Three mistakes to avoid on social media

27 July 2016

Social media – two small words that seem easy to understand, but can actually be quite the opposite. Every day I see countless businesses get it wrong, and as a result it damages their brand. Here are three mistakes that so many businesses make on social media and how you can avoid them.

Shameless Promotion

Marketing is all about gaining and holding attention, and the best way to do this is by putting out valuable content that your audience will like. If all your posts are blindly promoting how great your products or services are, that’s not very valuable. For every promotional post there should be at least three valuable pieces of content.

Imagine your business as a person at a networking event. You should be talking to others, engaging in conversations, seeing how you can help them. If you’re the guy that just interrupts conversations to talk about how good you are or immediately try to sell something, you’re not going to be very popular. When it’s in this context it seems obvious which is better, yet the irony is that this happens every day on social media.

Key takeaway: Offer three pieces of valuable content that you know your audience will love before posting a promotion. Fewer product posts will build trust and increase your conversions.

Not making content native

This is huge. In fact, this is probably the biggest mistake people make on social. Every platform is different, with different rules, different languages and different users. Content is king, but context is God.

For example, Instagram is a very visual platform. You cannot post text-heavy content or ugly imagery. Snapchat is about short and sweet images and video, and you have to post accordingly. You cannot take one piece of content and blast it on every platform – it doesn’t work.

Key takeaway: Take a few minutes to tailor your content and message to the platform.

Trying to be on everything

There are 20 dominant platforms and most of them have more than a million monthly users. You might think that the more you can be on, the more customers you can reach, right? Wrong.

If you’re a busy business owner, you should pick two to three platforms and try to post every day. Don’t get 10 and post once a month. There’s nothing worse than a dead account so if you’re not going to actively use a platform, delete it. And remember in the point above that it has to be native, you can’t take one bit of content and post it everywhere.

Key takeaway: Define your audience, understand where they are, choose two or three platforms you know your customers use and focus on them. I recommend Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for businesses that lack a stack of time.

For tips on how to use Snapchat and Instagram for business, check out my blog here.

If you avoid all these mistakes, you will instantly be ahead of most competing businesses.

Mitch Hills

Director at Mastered Marketing, The Exceptions Network

Mitch is a young Australian entrepreneur overflowing with motivation, and passionate about creative businesses. He is the director of Mastered Marketing (helping small businesses tell their stories), and The Exceptions Network (a community for young entrepreneurs interested in starting or growing businesses). Mitch posts new articles and videos every week…keep up with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @mitchills.

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