When it comes to running a small business there’s a lot to factor into your day-to-day and the idea of a social media marketing plan can seem so daunting and unachievable at the best of times. But it’s not all about the number of likes you get, it’s about the relevance of your content and how your ideal customers engage with what you’re putting out.
Here are three common mistakes that are easily avoidable and that can make a huge difference in how your brand performs on social media:
1. Not knowing who you’re talking to
First and foremost, if you don’t know who your ideal customer is then you should close your computer right now and get back to basics with a pen and paper to figure out who it is you’re trying to connect with. Knowing exactly who you’re trying to service falls into the category of business basics: What does your business do? What kind of products/services do you really want to create? What kind of customers do you really want to attract?
Understanding who your crowd is will help you create the right products/services and ultimately the right content to get them interested and hooked on your brand.
2. Trying to be everywhere
When it comes to social media, less can often be more and choosing too many platforms has its downfalls; It’ll take up all of your time trying to create content; you’ll struggle to be consistent; but most importantly, your efforts could all be a big waste of time if your ideal customer doesn’t actually hang out there.
The best way to figure out which platforms to focus your time on is to identify your ideal customer and do your research. Performing a few Google searches using your target market demographics will generally bring up some industry results and give you a few clues as to where to start. But the best way to figure out which social media platforms your ideal customer hangs out on is to simply ask them. Once you know where they like to lurk, focus all of your social media marketing efforts there. Nailing one or two platforms with thoughtful and relative content will be way more beneficial than having an average presence across a bunch of platforms.
3. Using the same content on every platform
I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of checking the ‘Publish to Facebook’ option on an Instagram post at least once. Creating content and being consistent can be really time-consuming when you’re a small business and although it’s tempting to just recycle the same content across all platforms, it’s a big no in the social media world. One reason is that you want your audience to engage with what you’re putting out and if they’re seeing the exact same content across different platforms they’re going to get bored real quick. The types of clients that follow you may differ between platforms as well so you want to make sure you’re getting the right message across. For instance, Instagram can be seen as more casual than Facebook.
Different platforms also have different algorithms for how your content performs so you want to maximise your reach by playing along with their rules. That’s not to say you can’t promote the same piece of content across different platforms, just give each post a unique touch that’s relevant to its application. It could be as simple as changing the heading or modifying the caption. The most important thing though, is to optimise the image for each specific platform so it not only looks good but so that you don’t get penalised for it. For example, Instagram’s image ratio is 1:1, whereas Pinterest’s is 2:3 and they know when you’re not playing by their rules!
So what’s the best approach to avoiding these social media mistakes?
Blocking out time in your calendar to batch and schedule your content is a great way to remain consistent and relevant and to also help you avoid posting just for the sake of it. The purpose of publishing any content at all is to add value to your brand by providing relevant insights and positioning yourself as an expert in what you do. Basically, you want to warm your crowd and build relationships so when they’re ready to buy you’ll be the first brand they think of!