10 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

1. Posting the Wrong Image

A creative graphic or image in a social media post is more likely to grab attention than an overload of text. Using a striking graphic to attract your audience is key, but informative content needs to follow these posts. Using a creative image or eye-catching photo draws someone in, but will not inform them enough to continue a loyal following. Its important to focus on content as much as the image you are posting. Avoid using overused stock photos as well. Posting one-of-a-kind, unique imagery will keep your audience intrigued and will give them an authentic sense of your business’ personality and brand.

2. Failing to Invite People to "Like" Your Page

As soon as you have any engagement on a particular post, it is very important to invite these people to "like" your page. As soon as they accept your invitation, you will be able to grow your audience organically with people that are actually interested in your page! You can also attract more followers and leads by using your email account and social media platforms to build your brand. Its important to reach out to your network and invite them to engage, follow and like your content on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and beyond. The more connects you gain through your social media platforms the more traffic you will have on your website too.

3. Dropping the Ball on Engaging and Interacting With Your Audience

Lack of conversation with your clients and followers will instantly decrease the value of your company’s social presence. Creating valuable relationships is key in building your businesses reputation and brand. Social media can be used as banner space, but ultimately being social through your platforms means conversing and engaging with your audience. By building relationships and interacting with individuals you gain trust and become reputable in your specific niche.

4. Not Generating Consistently Good Content

Managing social media accounts can be extremely time consuming, so generating creative and original content can be one of the most important social media marketing challenges to overcome. Make sure your content is relevant to your audience’s needs and wants. Your content should inform your followers about what your business is all about and what you can offer to them. Make sure you have a mission statement that your content is based around. Ask yourself what you are delivering to your audience: useful information, advice, insights, resources, and inspiration. The better the content, the more shares, likes and reactions it will generate.

5. Targeting the Wrong Audience

If you are targeting the correct audience you should naturally develop a connection with them. By targeting the right audience you will connect individually and personally. Before you can seek them out, you need to identify who they are. Age group, income, common values are all key factors in who your followers are. Whether you are a small business, mid-size, or much larger, you have to determine your target audience by creating questionnaires to identify your ideal follower. When creating content for your social media pages, make sure you’re creating content for the channel where your target audience hangs out the most. The way to figure out who they are is doing research and determining your demographic and what channels they gravitate towards.

6. Overusing Hashtags

The main purpose of using a hashtag is to be included in a much bigger conversation with audiences who aren't only your followers. By having a set number of hashtags in your social media posts, this will show your followers that you are sharing important and valuable information and not spamming them. Another key point is, "Don't use hashtags on platforms that don't use hashtags. It looks automated,” explains Bryan Kramer, CEO of H2H Companies & PureMatter. You want your content to feel as organic and original as possible, so keeping your hashtags short and sweet is important. Also, capitalization is key. It helps for your followers to read them much more easily. By implementing hashtags into your posts, you are creating an organic "SEO" for your content through social media. For example, if you use the hashtag #marketing, your postings will appear through a search of that hashtag, allowing others to find you organically.

7. Ignoring the Analytics

In order to grow your business you have to be open to change. Evaluate your analytics and investigate how you are doing. If your social media presence isn’t returning the value you are investing make sure to make the necessary changes and make them quickly. Be on board to testing out a variety of posts. Images, videos, blogposts, live chats, giveaways can all be engaging for your audience or may not be the best way to capture their attention. If you don’t try, you wont know. Your social media pages may take some time to actually gain you profit, but if engagement is up, this can be just as valuable to increase exposure and traffic.

8. Not Utilizing Your Website

Keep in mind that whether you have a small or large number of followers, likes will only go so far. Some of your most valuable traffic can be through your actual website and making it accessible, approachable and audience friendly is key. Your website should be your hub for your audience containing contact info, knowledgable content/blogposts, information on where your physical location is (if you have one) and an intro into what your services or products are. Remember, social media marketing is one aspect of your overall strategy, not the entire plan.

9. Not Taking Full Advantage of the Power of Platforms

When it comes down to it, social media is one of the most valuable tools for capturing the most relevant customers and audience for your business. For your company to get a higher reach level, its important to make some investments. By purchasing ADs, your reach will extend beyond your followers. By optimizing your social media platforms you will begin to gain the following that will boost your company. Make sure to use each channel to engage with potential followers. Don’t wait for someone to follow you, follow them and reach out with an introduction on who you are and what your brand is all about.

10. Not Being Personal With Your Audience

Promote your brand with the help of your staff by showing your audience your personal side. Show them your office or workspace and are share with them your company's intentions or goals. Let your audience “meet” your staff. By becoming friendly with your followers you will show your audience you are open and are interested in actual real engagement. Focus on who your community is and how you can engage them on a more personal level with sharing real, raw content. Ask them questions, take a poll and interact by commenting and engaging in conversations.

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