• Christian Michaels

10 Social Media Mistakes and their Fixes :)

I think we've all been on the receiving end and perhaps even on the giving end of a grammatical error being announced to the world, but hey, at the end of the day we are humans and mistakes are inevitable.

Although social media provides a great outlet to connect with friends and family or act as a marketing tool to promote your brand, products and services, a major hiccup could not only seriously harm your professional image but also your personal reputation and credibility.

You remember that angry rant you made after a few too many, well you may have deleted it by the morning but someone saw it, someone could have even saved it, that mistake isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Spending long enough using social media you're bound to stumble upon at least one of the mistakes I've listed below. The trick is to learn from your mistakes and make the effort to be as flawless as possible.

1) Treating All Social Media Platforms the Same

Each and every social media platform is different. They have their own audiences and the format for posting varies from channel to channel. So because of this, spend some time to better understand what each platform offers and how they work. With this knowledge you'll be able to customise your messages for each platform, making them more effective. Also if you have a personal account and business account you'll want to post to them differently as you're addressing a different audience.

2) Posting at odd times

You spend all evening writing up that excellent news article only to tweet or post about it at 2am. Then you're disappointed when in the morning no one has responded to it. Don't be active when no one else is online, it defeats the object of being social. Do some research into the best time to post on your networks. For example Facebook sees the most interaction on Thursdays and Fridays, where engagement rates can be up to 18% higher. Twitter has more engagement on weekdays than compared to weekends, with 5pm showing the highest number of retweets.

Also, avoid posting when your thoughts are impaired either through tiredness, emotional stress or after having a few too many drinks. You'll only regret it later, so stop and think about what you're doing.

3) Quality not quantity

When it comes to social media, quality should be your primary focus. Try not to dwell too much on how many friends, followers or fans you have but how your content can engage the ones you do have. It is this content that will spur on positive word of mouth and attract other users willing to engage with you. With this in mind, refrain from posting 10 sub-par posts a day and focus on several pieces that will drive more conversation and traffic.

4) Take advantage of your bio

The bio section of your social media page can often be the first page visitors see, or one of the first sections they click to. Capitalise on this by ensuring you have your website URL present, display other social network links, location and vital information is accurately and attractively written up. If your bio page is interesting, it will incentivise others to follow you.

5) Posting too much or too little

Let's look at the two extremes, there’s the person who consumes our Twitter timeline with 20 tweets a minute. Then there's the person who shows up once a month on Facebook to vent about how bad their life is. Neither is a good way to approach building a following. Posting too much can and will be considered spammy and posting too little will result in you being easily forgotten.

So what's the magic number? Well that again depends on your audience but several times a day as opposed to several times an hour is a good place to start. Also consider sending the same message out (worded slightly differently) three or four times a day with a gap of a few hours inbetween. This will help you to reach more of your audience, therefore maximising your message exposure.

6) Don't automate messages

You know the drill; you follow someone then almost instantly you get a message from them thanking you for following, with a link to download their latest work. This comes across spammy and discourages any kind of further engagement.

Granted you can't be on social media 24/7, although some people seem to, but making the effort to interact with people goes a long way. By interacting with people through sincere messages presents the image of a real person talking and massively helps to establish trust.

Personally responding to negative comments or compliments is also important. Whatever you do, don't ignore a problem, even if you think it isn't important. Be aware that a good indicator of whether or not a company provides good service or quality support, through a customer’s eyes, is how that brand responds to issues on its website and social networks.

7) Proofraed!!!! (see what I did there)

I'll hold my hands up and say that I've posted messages in a hurry, looked back and yep, full of spelling mistakes. When posting on your phone remember the autocorrect feature, as this can throw in a few curveballs without you realising. You should always take the time to proofread your message, as it's one of the easiest ways to safeguard your reputation.

8) Me, me, me

Social media is about conversation; don't let it all be about you. Don't just talk about yourself or share your own work. Think about sharing and posting other relevant content that will help to generate discussion. Show the people who follow you that you care about them.

9) Improper use of @, # and images

Linking to lots of people in a message using @ cuts down the space to write engaging content (twitter users especially) and leaves your post looking spammy and unappealing. Do you really need to target your tweet at all those people?

When it comes to hashtags, avoid using irrelevant or trending hashtags as it looks cheap and won't help with lead generation. If you're trying to push a holiday promotion and use a hashtag relating to pop music, it might get you noticed but won't help with pushing your promo. Don't saturate your post with hashtags either, keep it to one or two per post. You don't need a hashtag for #this or #that. #justsayno

Last but not least, use visual aids. On the whole, the human race enjoys images, funny and cute ones especially.

10) Being a chatterbox

When using social media, a good frame of mind to have is keeping it short, sweet and to the point. People don't have the time and can't be bothered to read a long winded post. A sentence will usually suffice. Let's take Twitter as an example, its 140 character limit is one of its more well known features and studies have shown that those posted in under 100 characters receive 17% more engagement.

So there you have it, ten quick fixes to help make your social media marketing even better than before, and remember, don't forget to proofread.

Have you made any embarrassing mistakes on social media?

Christian Michaels



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