Every year around this time, small business owners and solopreneurs set out to plan their best year ever. They download all of the templates and make all the plans and create all the calendars then somewhere around April, they start to wonder… “Why isn’t this really working?”
If you’ve been in marketing or business for longer than a month then you know the feeling. Sometimes strategies just don’t work as planned. It’s a frustrating part of marketing but if you’re starting with a strategy, then you are already a bit ahead of the curve. Because you can keep adjusting your strategy as you need.
In social media, business and, sometimes, in life, you need to make changes as you grow and learn. But, even though you’ll always be adjusting your strategy, we want you to start this year in a really strong position with your social media strategy.
So we are sharing the top social media strategy mistakes to avoid in 2019!
1. No strategy at all
The absence of a strategy is still a strategy mistake! In case you missed it, it’s now 2019 and social media has become extremely competitive. You have to be smart and strategic about it if you want to see results from it.
Also, it’s important to note that posting daily or on a regular basis is not a strategy. Consistency is one very important piece of the puzzle but it’s not the whole puzzle.
Your strategy might take a little bit of extra effort up front. But it’s going to save you a lot of wasted time and energy later on down the road. If you want to get started with a strategy, start with this post.
2. Measuring the wrong metrics
Social media has changed drastically since it first arrived over a decade ago and the metrics that used to important really aren’t as important anymore. But many people are still focused on those circa 2007 goals and it won’t get them ahead in the current landscape.
For example, many businesses used to obsess over the number of followers they had on their social accounts. In fact, so many people obsessed over these numbers that buying followers and fake followers became commonplace. This is a huge marketing mistake!
You are wasting time reaching fake accounts or people not interested in your business instead of engaging with the people who will actually buy for you.
When you set your metrics, be sure you can identify how they relate to your bottom line and your overall marketing goals. If they don’t relate, then you shouldn’t waste time focusing on them or even measuring them!
For example, let’s take the follower growth metric. What do followers actually mean to your overall goals? Does an increase in followers correlate in an increase of leads? Or does an increase in followers lead to more website traffic? If the answer is yes, then follower growth is a great metric!
But if followers don’t correlate to more leads or website traffic, then you may need to ask yourself why that metric is important.
3. Boring or inconsistent voice
Remember when we said that posting daily isn’t a social media strategy? Well, the same rule applies to just posting a link or an image without any context or caption or personality behind it.
Please don’t bore your followers until they start unfollowing you!
Social media is called social for a reason. You can’t be social if you’re boring. Your brand voice is just as important to social media as your visuals.
We know not every brand voice is going to be snarky like Chipotle or as warm as Dove, but we all can add a little more personality to straightforward boring captions. If it helps, think of the values, message and personality traits for your brand.
4. Relying too much on automation
Don’t look so surprised! Yes, a social media scheduling tool can be against over-automating your social media!
Automation is a little bit like sugar. It can be really great in moderation. But if you add too much of it, then it’s just going to wreck your marketing.
People really want brands to be social on social media. Which means, there needs to be a person behind the engagement and posts. If you use a bot to comment “Cool pic!” on every single photo under a certain hashtag, that’s not authentic engagement and it’s not going to grow your audience any faster.
At Edgar, we recommend automating your posting so that you can then engage and be authentic in conversations and comments. It’s a great way to use automation but still be social without spending all of your time glued to your computer.
Edgar users say using Edgar to automate their posts saves them an average of eight hours a week! That means you can spend four hours engaging on social media and have another four hours to relax, take a class or spend time with your family!
5. Posting the same messages on every platform
Repeat after me: not all social media platform are created equally.
Every platform has its own strengths, niches, and audiences. Copy and pasting the same piece of content across every single platform is a boring user experience for your followers and it’s an ineffective use of each platform.
To put it this way, you wouldn’t speak French in Germany so don’t try to share a Twitter post directly on Instagram because it wouldn’t make any sense!
It’s important to understand the differences between social networks and what types of content and formats do well on each social network. For instance, some networks (like Twitter and LinkedIn) are better for sharing links while some (Facebook and Instagram) are better for video.
Take some time to understand the language and customs of each platform. Remember, you don’t have to be on every platform! In fact, if you’re a solopreneur or entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be on every platform! It’s better to excel at a few platforms than be mediocre on every single platform.
6. Only sharing promotional content
It’s time to stop sharing content that will only benefit you! Constantly pushing sales and offers on social will be an instant turn off to followers and will kill your strategy before it even has a chance to get going! Remember, your followers don’t care as much about your business as you do and they will not be entertained by constant updates about your sales or products.
Your content should do one of four things for your audience: inform, inspire, educate or entertain and ideally, your social media feeds should do all of those things. So if you inform your customers of a sale one day, then your next post should either inspire, educate or entertain.
It’s all about balancing your content and creating valuable posts for your audience. Absolutely no one wants to be friends with that person who only talks about themselves and no one wants to follow a brand that only talks about themselves!
7. Ignoring your strategy
Ok, even we’ve been guilty of making this social media strategy mistake! You create your strategy and you have a plan and then… business gets busy and all of a sudden your social media becomes your last priority and you’re just hustling to keep posts going out and suddenly you haven’t thought about your strategy in months!
Your strategy is something that is going to grow and evolve but it can only do that if you pay attention to it.
Of course, a strategy is meant to save you time and help your social go further with less effort so you don’t need to check in on your strategy every day. However, once a month or every few weeks, you should measure your social media metrics and track if you’re hitting your goals. [Remember Mistake #2!] This way you can see if your strategy is working or what parts need to be adjusted.
It might be most important to remember that there is no perfect social media strategy. You will constantly be learning and making changes as you grow. However, these mistakes will never be part of any successful strategy, make sure you avoid them as you head in 2019!