Orlagh O'Rourke

March 8, 2018

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Admit it, we’ve all made mistakes when it comes to social media. Whether it be typing ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, posting the wrong photo, or just struggling with comma placement, creating your picture perfect social media brand can be very stressful at times. However, the most damaging mistakes for businesses lie outside of spelling blunders or picture misplacement. Many company social media pages have failed to attract audiences, establish a presence, and unsuccessfully create their internet brand due to major yet common-sense mistakes. The point of social media is to promote your businesses, not to make it look disjointed. Don’t make it even more difficult for yourself! Social media errors are common, but they can easily be fixed with careful planning and a clear marketing strategy. If you take note of these top five social media don'ts, you and your company will be well on your way to establishing a positive and impactful internet presence.

1) Don't Overwhelm

When you first get started on social media, whether it be individually or for your business, it’s easy to want to start posting right away. After all, you want to start getting your brand out there! However, when it gets to the point that everyone’s feed is clogged with multiple posts from you a day, it can start to become a problem. While it is true that you should be posting regularly to attract and maintain an audience, you should not be posting every hour, on the hour. Instead of attracting followers, it can have the opposite effect and drive people away! What potential customer wants a crowded and overbearing facebook feed? Avoid the temptation to go on a post-binge, and you’ll have a much easier time getting off the ground. Using social media tools like Hootsuite can help correct this issue by establishing a solidified positing schedule, analyzing audience engagement, and making sure you don’t get off track.

2) Don't Overload

Keep it simple! We all know that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have word limits when it comes to posts, so it’s very important to condense your message that is short, sweet and to the point. While it may be tempting to write long paragraphs as posts, when it comes to social media less is more. Audience attention spans are relatively short, and if they see a post with giant block of text in it, they most likely aren’t going to read it. Keep your posts concise and quick to read, avoid cramming everything into one post. If the point of your post is for readers in engage in more of your content, such as an article, simply put the link on your page or on the post itself. Remember not to ask multiple questions in your posts, have run-on sentences, or have an excessive amount of hashtags. The point of posting is to engage and quickly inform your audience, not overwhelm them with information.

3) Don't Use All Platforms

The worst thing a business can do is stretch themselves too thin when it comes to using social media. There is certainly no shortage of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube, Flickr, and Google+, just to name a few. While it’s great to have a your company on a wide spectrum of apps, it can become difficult to maintain a strong presence on all of them. Social Media marketing is time consuming! If you devote too much time focusing on all platforms instead of strengthening and polishing a few, you’ll have a much weaker presence. Worst case, you’ll have accounts that won’t even have any material on it. Focus on what works best for your own marketing goals. Some companies suit Snapchat and Tumblr better, while others may only use Twitter and Instagram. All businesses are unique and there’s no specific formula for all cases. It’s up to you and your team to determine what platforms are right for you.

4) Don't Post Without Purpose

We’ve all seen it before. A business’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page that has such seemingly random and sporadic posts that it’s difficult to even determine what they’re trying to sell. Many unfortunately jump right into posting on social media, rather than truly understanding the point of it all. It’s incredibly crucial to know what your goals are before you click that send button! You need to determine what is the purpose of your business posting on social media. Are you trying to gain attention for a cause? Selling a product? Trying to attract potential clients? If you post blindly without your specific purpose in mind, it will be difficult to engage and retain an interested audience. Your social media posts can quickly become scattered and harder to pinpoint your intended message. Once you determine your companies’ end goal, use that to shape your social media strategy. A clear plan equals successful posts!

5) Don't Be Robotic

Posting the same kind of post over and over again with the same message can be repetitive, boring, and can push audiences away. Do not be the company that posts the same thing at the same time. It’s especially worse when you post the exact same message on all of your platforms! This can quickly make your social media boring, flat, and gives the audiences no reason to engage any further. Make sure your material is diverse and on a spectrum. The best social media campaigns are ones that are diverse, interesting, and aren’t afraid to step outside the box. Take Wendy’s for example. Their Twitter and Facebook is chockfull of unique and entertaining material that changes on a continuous basis. One day there’s a colorful graphic, the next a survey poll. They are consistently engaging their viewers, which is key to audience retention. Don’t be afraid to change your social media game up a little bit! If you find that you post a lot of regular text posts, why not try a video one day? Or a funny meme? Don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine through! Your audience will be sure to thank you.

Remember mistakes happen, but when it comes to your business’ social media, it’s crucial to learn from them. All it takes is one wrong move, and you can lose a good chunk of your intended market audience! Don’t start your business off on the wrong foot, keep these don’ts in mind as you start of your social media journey.