Social media isn't easy.

There's always a new platform you should sign up for, or a new feature you need to learn about. And everyday you're reminded of just how far behind you are.

But here's the good news.

By simply addressing a few mistakes with your social media strategy, you can improve your results and finally catch your breath.

Here are 3 social media mistakes you don't know you're making.

Social Media Cartoon Comic - Social Media Overload Image courtesy of seanrnicholson

 

1. Not Asking the Right Questions

People always want to know "how many Tweets per day should they send" or "what day should I schedule my blog posts?

But these questions are usually pointless. Social media can't save your brand.

Today, your product and service is your marketing. That means:

  • If you're providing a product, then make it the most innovative, unique and easy-to-use product in your space.
  • If you're providing a service, then make go above and beyond expectations to deliver the best possible customer experience.
  • If you're writing a blog post, then make it the best, most actionable or information-packed post possible.

Instead of worrying about your Klout score, start thinking about your Net Promoter Score.

How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS), take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.

Red Bull and Oprah both have a huge social media presence because they're the best in their business... not because they Tweet 15x per day or started using Pinterset last month.

 

2. Lacking Focus

When the late (great) Steve Jobs first came back to Apple in 1997, he had a lot of work to do. The following excerpt is from MSNBC:

One of Jobs' first goals as CEO was to review the company's sprawling product line. What he found out was that Apple had been producing multiple versions of the same product to satisfy requests from retailers.
For instance, the company was selling a dozen varied versions of the Macintosh computer. Unable to explain why so many products were necessary, Jobs asked his team of top managers, "Which ones do I tell my friends to buy?"
When he didn't get a simple answer, Jobs got to work reducing the number of Apple products by 70 percent. Among the casualties was the Newton digital personal assistant. Unfortunately, the cut-backs also resulted, in part, in a workforce reduction of about 3,000 employees.
"Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do," Jobs says in the book. "It's true for companies, and it's true for products.

People and companies are struggling with the same problems today when it comes to social media.

There's too many opportunities, too many new features, and too many new shiny tactics to try.

But here's the problem. Unless you're in the Fortune 500, you're probably short of (1) time, (2) energy, or (3) money.

If you want to stand out, then you need to be exceptional. So instead of spreading yourself too thin, focus everything on one major platform or social network. How do you decide?

  • Where are your customers predominately?
  • What activities will give you the highest marketing ROI?

Maybe that means you hire a blog writer and focus mainly on content creation and email marketing.

Or perhaps Pinterest for your business is a waste of time, so you can ignore it.

Or there's the possibility that Google Plus is essential for your business because you rely on SEO heavily.

Either way, the point is that if you can answer these two questions and act accordingly, then your marketing results will double in no time.

 

3. Having Realistic Expectations

Marketing guru Seth Godin says that one of the biggest mistakes marketers (and companies) make, is being "impatient".

But what does that mean? Who can be patient when there's bills to pay and competition coming after you?

When Seth said marketers need to be patient, he meant that if you want to make a sale next week, you can't start marketing today. You should have started three years ago.

You can't throw a Hail Mary pass in the last minute of the game and expect to win the game. Social media marketing and sales only work if people trust you. And that process takes time. In the simplest terms possible, there are two ways to market online.

  1. Use advertising to "rent" attention.
  2. Use inbound marketing to "earn" attention.

But guess what? Both are going to cost you something.

If you don't have the time or energy, then you need to spend money on advertising.

If you don't have money to invest, then you need to spend time and energy in creating content, building relationships, and learning a basic SEO strategy.

You won't have hundreds of visits each day when you launch a new website. Traffic won't just fall out of the sky.

You need to You need to understand how to get traffic that will convert into loyal subscribers. And you then need to pick the right online marketing channels for your unique business, and work them consistently, every single day.

Because mastering these techniques is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

And at the end of the day, you'll feel more relaxed and have results to show from it.