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Social media. A term you likely hear daily – especially if you’re running a business. The social media sphere is an excellent way for your brand to connect with your audience. After all, it’s the digital age – but it’s not always so groovy, baby.

When it comes to successful social media marketing, every marketer or influencer has an approach or magic formula they swear by. Many tactics are worth a try – and indeed, being experimental with your social networking is key to figuring out what works best for your brand. But few people take note of the mistakes – some of them detrimental to your brand’s social presence. Ensuring your company uses these channels wisely is always a good idea. So here are seven things that are absolute social media no-no’s – that you should stop doing right now!

1. Not Updating Profiles Regularly

Admittedly, it’s an obvious one. But you’d be surprised by how many businesses create social media profiles on various platforms and then neglect to update them regularly. New phone number? It’s time to update your contact information. New logo? You should refresh your social banners and profile pictures. The same goes for location, trading hours, and any other standard information that could potentially mislead prospective clients.

In fact, it’s better not to even “manage” social media accounts if you’re going to neglect updating them. Most social platforms like Twitter, G+, and LinkedIn move at the speed of light – well, nearly. And if your last update was a month ago, then you’re not doing it right! While it may be time-consuming to update your accounts continuously – the consistency will pay off.

2. Not Picking Relevant Platforms

Where is your audience hanging out? What platforms will allow you to best connect with your customers?

Don’t try to be on every single social media platform. First of all – it’s not humanly possible (especially if you’re a business owner taking on your marketing function too). The social networks you decide to have profiles on should be based on your audience.

You might think that creating an account on EVERY social media channel means you will reach everyone. But social media management requires consistent, concentrated effort – and in the end, the platform might not be relevant to your target audience.

For example, you might like the idea of Instagram, but trying to reach your customers through the “gram” might not be the best idea if your target demographic is baby boomers.

Do your homework! It will save you a significant amount of time. There are many social media channels, but not all of them are a good fit for you to reach your audience. Choose a handful and put all your energy there!

3. Not Having A Strategy

The biggest mistake that businesses make with their social media networking is not having a game plan. While there might not be a perfected, one-size-fits-all answer, you can learn from what other brands are doing and see if this works for your social strategy.

Mastering your social media strategy is a delicate balancing act. It needs to be implemented, monitored, and tweaked – as required. Brands so often neglect social listening. You’ll soon get a feel for what your audience responds to and connects with most – let them guide you.

Once you know what your strategy entails, don’t fall into a social slump – stay consistent with your posting. Post regularly. Don’t let your audience forget about you. That being said, please don’t spam them! That’s a sure-fire way to get unfollowed!

Side note: when setting up and managing your accounts, be sure not to break the two cardinal rules: following everyone or following no one. Social media is a two-way street!

4. Not Creating Value For Your Followers

Stop posting stuff just for the sake of it. Take the time to decide whether this content is relevant to your audience – if it doesn’t engage or add value, then it’s not social! Social media should inspire conversations with people.

Did we mention social listening? Yes, well, we’re repeating it because that’s how important it is. If you aren’t giving the people what they want, they’ll either stop engaging with your brand, unfollow your account, and eventually move onto a brand that is “speaking their language.”

No one wants to follow a brand that only promotes itself. Social media is all about engagement and conversation. Not just your latest promotion. Two-way street remember? So, if it’s not relevant to your brand and audience – don’t post it!

5. Not Engaging With Your Audience

So you’re posting relevant content, and people are starting to take notice. Now someone’s left a comment or sent you a message. Responding in a timely fashion is vital! If you want them to feel like a valued customer, answer their questions, respond to their comments (even if it’s just thanking them for sharing their thoughts), and address their concerns. Don’t delete negative posts – do your best to acknowledge their side of things. You can learn from customers who voice their dissatisfaction and improve on your product or services.

The point being: Don’t ignore your followers.

6. Not Tailoring Your Content To Current Real-World Conditions

Besides the fact that the entire world is facing a global pandemic – tragic events happen all the time. And while auto-posting saves you time – sometimes the timing could be off. More and more people expect brands to post conscious marketing content – it’s a sign of the times, and ignoring this could make your brand seem out of touch and undermine your marketing efforts to appear transparent, engaging, and human.

An excerpt from our blog post on 6 Major Social Media Trends to Look Out for in 2021 is a good rule of thumb for creating content for the current climate:

  • Community – it’s essential for brands to focus on uplifting their immediate ecosystems, such as sourcing products from local businesses instead of international ones.
  • Contactless – brands need to embrace the social distancing trend and support business models that promote contactless practices, such as “tap and go” bank cards.
  • Cleanliness – brands need to adapt their strategies to foster the cleanliness- focused society we know live in. An excellent example of this is KFC temporarily dropping their “Finger Lickin’ good” slogan.
  • Compassion – this ties into the socially-aware climate we are now living in, with people wanting brands to share and create content that uplifts, supports, and fosters kindness.

7. Expecting Overnight Success

All that being said: social media isn’t a magic wand. If you expect to see results, you need to be prepared to put in consistent effort. You are building and growing your online community. Social media can play a crucial role in any brand’s success. It will pay off, but you need to give it time. And even then, you will need to continually listen to your audience, evolve with social platform advancements, and adapt your content to suit the global landscape.

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