Are you sure you’re doing everything right on social media marketing front?

You may think so, but given how limited space your target audience has in their newsfeeds (and patience for scrolling), you are best advised to review you social media marketing practices.

Here are the top nine social media practices you must drop immediately.

#1 Creating and Promoting Content without a Strategy

A part of me dies…

Always dies.

When I hear that a business is sharing and promoting content without a social media strategy in place.

“But isn’t social media meant for sharing content and engaging with your audience?”

Yes it is.

But that’s not the important part.

Why are you sharing that content?

That is important.

It is true that your target audience wants to gain valuable content every day, however, unless your content brings them closer to your business or further into the marketing funnel, you are simply wasting effort, time, and money.

Your content has to be relevant and valuable to your target audience and to your business.

Which means, you have to have a strategy that clearly outlines your target audience for a given timeframe; identifies your competition, and goals; the tactics you will use; your content plan that states the type of content that you have to create, and the resources you will need; your KPIs, and how you will measure success.

So, if you have not created a social media strategy for your content, now is always the right time to start developing a strategy.

#2 You Have Setup Accounts on Multiple Social Media Platform

You need exposure. I can dig that.

You need it on every social platform?

Are you sure?

Do you have the resources to achieve that?

No?

Then here’s the rule of thumb: Don’t dig shallow trenches in the social landscape.

Dig deep ones so that when you catch leads, they’re there for the long haul – and would rather tweet and update from within the dig instead of asking others to stay away from it.

In plain terms, focus your energies. Research your target audience. Find out where they live. Then find out which platforms are the best for your business to live with them. I mean, every platform caters a different type of audience and initiates different types of conversations.

Find out the platform that has your target audience and then create content that will be shared and engaged with on that platform.

#3 Your Content is Disconnected

Is your content linked?

I mean what is your customer’s journey when you promote content?

What will happen next when they click on the content?

Confused?

Okay, here’s an odd case:

A business shares an article it has published on its blog. When the visitor arrives on their blog what do they see other than the blog post? Is the blog part of their business website, or living as a separate entity? Does the blog have CTA’s (Call to Actions, eg: click to call, fill out form etc)?

Given the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of the posts have to be useful and informative and only 20% sales-oriented, does the blog direct the customer to other content pieces? Is it internally linked to other relevant content, so that the visitors stay longer on the website?

Will the visitor stay long enough to be introduced to a lead magnet and subscribe to the emailing list?

What is the blog post informing the visitor about? Is it something directly or indirectly related to the services the business is offering? Is the blog informational and educating the customer about their problem and showing them possible DIY solutions?

Will the visitor remember the brand/business when they actually face a problem? Are the important sections of the website or business visible? For instance, About Us, Services, Contact?

Create a path for your content piece and how the first content that you are creating in your social media content plan is linked to the ones that have already been published and promoted, and ones that are going to be published.

#4 You’re Posting for the Sake of Posting

Why did you create and post the article/post, status, tweet?

Why?

Does it have a measurable target in mind? Will it achieve a strategic objective for your business? Or was the update just so that you remain consistent in regularly updating your posts?

Did you know, people are doing you a favour when they decide to click on your notification or on their news feed.

Every click/tap they do is backed by an expectation: that they will gain something from the effort (yeah, clicking is an effort.)

If your posts fail them, and consistently so, they will move on. Your target audience is very good at filtering notifications with the power of their minds.

Remember, that your end goal is to become an authority, and the only way to do that is by only sharing the most valuable content you can muster.

Create content that will matter.

Content that will be helpful, useful, and valuable to your target audience. Content so valuable that people won’t want to see how often you post, but wait to know when you post.

#5 You’re posting Graphics without consideration

Let me introduce you to #4’s twin: posting graphic content

Again, what’s up with the new content?

Graphic content, especially Infographics and videos are one of the most powerful and evergreen forms of pillar content. They allow you to organically gain backlinks for years to come, IF and only IF you have created them with an end goal in mind.

Backlinks alone are not good enough. But then again if you read my post on social media backlinks, they can greatly improve your seo presence. But back to the main topic, they have to direct qualified traffic to your business.

Graphic content consume a lot of valuable resources and deserve to be well-planned, well before they are published and promoted.

Answer the following:

How is it going to aid you achieve a goal for this week? Or the month? Or the quarter?

Have you set any goals for what you will do:

  • How you will engage with the right audience?
  • Will you leverage the graphic to curate links from other popular websites/blogs/authors and reciprocate?
  • How will you link the content with other existing content pieces you have created?

In the end, the question is: How is it related to your online marketing strategy?

If you don’t know then don’t upload. Work on the strategy first.

#6 You’re “Selling” too Much

Social media is not for selling.

Period.

Hands down. End of story.

People want real conversations on social media, and your content should either:

  • Initiate the conversation your target audience wants to have (answers and solutions to their most commonly asked questions), or
  • Contribute to existing conversations (building on current trends or top most searched items)

You are here to gain their trust and build valuable relationships. Once you have that, you can easily follow the 80/20 rule (80 percent for informative content, 20 percent for pitching your business).

How do you know when you have shared enough helpful content?

By creating content and editorial calendars: Research your target audience to gain ideas for topics and keywords, and create a content strategy where the content pieces are linked together.

This will give you an overview of your social media landscape: the content you will be creating and the platforms on which it has to be promoted. This ensures that you have a good mix for the content to keep your audience engaged and achieve your goals.

#7 You’re Moderating Comments

Seriously?

Do you remember how hard it is to realize that you’ve commented on a blog post and the moderator either forgot to pull it from the limbo, edited it, or thought it unworthy?

Let comments in. Take down as many barriers, allowing your audience to get in touch with you directly.

Allow people to achieve instant gratification of seeing their comments pop on your blog immediately. This allows people to engage with you in real time, even if you do not reply immediately to their comments.

The only time moderation is needed is when you have someone trying to spam, advertising, abusing or breaking any other code of conduct you deem unacceptable (and which you have identified in terms and conditions on your blog/website).

#8 You Avoid Addressing or Engaging With Negative Comments

How many negative comments or criticism did you get on your posts?

None?

I don’t believe you.

This means you haven’t listened to your audience well enough.

This is a serious matter, but I’ll come to “listening to your audience” later because there is an even more serious matter than not having criticism or negative comments: avoiding or deleting the ones you’re getting.

Your audience has a right to share their opinions and simply deleting them and not addressing them simply sets fuel to the fire (read Reddit threads and twitter shares).

How you address negative comments plays a crucial role in building your online reputation and brand. It also lets you understand what your brand maybe doing wrong.

So the next time you have criticism, understand what the person is saying and address them professionally.

#9 You’re Not Tracking and Analyzing Your Social Efforts

Tracking and measuring your efforts is crucial to identifying what is working for your business. It’s something that every good marketer understands. Interestingly, just 37 percent of businesses measure the ROI on their social media marketing efforts.

Social platforms themselves offer a range of tools for tracking and measuring results, whereas stand alone tools such as Google Analytics, Hootsuite, among others offer greater insights into your overall social media strategy.

If you find you need some help with your social media strategy or maybe you want to get into the social media advertising side of things, give me a call personally on my mobile number below.

Managing Director at Online Marketing Whiz.

Alex O'Byrne, loves revealing his secrets to business success through his online marketing blog, if you have any questions you can contact him personally on +61 4 03 638 039 or alex@onlinemarketingwhiz.com.au.