5 Things You Need To Stop Doing On Social Media: for businesses

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1) Mixing personal with business

One of the biggest things I see when I am doing social media consults or critiques for clients is that they often mix content that is more personal in nature with content meant for their customers/clients.

It’s good to let your personality shine through, but not by posting photos of what you had for breakfast, your new outfit, or even your kids. Save those posts for your personal pages and profiles. Let your personality shine through in your words, the way you speak through text online and engage with your online followers, and your branding.

As a general rule, unless you are in the food industry, keep the food pics off your business profiles. If you want to add a personal touch, and it’s appropriate for your business social media strategy, post pics of yourself, but not your kids. And new shoes or outfits? While adorable, unless you made it with your own two hands to sell under your business name and are modeling them, don’t post those either.

2) Posting content that is irrelevant to your target market

Posting personal content is often a symptom of “I don’t know what to post!” syndrome. So, what SHOULD you post about?

Things that are relevant to your target market/audience. Who buys what you are selling? You should KNOW this answer BEFORE you start a social media campaign. You have to know who you are trying to reach and appeal to before you can possibly know HOW to appeal to them. Do your research.

Is your target audience comprised of stay at home moms with toddlers? Perhaps kid’s DIY projects, preschooling tips, kids snack recipes, etc. would interest them.

Is your target market newly engaged women? Perhaps engagement rings styles, wedding décor, guest book ideas, etc. would interest them.

Get in your target buyer’s head and post things that will make them stop to see what you have to say!

3) Posting too much content that has little to no value

Another symptom of “I don’t know what to post!” syndrome is posting too much content that really doesn’t offer any lasting value.

Memes, feel good quotes, and “have a nice day!” type posts come to mind. Don’t get me wrong, these are great posts to sprinkle lovingly into the mix of content you are sharing, but if 40% or more of your content are these kinds of posts, then you seriously need to start mixing it up a little.

Aim for a balance of content, comprised of supplementary content (shared photos, links, and videos), original content (informational posts or graphics that you wrote/made and promotional posts) and minor posts (memes, quotes, comics, etc.). A good rough breakdown of what that would look like is, of all the posts made in a week or month’s time: 10% minor, 20% original, 70% supplementary

4) Posting inconsistently

When you are first starting out, and especially if you don’t know your target audience, it can be really tough to come up with enough content to fill your social media calendar on a daily basis. Some people post like crazy, then go radio silent for a while, then come back and post like crazy again. Others might post once every 3 or 4 days, routinely.

The key to a good social media strategy is to post daily (or on some defined schedule based on the social site). Regardless of whether anyone is engaging with your posts or not. Using a post scheduler, like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tailwind, or Later, can really help you stay on top of your posts. You basically can sit down once and map out your posts for a week (or more) at a time. Set it and forget it, then you can spend your time doing other things such as replying to comments or working on other business needs.

5) Trying to be everywhere at once

Probably the biggest reason for posting inconsistencies isn’t that you don’t know what to post or you don’t have the tools/time to post. Probably the BIGGEST reason is that you’re trying to be on all the big social sites and build a presence on all of them at the same time.

DON’T DO THIS!

You can claim your profile names, so no one else snatches up your preferred handle, sure. But you don’t need to be posting on all social sites from the get go. Do your research and decide which social platform is the most promising for your business outreach.

Some things to consider are:

Which platform has users that fit in your target audience? For instance, if you’re trying to reach 18 year olds, you might want to check out snapchat. If you’re trying to reach 30 or 40 year olds, you probably want to be on Facebook.

Which platform fits your content sharing strategy? If your main focus is video, then Periscope, FB Live, SnapChat or YouTube are all great options. If your main focus is stunning photography, then Pinterest or Instagram is where you want to be. If your main focus is building a community, then Facebook or Twitter is where you want to be.

Pick one social media platform. Build your following and get your groove going so that you and consistently post valuable content that is relevant to your target market. THEN once you can run that profile in your sleep, set up your secondary social site and do it again.