Social media has become a significantly useful way for companies to directly communicate with their customers and target publics. Being inherently personal platforms, people can get a great understanding of brand values and style from viewing social media accounts like Instagram or Twitter. However, when a company uses social media incorrectly, it can go downhill … and fast.

Here is a compiled list of common mistakes that organisations in general make on social media, and how best to avoid them from happening to you:

1.Not understanding your target audience

Your business might have the best, most detailed social media strategy, but if you don’t understand your target market on social media properly, you simply won’t reach the audience you really need to. Conducting thorough research on your audience is integral for social media success. This can involve surveying your audience, tracking online behavior of said audience (using social media analytics) and lastly, sincere communication with this audience. Taking feedback seriously is important and replying to consumer comments is a necessary step to ensure they feel heard and validated. Ultimately, this improves the reputation of your company too, as people feel like their feedback is understood and is making a difference.

2. Being inconsistent with posting and general activity

There is a fine line for social media activity, as consumers generally don’t want to follow an account that bombards their newsfeed with posts, but they also won’t want to follow an account that posts only once a month. Finding a balance between being active enough to engage customers and ensuring they don’t find your online presence annoying, is integral. Potentially, this means posting 3-4 times a week, but overall its about being consistent and reliable. A good way to remain active, is to use the story feature on Instagram and Facebook. The less permanent/temporary style of this feature makes it seem more casual and day-to-day than an actual post.

3. Having an unbalanced “following-to-followers” ratio

There is nothing worse than a company that is following extremely less accounts than the amount of accounts following them. This is a red flag because it highlights to potential customers that the business is purely about image, and less about creating a community with its audience. One third of Instagram users have made a purchase through a platform on mobile (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, etc.). So, encouraging a long-lasting relationship with customers on social media through following them back creates a sense of loyalty and mutual appreciation.

4. Lacking a personal voice

Appearing too corporate on social media distances your company from your target audience. The point of social media is to allow a casual, conversational means of communication between your customers and your business. Therefore, humour, colloquial language and relatable content are a must.

5. Two words: fake followers

This should be pretty self-explanatory, but authenticity and honesty are integral qualities for any business on social media. With an abundance of “fake news”, photoshop and exaggerated headlines in the media, customers are increasingly searching for something real that they can trust and rely on. Purchasing followers will immediately portray your business as not only desperate, but deceptive. Try building a genuine follower count gradually, by engaging with evidently loyal customers (the ones that always comment, share and like). This could mean replying to their comments, liking their photos, etc.

6. Neglecting to evaluate engagement and reach

After all of the above steps, it is essential to evaluate and analyse your social media results. Looking at what works, and what doesn’t, can help your business understand your audience better, which in turn, allows you to cater your content more accurately to their needs. Using social media analytic tools, and recording engagement results regularly ensures ease of comparison. There are a range of these social media analytic tools online, some include:

  • Google Analytics (for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Youtube)
  • Audiense (for Twitter)
  • Union Metrics (for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

Although these steps can seem daunting, putting them into practice is worthwhile for the online success of your company. It will create a community of loyal followers who engage regularly and trust your social media presence as authentic and will in turn be highly likely to use your products and services.

Intern Agent Bella