Social media marketing is a valuable tool for promoting a business. In the right hands, it can sell, build loyalty, or expand reach. However, if you make a mistake, waves of negativity and user accusations will fall on the brand accounts. This is an optimistic scenario. In the worst case, the company’s pages will simply stop paying attention.
SMM specialists walk on very thin ice. They have to think carefully about each communication so as not to displease the audience.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the Do’s and Don’ts on social media in 2020.
Social media today
- The average user spends 110 minutes a day on one or more social networks.
- All platforms focus on video – including Pinterest, which was conceived as a purely photography service.
- Interaction is more important than ever – comments, likes, reactions allow you to interact with the audience in both directions.
- Personalization – users create their own personal stream of content by watching and liking what they like. For example, the recommendations of another person on YouTube and yours will differ greatly because you are watching different things.
- Create a publishing schedule
Many brands that take responsibility for running their own social media go out the gate with an intense posting routine and then lose interest and just leave their profiles. This is a recipe for disaster, and it proves the need for a publishing schedule.
Social media tools like Sendible, Hootsuite, Buffer can help you get rid of the need to remember when to post. These platforms make it possible to upload content to their “silo” for publication at a later date and time.
- Find the right post frequency
Sustainable posting frequency is perhaps one of the most important aspects of building a brand on social media. Although there is a general consensus in society that the gold standard is publication at least once a day, there are no strict rules for optimizing frequency. But maybe you just need to accept a frequency that you can reliably maintain for a long time.
In the event that you work full time, chances are, you may not have enough time to create original content for seven days to publish each week. If you can only manage two pieces of content, then just post twice a week. The important thing is that you stick to the schedule week after week.
- Separate personal and professional
The leading SMM trend of 2020 is openness and naturalness. People are increasingly choosing to work with companies that have faces.
In a business account, you can and should sometimes talk about your life and about employees, the work of the company and the history of its creation. However, turning a page into a hybrid of a personal account and a business account is a bad idea.
According to Sprout Social research, users sign up for business accounts to:
- follow the news (57%);
- learn about company news (47%);
- track discounts and promotions (40%);
- have fun (40%);
- learn something interesting (34%).
As you can see, subscribers are not eager to find out what you ate for breakfast or what shirt they bought at a sale today. It is better to leave such content for a separate personal account, otherwise you can lose your audience.
- Get creative
Boring brands don’t make for decent social media. This is why it is very important that you get creative with your posts and build interesting brand awareness that is not afraid to take risks and shows humor or some personality. People come to social networks for communication and entertainment. If you turn your page into a storehouse of ads and calls to buy, your audience won’t stay long.
Even if you are promoting an online store, the content should be varied. Videos, interesting articles, product selections, thematic jokes – all these formats will make an excellent company for promotions and links to the site.
Having humorous captions or original memes on your page, such as Instagram Stories or Tweets, can help increase retention.
- Change your post type
Your social media feeds should include some degree of variation. The same old style of 3: 4 aspect ratio photography can become repetitive and some of your followers may start skipping your content without engaging if they are tired of your format. This is why experts always suggest publishing an even combination (or 2: 1: 1: 1: 1 ratio) of the following:
- regular square photos
- vertically oriented photographs
- horizontal (landscape) photos
- gallery of messages
- Reaction to negative comments
Dealing with negativity on social media is not easy. When responding to complaints, it is very important to save face and try to regain the client’s trust. Unfortunately, this does not always work.
Large organizations pay close attention to what their employees write, so it is extremely rare for impolite responses to leak out. This is more likely a sin for small companies, especially if a manager takes over the management of social networks. Needless to say, how such responses affect the brand’s reputation.
- Ignoring customers
And again about the problem of communicating with clients. Many companies sin by ignoring questions and negativity from users on social networks. Sometimes it’s even worse than sending a not very polite response. Try to optimize the workload on employees and give feedback on all incoming requests. This way you will make an invaluable contribution to the development of your business, because 83% of consumers use social media to communicate with brands.
Taking the path of least resistance and setting up auto-replies to reviews is also not a good idea. Unfortunately, machines have not yet learned to recognize sarcasm, so they may give inappropriate answers.
- Ignoring videos
According to statistics, 70% of businesses post more videos on social media today than a year ago. Also, 91% of them are satisfied with the ROI of this content format, 85% consider it an effective tool for gaining attention on the Internet. We must not forget that videos are loved by users and algorithms of social networks.
There are enough reasons to master the format, as well as opportunities. Try adding moving elements or preparing a video presentation. You don’t need a studio or professional camera for this. Simple, but equally effective.
- Publishing without proofreading
Even professors of philology make mistakes in their texts, no one is immune from this. Users will be sympathetic to one or two typos in publications. But if all your notes are written illiterate, you should not count on the favor of the audience. Of course, your subscribers may not report their dissatisfaction, but simply silently draw conclusions and unsubscribe.
Make it a habit to do simple proofreading before publication: it won’t take a lot of time, but it will protect your expertise and audience’s trust.
- Activity in all social networks
To maximize reach, businesses are privately looking to be featured on all popular social media platforms. How appropriate it is, does not ponder. As a result, specialists’ budgets and time are wasted on channels that are of no use.
Before entering a social network, it is important to analyze its audience and compare the prospects with the goals of the company. You shouldn’t break the system and promote, say, building materials on Instagram or Tik Tok.
- Lack of schedule
Posting only when inspiration strikes is the dream of many social media marketers. Unfortunately, in conditions of fierce competition for attention, it will not come true. Regular filing of accounts with quality content is one of the main components of success.
Determine when your audience is most active on social media and schedule posts. Check the timing, topics, formats and then start preparing posts.
- Lack of strategy
How familiar it is to be on social networks, because everyone does this, publish something and wait for the results. In SMM, as in any other field, it is very difficult to achieve success without a strategy.
Of course, social media is too fluid to plan for future promotion in detail. It is enough to set benchmarks: define brand tone, prioritize, list preferred content formats, choose KPIs, assign responsibilities and analyze competitors.
At the same time, the SMM strategy should be consistent with the overall vision of business development and, together with other tools, contribute to the achievement of global goals.
Top 8 Other SMM Mistakes to Avoid
There are also less dangerous mistakes that will not destroy the brand’s reputation, but can seriously slow down the growth of indicators.
- Lack of knowledge of the target audience. You can theoretically imagine who will be interested in your profile on social networks, but it is better to analyze the data of the company, competitors and find out for sure. Segment your target audience and create a variety of content to meet the needs of all subscribers.
- Excessive formality. Your social media presence should be consistent with the overall brand style, but try not to be boring. Even the most serious brands, such as banks, often joke on their accounts and communicate with subscribers in a casual way.
- Ignoring influencer marketing. Influencers are just as good for business as advertising. You can even start collaborating with bloggers who have 1000 subscribers.
- Opt out of advertising. High-quality content and brilliant ideas are good, but you cannot achieve really meaningful results without paid promotion.
- Ignoring statistics. It’s important to monitor the performance of each post and campaign. This is the only way to understand what works and what doesn’t.
- The same content across all social media. By saving time, you are missing out on the unique capabilities of each platform.
- Expectation of immediate results. Social media layout is an investment in loyalty and community, set yourself up for the long journey towards your goal.
- Monotony of content. Social networks are a field for experimentation. Here you can quickly evaluate the effectiveness of hypotheses and test creatives. Don’t be afraid to try something new and different, the audience loves fresh ideas.