Being great at social media is challenging, but being decent at it is easy.
Unfortunately, being awful at social media is also easy.
When I review businesses that are struggling with their social media, most often they are making all three of these mistakes:
1: No Plan.
If you jump into your car with no destination and just head for a drive, you’ll wander aimlessly, perhaps occasionally driving by something scenic, and likely ultimately end up heading right back to where you started. This is essentially what I see from a lot of businesses; they jump on social media with no plan.
First, you have to know why you’re on social media. What is the objective(s) you want to reach? Every action you take on social media should support the advancement towards achieving those objectives.
You need a strategy. You need content to support that strategy. You need a schedule.
Strategy: Most businesses will have one main objective they want to achieve through their social media, and a few smaller objectives. You need to develop a strategy to reach those objectives. It needs to be written out. Everyone involved must know and buy in to the strategy. You need to ensure you allocate the necessary man power to carry out your strategy.
*Note: You must have a system to monitor and measure the effectiveness of your strategy. Even the greatest of strategies will need to change over-time.
Content: Clients will most often hear me refer to this as “assets.” Promotional only content won’t help much; you need value-added content. You’ll need images and likely video. You need quality and engaging copy. I make a point of specifically listing content as an important part of a social media plan, or rather a plan to obtain/create content, because many businesses I see do not account for this outside of promotional content. If you’re starving for content, you’ll struggle.
Schedule: What type of content will you post and when? It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses fly by the seat of their pants with their social media. On your personal social media, you’ll post when you have something to share or when something funny pops into your head. This does not work for businesses. You can’t just post randomly because you have new content, and very rarely is the new content time sensitive (meaning, you can work the content into your plan and it does not need to be immediately posted).
2: Not Consistent
Consistency is most often the key to success with social media and it is something most businesses lack. They lack it in part because they don’t have a plan, they don’t have a schedule they stick to, and they don’t value achieving their social media objectives. If your plan is just decent, and your content is just decent, but you’re relentlessly consistent, you’ll probably crush all of your objectives.
Make sure to incorporate consistency into your social media plan. Schedule frequent posts (preferably daily). Ensure there is someone actively monitoring social media daily. Have a system in place to check if the person(s) responsible for your social media are being consistent.
If you’re not consistent, your only chance of success on social media is if a post randomly goes viral. Good luck with that.
The biggest reason I see businesses fail on social media is laziness, and most often that laziness comes from a lack of prioritizing social media. Laziness does show itself in the form of a lack of consistency, but it shows itself in other ways.
Like most things in life, if you’re going to “do” social media, you might as well do it well. The thing with social media is, if you don’t do it well, it is not a net zero type of thing. You devalue your business with poor social media. You can’t afford to be lazy.
Laziness on social media is not doing the small mundane things. When I look at most of the successfully social media managers I know, one of the biggest reasons I see that they get great results on social media is because they simply complete all the simple mundane tasks every day without fail. They like every comment. They reply to every comment. They reply to ever message. Invite people to like your Facebook Page that have liked a post. These are simply things, but they can’t be skipped. Be relentless about the small things because you worry about the big things.
Then last, and this might be what harms businesses the most, laziness shows itself in the form of rushing and not taking the time to check spelling and grammar, not sizing images correctly for each social network, and not uploading content directly and specifically for each social network. These things can make your business look bad. These are the mistakes that lead to social media marketers getting fired. These are things entirely within your control.
*TIP: DO NOT CLICK “SHARE” ON INSTAGRAM TO AUTO POST TO FACEBOOK – THAT IS LAZY AND SLOPPY!
Being decent on social media is not rocket science. Have a plan. Consistently work that plan, and don’t be lazy!