To the average person, growing your brand on social media may seem like a walk in the park. What’s there to know? You sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, heck, why not every platform? You post a couple of times a day—or wait—maybe 10 times a day (the more the better, right?)—and boast about how amazing your company is. Piece of cake. HA–If only!
Social media takes careful planning, patience and ongoing strategic effort. If not managed properly, it could hurt your brand. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most common social media mistakes to avoid.
Social Media Mistake #1: No Strategy
The first thing we do when taking on a new client is figure out their social media strategy. It’s important to know why or why not you should be on a specific social media network and what you’re trying to accomplish with your message.
Many clients tend to think they need to be on every platform, but that’s a misconception and ultimately a poor use of your time. Where you need to be on social media is dependent on where you target market is and what your business involves: Who are you trying to reach? Where does your audience spend most of their time? What is it that you’re trying to get across?
For instance, fashion and food brands are perfect for image-based networks like Pinterest and Instagram, while a corporate finance company would be more suited for a business-focused platform such as LinkedIn.
At Lyra, we sit down and mindfully recommend the major platforms we know you’ll find the greatest success, with reasons behind it to help you understand why. (Check out our video blog for more helpful tips on choosing the right social network.)
Social Media Mistake #2: Too Many (Or Too Little) Posts
Once you have a social media strategy and established your platforms, you can begin posting, (yay!) but now the burning question remains: How often should you be posting?
Great content provides value to your clients. You should never post solely for the sake of posting, but you don’t want to fall to the wayside either. It’s important to strike the balance between engaging and annoying. With the experience we’ve had with our own clients, platform analytics and several social media research studies, our posting recommendations look something like this:
Facebook: 2x a day
After Facebook’s recent algorithm change, high-quality fresh content is key. Posting only twice a day makes it fairly easy to ensure content without going overboard. As for posting times, Facebook insights provides great feedback as to when your fans are online most.
Twitter: (at least) 6-15x a day
Recent research reveals that three or more tweets per day is the point where brands start seeing big engagement. The great thing about Twitter is that it’s a go-go-go platform. Although 6+ a day is a good number to aim for, it usually never hurts to tweet more. It doesn’t need to be content either. Retweets and mentions are a great way to get leverage.
LinkedIn: 1x a day
The best guideline for LinkedIn sharing comes from the site itself, stating that 20 posts a month allows you to reach 60% of your audience; that’s around 1 post per day. We recommend posting first thing in the morning before your audience heads off to work.
Google+: 2x+ a day
Post frequency for Google+ is still a little murky; however with Facebook closely resembling the format and audience of Google+, we’ve adopted the 2 post average per day model. We do sometimes posts more, it really depends on how much good content we have (e.g. if the client is on Instagram and FB too, we can easily share content). The reality is that there’s not a whole lot of folks actively on G+ so we’re at less risk of annoying people.
Instagram: 4-6x a day
We’ve found that Instagram engagements rates stay pretty level whether we post twice or even up to six times per day. The only catch with Instagram is that your followers become attuned to how often you post. Whichever amount you choose, our advice is to stick with it.
Social Media Mistake #3: Overselling
You know that one friend who’s always boasting about something? You don’t want to be that person on social media. While your company may be awesome, your followers don’t want to hear about it eveyr day.
They’re already following you, right? So they must already think you’re at least kind of awesome.
The truth is, no one wants to be sold to. Sure, you want to keep your fans updated on your brand (and that must-attend 50% off sale coming up next week) but there has to be an appropriate balance. We aim for the 80/20 rule: 80% quality content relevant to your target and 20% promotion.
It’s a great benchmark to aim for, keeping your clients thoroughly engaged yet still informed on all the fabulous things your company is doing.
When you sell-sell-sell, you get unfollowed. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, there are several other mistakes to avoid on social media, but these are the three biggies to watch out for. The most important thing is that, no matter how many mistakes you make, never give up.
Social takes time and it can take time to get to know the culture of each network. And (cue sales pitch), when you work with us we make sure these blunders never happen!