In this day and age, there’s no shortage of advice on how to effectively manage your social media. Yet even with the wealth of information out there, we continue to see many great brands alienate their audience while missing golden opportunities to expand their sphere of influence. Regardless of your team size or budget, there are proven ways to make social media work for you without spreading yourself too thin. Here, we offer suggestions on how to avoid the 6 common pitfalls of social media management in your quest to stand out above the competition.
- Not engaging with your followers
Brands that neglect to engage with their followers are often the first to declare that social media is not an effective marketing tool. They may see their followers stagnate, engagement metrics tank, and/or traffic that is driven to their website by social media slow. This is because consumers are no longer satisfied with simply being told what’s what—they want to feel connected in meaningful ways to the brands they love.
Social media is more about interaction than promotion, and followers that have positive interactions with your brand are more likely to recommend your organization to others—both on and offline. While it may be that the size of your team won’t allow for someone to monitor comments and messages all day, every day, it’s imperative that you have one or two people responsible for following up in a timely manner.
- Mismanaging negative feedback
While we’re on the topic of follower engagement, knowing how to properly handle negative feedback is integral to protecting your brand. And by properly handle, we don’t mean ignore, hide or delete. The only time a negative post should be removed from your page is if it violates your community standards or is abusive. Otherwise, it’s imperative that you respond constructively (not defensively) to negative comments by acknowledging the issue and offering to move the conversation to a private messaging platform or offline altogether (think email or even a phone conversation). Choosing not to respond at all can make your followers feel neglected, and deleting negative feedback from your page can give the impression that you are trying to cover up an issue.
- Treating all social platforms as equal
Just because you can be on many social media platforms all at once, doesn’t mean you should be. Not only is it difficult to maintain the momentum needed to be successful on multiple platforms, but many brands’ core audience is also concentrated on 2 or 3 platforms. It’s a better use of your time, energy and resources to cultivate your presence on the social platforms favored by the target markets that influence your success rather than trying to be all things to all users.
- Posting too far in advance
Social planning tools are great, and they can be a huge time-saver. However, relying solely on these tools can sometimes make your brand look out of touch. There’s a delicate balance between working smart and remaining timely and relevant. While it may feel like a weight has been lifted by scheduling content in bulk, you forego capitalizing on last-minute trends, events and industry news as they happen. Try to keep your scheduling to 1 month in advance (2 if you must), and look in on that scheduled content weekly just to make sure it is relevant, timely and still up to date.
- Tracking the wrong metrics
It’s hard not to get excited when you see an increase in the number of followers and page likes. This demonstrates interest in your offering and must mean that your social strategy is working, right? Sort of. Reach is important, but it often does not demonstrate real growth. Metrics that measure conversions, website visits and call-to-action activity generated from social media are better indicators of how effective your social media efforts really are.
- Not boosting content
As social media platforms have grown to reach larger and larger audiences that can be sliced in ways relevant to brands, providers are increasingly monetizing. And with this transition, generating meaningful growth and content exposure will be increasingly difficult to achieve unless you start putting some dollars behind your efforts. So, if you are not already doing so, go ahead and start planning a budget to dedicate to these efforts in the near future. To learn more about the why and how of boosting social content, read this.
While these are not the only pitfalls of social media management, they’re some of the most egregious. Be intentional when developing your social strategy, and avoid these mistakes to achieve results that you can build on.