with your audience to build your relationships.

6.    Using @ at the start of a Tweet

A useful little tip, many people start tweets with the Twitter handle, but this significantly limits your impressions. If placed at the beginning, the tweet is only seen by people following both you and the person being mentioned. Try to include the handle in the middle of the tweet  to maximise your impressions.  An added bonus, with the new Twitter update, this is no longer included in your character count!

7.    Always posting other people’s content

There’s no harm in sharing relevant blogs or posts from other influencers or businesses, but try to ensure that they are always relevant.  Your followers follow you because they are interested in your products / services and want to be kept up-to-date. Keep this in mind, when re-posting content because if it is irrelevant to them you may lose your audience.

8.    Cross posting

Cross posting is effectively posting the same post across every platform at the same time. Each platform has a different purpose, and content should be tailored accordingly. When you post the same content across every platform, it can make your efforts look ill informed. Some followers will follow your brand on each of your social platforms.  and posting the same post everywhere can spam this crowd. Separating your posts and posting on different platforms, at different times / days, and using the specific style of wording for that platform can help your social efforts.

9.    Using #’s incorrectly

Another wonderful social tool that can help you bring in an audience, utilising hashtags for campaigns can really engage your followers, but it is a tool that should be used carefully across social platforms. Before hashtags were added to LinkedIn and Facebook, people would often use them, even though they had no effect, because they were a trend, rather than a helpful marketing tool. Hash tagging random terms in your posts or ‘over hash tagging’ can again, look spammy and will not attract the audience you’re targeting. As social media platforms are a recognised search engine, when you search you do so by the key terms, so should be able to find any relevant posts without them.

10. Buying followers

Buying followers is a huge no, no, and can simply only be viewed as an ego boost. In our next blog, we will cover why high follower numbers aren’t always good thing. Whilst at face value you have a lot of followers, if they’re brought in you’ll have minimal to no likes or shares of your posts as they won’t be paid to engage with your brand like a genuine follower would (and are often set up on spoof accounts), they’ll provide no community spirit, and more importantly no interaction.

Read our blog next week to find out the full details of the damage of fake followers.

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