I’ve managed many social media accounts via agency, individual company, and freelance. I’ve recognized quite a few common social media mistakes businesses make that prevent them from growing. Everyone has social media accounts these days, but there are very distinct differences from the pros vs the regular people. Lucky for you I’ve studied the accounts and and actions of those who succeed and those who fail and took note of when my own accounts started growing to help you.
Treating it Like Your Personal Account
This is by far the most common problem I’ve seen in business owners and bloggers on social media. I am no exception to falling into this trap, but the day I stopped treating my accounts as my own personal accounts and started focusing on my business was the day I started gaining more followers.
This could be anything from weekend photos with the family, a tweet complaining about a client, or a political meme/gifs. A good rule to live by is: If you would post it on your personal page, keep it off of your business page.
The one caveat to this rule is Instagram Stories. This is the one place you can show the behind the scenes. You can make local recommendations, let people know who is behind the still shots on your feed, but I still wouldn’t complain about your clients here. The trick here is to make sure it all flows well and you’re telling the same story from static posts to story, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter.
Not Posting Enough
There is a lot of talk about how many times a day you “should” be posting on instagram. I have always found (through the ever-changing algorithms) that on Instagram you need to be posting more often to keep your content fresh. I typically stick with 2-3xs a day depending on how much content I have and what time of year it is (holidays and specific sales are big for affiliate sales, so I post more). Everyone’s following is different though, so pay attention to your analytics and figure out what your audience likes, and then stick with it. However, the bare minimum you should be posting is once a day.
Not Posting the Right Content
This is a big one for me. I have managed tons of businesses who insist on being on Instagram just because they think they should be, but they don’t have any content to post. Instead they want to repost influencers’ images, claim stock photos as their own, or worse steal photos off of google image search. As a consumer this tells me nothing about who you are as a brand or why I should buy your product or service. That isn’t to say make every post a sales message, but you do have to maintain a personality and a brand image. This goes for all platforms, not just Instagram. On Facebook or Twitter you have to do more than just link to other websites or retweet celebrities. If you aren’t blogging on your own site, you need to at least be posting original images or updates relevant to your business and your business only.
The moral of this section is that you can’t rely on other people’s content to send an accurate message of who you are as a brand. If you can’t create content for your brand, hire someone else to do it.
Not Knowing Where to Focus
So many businesses think they need to be everywhere at once. This is actually something I noticed bloggers do very well, focusing on one or two platforms that really move the needle. Especially in a small business, no one has time to be awesome on every channel. If you are a visual business with products and photo shoots or just have really awesome design or video skills, Instagram is your platform. If you have frequent updates and a strong brand voice and personality, Twitter is your platform. If you have press articles, information, or blog posts to share, Facebook is for you. Each platform comes with its own set of challenges, demographics, and benefits. Ultimately, you need to figure out where your customers are, and how they like to be spoken to.
Lack of Consistency
Another common social media mistake I see is the lack of consistency in posting. Between number of posts/day (see above) and what time you’re posting, if you aren’t consistent, your audience has no idea what to expect from you or when they can find you. If your audience know what to expect, they’ll keep coming back! So check you analytics (see next section) and find your best time, best photos, and best editing styles, then replicate it every day!
Not Having a Business Account
The second you decide to run a business whether it’s a blog or a small company, you need a business account on all social media channels so you can track your analytics. I don’t believe that Instagram throttles business accounts (at least not yet) and the benefits are greater than a lost impression or two. You absolutely need it for the analytics. With the most recent Instagram algorithm update, other apps will have less access to the data they need to track your stats. Instagram will become the best and likely only place to get the most accurate data to track your impressions, follows, swipe ups on stories, and so many more interesting analytics! Also, the swipe up feature on Instagram stories is awesome. Once you hit 10k you’ll need to switch to get it! Easy contact, you don’t have to take up room in your bio or make people search for your info in the about page. In a business account, there are easy buttons for your potential customers or partners to find your email, directions, or phone number. Ultimately, it makes you look more professional, and makes it easy to contact you.
Every account and audience is different, and there isn’t necessarily a one-size fits all solution, but I’ve seen these mistakes across many industries. Each business wondering why they aren’t seeing the results they want.
Still don’t know what’s going wrong on your social media accounts? Hire me!
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