The digital and social media world is, at the same time, fascinating and dangerous. Countless opportunities for communication and interaction open but, at the same time, you run the risk of wasting a lot of time using them, sometimes incorrectly. Here are nine errors you should avoid when using social media.
1. Believe social media marketing is ineffective
Social media is not just for teenagers and technology nerds. Social media platforms reach most of the population that has internet access and all social levels, and these are important audiences. Do not ignore them.
2. Treat all platforms equally
As you wouldn’t try to communicate in Italian in China, in each social media platform you should use the appropriate language. Each social channel has its own language and rules, its audience and its habits. Twitter, for example, is suited for “in the moment” discussions, given the high cadence of messages going through; Instagram was built to share photographs; Facebook is a way to share among friends and family, but is also useful for other organizations. To communicate effectively, you should know the platform well and adapt your speech according to its characteristics.
3. Ignore the audience
Your audience likes to feel they’re listened to. One of the worst things you can do is be silent. Not to answer, or to answer with something out of context is, at least, a lost opportunity.
4. Publish too many marketing messages
Authenticity is fundamental in communication. Your fans and followers know all too well when you’re “selling” something. Promote your “projects”, be they products, services or events, but also give added value in the form of other content. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has an expression, which is also the title of one of his books, that is “jab, jab, jab, right hook”. This largely means “give, give, give, ask”. You should provide useful content and information, before you ask for anything that can benefit you.
5. Use hashtags the wrong way
Hashtags are a powerful tool to reach more people. A “Hashtag” is a very common expression with social media users. It is a keyword, preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are used to categorize the content you publish. They create a dynamic interaction of your content to other social media users that are interested in the subject at hand.
Think hard about which hashtags to use, according to the context of the publication. They should be related to the content you’re publishing, and they should never mislead your followers.
6. Not to invest in the long run
Results are rarely immediate. You should maintain consistency and regularity in your publications. Little by little, you’ll build an audience. Interaction will also come with time. Build a publication strategy and stick to it.
7. Little interaction
As I’ve mentioned, people like to feel heard. Answer any comments you have (provided they’re sensible) and give your readers useful information. They will feel like they are part of the community, and will help spread the word about you.
8. Not to diversify
Take a look at the types of content you publish on social media. Is it always the same theme? Try to diversify the type of publications you make. Some examples are:
- Posts on your blog (if you have one), essays, videos, photos,
- Links to other external content, useful to your followers,
- Sharing of posts by other players in you area of activity.
9. Being on too many platforms
There are countless social media platforms, and the tendency is that they will continue to evolve, and that new ones will appear. But only some will be relevant to you and your activities. Choose carefully and be effective. It’s better to be in just two platforms with dedication and efficacy, than to be in seven and not have the time to update them.
The world of social media is fascinating and dynamic. But it can become a time sucking activity if you are not careful. You should manage your presence well, and interact with your followers, but don’t overlook the other aspects of your activity. Balance is the keyword.
Photo by Yolanda Sun