Social Media: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

When I mentioned Twitter, the client snapped: “We tried it. Social media doesn’t work!”

I’ve heard that before. After the meeting, I checked the contentious Twitter account – what there was of it. Twenty random tweets over three months.

If you feel that social media isn’t working for you, it’s time to take a close look at what you’re doing.

Could you avoid these mistakes?

Mistake 1. Lack of planning

Are you planning your social media campaigns? For best results, integrate social media into the rest of your marketing – social media should be part of all your marketing efforts.

You can:

  • Integrate social media with search marketing (SEO). Create content around your marketing plans, and use social media to encourage engagement;
  • Integrate social media with your email marketing. Ask questions, then encourage recipients to respond on social media. Again, this encourages engagement with your brand;
  • Integrate social media with events. What events are coming up? An “event” can be anything at all. Perhaps you’re launching a product, or are scheduled for a trade show… If you’re sponsoring a sports team, tweet and post about upcoming matches.

Mistake 2. Impatience

Your social media accounts take time to grow. Five followers and likes become 50, and then 500.

Tip: buying followers doesn’t work. Your accounts will grow organically, as you promote your presence, and engage on the networks.

Mistake 3. Failure to engage

Social media is social. Be available, and engaged. Encourage your customers and prospects to chat to you. Respond to queries. Ask questions.

Consider offering coupons, and running contests.

Woobox specializes in social promotions; it’s used by two million brands. Visit their site. They offer many ways for you to engage your customers and develop new followers.

Mistake 4. Hashtag dumping

You’ve seen hashtags: words preceded by the “#” hash sign which identify messages on a specific topic. Although they’re useful, they’re ugly and confusing when they dominate a message.

Use them as they’re meant to be used, and create your own to identify promotions. If you’re running a Christmas picture contest for example, you could ask people to post an image with a special hashtag, such as #mychrispic. Your hashtag can be anything you choose. Keep it short, and identifiable – make sure it’s not already in use.

Mistake 5. Wordiness

Whichever network you’re on, keep your messages short. Attach images to your messages: they get more retweets and Likes. People browse social media; images catch attention.

On Twitter, you’ve got 140 characters, or around 25 words for a message. Don’t use all 140 characters. Leave space for retweets.

You have more space on other networks. Google+ gives you lots of room for your messages, but even there, use a mix of short messages, with the occasional longer post.

On Pinterest, images are vital; they’re the key to repins and engagement.

If you feel that social media isn’t working for you; try again. You may discover a powerful new marketing tool.