If you’re excited about growing your new business on social media, you should be.
After all, 4.2 billion people use it; that’s over half the global population.
1.7 billion of which are on Facebook, and another 500 million hang out and share images on Instagram daily!
That’s a lot of leverage and opportunity. But for your brand to shine, not sink, you have to nail your social media branding from day one. Otherwise, what should be an opportunity could turn into a branding nightmare.
Brands can lose their reputation because of rookie mistakes like a single error of judgment, a misplaced comment, or an unintentional offensive post.
And it’s unfortunate because these blunders are entirely avoidable.
But you first have to know what they are.
Let us help you take full advantage of your opportunity with our 10 social media branding mistakes to avoid at all costs.
1. Working without a plan
Not having a social media marketing plan for your branding is mistake #1.
New York Yankee baseball legend Yogi Berra may not have been talking about social media when he said the following, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” but his wise words still apply.
If you don’t understand the possibilities that social media offers or implement a plan to take full advantage of them, don’t be surprised if you fail.
Your plan should contain information like you who your audience is, which platforms they use, your best marketing strategies, a list of carefully chosen micro-influencers, how to make your platforms shoppable, and the optimum publishing times for your posts.
2. Not Creating a Content Schedule in Advance
Not all social media users are equal.
Some are most active on Mondays and Thursdays between 8 and 9 am and 3 and 4 pm (Instagram users), while Facebook followers like to come out on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 9 am and 1 pm.
If you publish posts when your target audience isn’t looking, chances are they’ll go unread; if that happens, your platform’s algorithm will notice, and your brand’s rankings will suffer.
When you create a content schedule, it helps you in several ways:
- Ensures you post at the optimum times
- Keeps your marketing strategy on track
- Enables you to back up content ready for release, so you’re not writing every day.
To know which content to schedule, start with your priorities, such as a new product release or event. Always allow time to share user-generated content, as it’s your most powerful marketing ally. And leave room for change in case something relevant pops up.
Use content management software tool like Jarvee to schedule, as they provide everything you need to nail your content strategy down.
3. Assuming your audience is everyone
Before you invest a dime in your social media branding campaign, ensure you’re not preaching to the wrong audience because if you do, your efforts will fall on deaf ears, and you’ll lose your investment. It’s because not every platform suits your brand, and success comes from establishing your brand as the go-to authority on the right social platforms, not all of them.
You discover which platforms your target audience use by looking at your existing customer’s demographics and your marketplace.
Your marketplace often determines which social media platforms you should use. For example, if you’re an industrial company or financial business, then you’d use LinkedIn. However, if you’re an extreme adventure tour company, you’d do well on Instagram and Facebook.
Your audience demographics also play a big part. Research which platforms they use most, then create your marketing plan and curate your content to suit those platforms.
4. Treating all social media platforms the same
Neglecting to optimize your posts for each platform is another rookie mistake.
It’s because every social media platform’s unique and has its own language, and to connect with your audience, you’ve got to speak it fluently!
For instance, if you’re using Instagram stories, you’d adopt a casual approach, post-high-quality product images, engaging titles, short snappy descriptions, and regular customer engagements. While on LinkedIn, you’d take on a more formal approach and write longer grammatically correct posts.
Every platform has specific strategies you must learn, such as best practices, user behavior, content style (images, written or video), length, publishing times, and SEO and optimization tactics.
You can find everything you need to know by looking at your chosen platform’s insights. And if you’re using images, keep in mind that every platform has its size requirements.
5. Having an Incomplete Profile
I’ll keep this one brief, unlike what your profile should be!
So many brands make this avoidable mistake, and to great detriment to their social media success. Social media users like brand transparency and expect to know who you are, what you stand for, and how to contact you.
Make sure they do by completing your brand description, have connections to your other social profiles, a link to your website, consistent branding and a logo, a phone number, and any other means of contact.
The more you tell them, the more they’ll trust you.
6. Not understanding how your platforms algorithms work
Algorithms drive everything we see online, predict what we want to see, engage us, and market the paying advertiser’s products and services. Many new to social media don’t understand this and falsely believe it’s only the quality or regularity of their content that matters.
If you don’t understand your platform’s algorithms, you stand little chance of optimizing your branding strategy successfully. But if you put the research in now, you’ll be in a far better position than your rival brands that didn’t.
You can gain a basic understanding by checking these out:
7. Not Using Original Visuals
A picture says a thousand words, but only if it’s original!
Images drive social media. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Stories wouldn’t exist without them and require a visual to create a post. It’s because visuals engage far more successfully than written content, no surprise there.
Recycling other people’s visuals has its place, but for your brand to really stand out and get noticed, you must post highly original branded images that your audience will engage with, respond to, like, and share.
As that’s how you build a strong brand presence on social media.
8. Failing to Engage with Your Audience Regularly
Would you ignore a customer who walks into your physical store? Of course not; that would be insane and a complete waste of all your branding and marketing efforts.
Failing to engage in regular conversations with your audience amounts to the same thing; after all, social is the name, and social is the game you’re in. If you don’t engage with customers, you run an excellent chance of losing them and receiving a negative review for lousy customer service.
It takes a lot of hard work to build a brand following on social media, and it’s a two-way street. The trick is to monitor conversations regularly and respond accordingly.
Speaking of which, what if it’s a negative comment?
Let’s look at that next:
9. Ignoring Negative Comments
Disregarding or mishandling negative comments is a sure way of setting yourself up for social media failure. No one wants negative reviews or comments, they tarnish our brand’s reputation and decrease sales, but the fact is you’re going to get them.
But it’s not the negative reviews that matter (unless it’s a catastrophic flaw in your product or service); it’s how you react that counts. And here’s the thing, consumers are less likely to trust brands with zero negative reviews than brands who respond positively and productively to negative reviews!
It’s because your negative reviews are an opportunity to show everyone the quality of your customer and how authentic, transparent, and trustworthy your brand is.
When replying to negative reviews, always adopt an understanding and professional approach, listen to your customer, and be sincere. Do it right, and that negative review could help your brand more they hinder it.
10. Failing to Monitor Reactions Once Your Ads are Live
And the final rookie mistake to avoid is failing to monitor your social media campaigns.
Even when your 100% sure everything’s perfect, you can’t launch a campaign, walk away, and let it run itself. You must constantly monitor for people’s reactions, positive and negative, to ensure what you posted is well received.
Because it’s easy to offend a segment of society unintentionally, and bad news travels fast. If you fail to monitor your campaign, you won’t be there to act in real-time, change direction, and implement an immediate response to limit the damage.
Terry O’Toole is an experienced writer and certified content marketer who writes for Tailor Brands. Over the past 30 years he has ran several businesses, both physical and virtual in numerous countries. He now lives on a small Italian island somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean, where during day he writes for numerous websites while sipping great coffee.
But his real passions are making what his son says are the worlds most awesome sand castles and delicious pasta dishes. He admits his son is a captive audience and probably biased.