While there is no secret formula that guarantees a brand will become a social media success, there are some things brands do (or don’t do) that hinder success. Check out the list below to make sure you aren’t falling victim to some of the top social media mistakes.
5 social media mistakes and solutions
Mistake #1: Too wordy
Twitter got this right – limiting chatty companies, or people in general, was a great idea; no one reads lengthy posts. People want to be able to scroll through their newsfeeds quickly and understand the messages without having to click “read more.”
The word count for what is considered “too wordy” continues to decrease as the popularity of mobile increases; smaller screens make your text stack up and look overwhelming to read. Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters.
Mistake #2: No visuals
Think about the last time you scrolled through your newsfeed. What type of post caught your attention? Most people would answer posts with visuals – graphics, photos or videos. Text is easy to ignore, but visuals are not.
Not all your posts need to include a visual (variety is the spice of life), but many of them should. You can share memes, create an infographic or design a graphic for an inspirational quote, but whatever you do, make sure to size it so that it shows up correctly. Here are a few sizing tips for newsfeed image sizes on Facebo0k, Twitter and LinkedIn:
- Facebook – 1,200 x 628 pixels
- Twitter – 1,024 x 512 pixels
- LinkedIn – 800 x 800 pixels
Mistake #3: Posting all your content at once
Content needs to be spaced out throughout the day for several reasons. First, you want your brand to be on people’s minds several times throughout the day – not just once. Second, people are not going to engage with all your posts at once. They may choose one and leave the rest. Spacing out your tweets, Facebook updates, Instagram pics, etc., increases the likelihood that people will engage with (rather than ignore) your posts. And really, posting all at once just looks bad. Your audience is going to assume that you only sign in once a day to push out all your messages (or, it may look like you forget to check regularly and then post a bunch of content when you remember to log in). Spreading out your content shows that you are committed enough to social media (and your audience) to be online and engaging multiple times per day.
Using a social media scheduler easily solves this problem. Schedule your posts using Hootsuite or TweetDeck so that they are spread out and then log-in at different times throughout the day to do real-time engagement with your audience. After all, the point of social media is communication and communication is a two-way process.
Mistake #4: Not tracking ROI
How do you know if social media is working for you if you don’t track your results? And I am not just talking about “likes” or “followers.” While having more “likes” or “followers” looks good, these are not necessarily indicators of success. For example, when you dig into your analytics you may find that you are reaching only 50 of your 500 followers and only 5 of those 50 are engaging with you. Reach and engagement are key performance indicators (KPI), the numbers that truly show you how successful you are on social media. Ultimately, what is it you want consumers to DO with your content? That’s what you should track as success.
Tracking your KPIs and ROI is easier than ever and a majority of the statistics you need to track can be found on Google Analytics, Twitter Analyics and Facebook Insights – all free to use. You can organize your statistics in an Excel document for easy access and comparison of statistics from month-to-month. The easiest way to set up this document is to make a spreadsheet for each channel you are monitoring (website, Twitter, Facebook etc.) and then each row will be a month and each column will be a different KPI (influence, engagement, reach etc.).
Don’t just log these numbers and put the Excel sheet away until next month; these numbers offer you insights on what’s working, what’s not and how to better your marketing plan.
Mistake #5: Thinking social media is free
Getting a social media account is free, but running a successful account is not. And unfortunately, it continues to get more expensive. If you have been closely monitoring your Facebook analytics for a few years, you have probably noticed a decrease in organic reach. Well, you are not alone. Facebook has changed their algorithm and decreased the organic reach (free reach) for business pages to encourage them to pay.
On a positive note, Facebook advertising is awesome and easy. They give you so many options and allow you target people in more ways then you knew was possible. Check out our blog post on Facebook advertising to learn everything you need to know about “paying-to-play.”
If you are struggling with social media, don’t assume social media is not for your brand. All brands can benefit from social media, you just need to be willing to experiment, be patient, track your results and change your strategy when things are not working.