7 things your business shouldn’t be doing in social media marketing
No matter if you have been managing social media accounts for brands for years, or just getting started, sometimes marketers just want quick tips on how to promote their business via social media.
A bit ago I shared an Instagram Reel talking about some social media mistakes I have seen North Bay businesses — and myself — make with content creation, sharing it online, and engaging with their communities. And it received a lot of traction from marketing friends saying they need to work on one or more of these “mistakes.”
Here are seven common mistakes that every marketer should avoid if they want their social media marketing efforts to achieve their goals:
1. Never engaging!
I’ll say it again: social media is not a billboard. The platforms are meant to cultivate a social interaction between people, and this is no different for brands. Connections are the key to long-term relationships and sales. The best part is that the majority of community building is 100% free. You don’t need a huge marketing budget; you don’t need to buy followers. But it does take time. If you set aside dedicated time to serve and foster your community online, you will see growth.
Spend 10 minutes a day engaging with people who leave questions or comments. Check your location tags and thank customers for sharing pictures from your place of business. Look through local hashtags like #SonomaWine or #SonomaEats and leave well-meaning comments on Twitter or Instagram. (This doesn’t work on Facebook, unless you are doing it from your personal page, not your brand page.) Comment on Instagram stories from people you follow.
2. Not planning ahead
If you’re just sporadically posting for the sake of posting because that’s what you think you need to do, you’re never going to see results. This will quickly become a cycle that leaves marketers feeling like social media doesn’t work.
It does work. You just need to plan your content ahead of time so you can provide value to your audience. Then follow it up with a call to action to actually sell your product or service.
Bounce point: By planning content ahead of time and scheduling your images and videos, you are left with much more time in your day to complete everything else that is a part of your daily job.
By batching your photography and content writing on different days of the month, marketers can have content for an entire month and not have to stress about what to post in the moment.
That often just ends up not providing any value to their target audiences. Planning ahead means marketers are more intentional with what they share, which leads to a more engaged community, and also more sales. Learn more with this free guide so you can plan ahead. Also, utilize a social media scheduler (e.g., Sprout Social, Agorapulse, Plann, Planoly) for your content so you know what’s coming up.
3. Not editing photos
I do still think that relationships are more important than a pretty picture. But let’s be honest: There are a lot of bad images out there. If you are creating content for social media, learn the basics of photography, even with your phone. Don’t shoot in 100% sunlight, be aware of your angles, and utilize the editing tools on your phone to enhance your pictures.
Just a few small tweaks can make an image or video look better. If you are the one managing social media for your brand and you still aren’t enjoying the photos you take, then turn to outsourcing. Have a photographer/videographer come in once a quarter to take pictures that you can use over and over again, or find someone else at your business who takes good photos, and have them do batched photo shoots. Then add all of the photos to a cloud storage service like Dropbox so everyone at your company can use them.
4. Ignoring DMs
Ignoring direct messages or comments from your customers is basically telling them that you don’t care what they have to say.
Each day you work on social media marketing, make sure to spend a little bit of time engaging with your audience, answering questions, and checking your direct messages. Sometimes there are great questions hiding out in the Instagram direct message area that you might never see if you don’t search for it.
It’s especially important as businesses open back up because hours look different and customers may be confused about what time a retail business is open. A wine customer via my Instagram page said “I don’t know how many times I DM’ed a business about reservations (because it wasn’t obvious on their website) and they never got back to me. Two wineries lost my business for not responding over the course of a week.”