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Like all marketing strategies, social media requires planning
Like all marketing strategies, social media requires planning

Top social media faux pas to avoid

Social media can be a time-consuming and thankless task but only for business owners that don’t take the time to investigate why. MANDY EDWARDS discusses how to get more out of social media in 2016.

Every day I come across business owners who are struggling with using social media in their marketing plan.

I eat, live and breathe social media so it’s become second nature; however, most business owners are focused on what their business does rather than on delivering effective social media strategies.

If social media isn’t working for your business, you need to figure out why. Sure there will be business operators who think social media is a folly – a waste of time and resources – but when social media works, it’s a beautiful thing.

So let’s take a look at why social media marketing may not be delivering for your business right now.

Too many platforms

I understand the idea behind wanting your business to be listed everywhere but, realistically, this can’t happen with any real effectiveness unless you hire a person to handle each social media platform.

If you attempt to give every platform 100 per cent, you are going to fail because you’ll spread yourself too thin and fall through the cracks.

Begin with one platform and one platform only. Choose the social media network that the majority of your market is using and give it 100 per cent. Once you have that platform working properly, you can add a second one.

Everyone might be saying you have to be on Instagram or Pinterest, and that you need Snapchat; however, the only way to decide is to listen to your audience.

If you need help pinpointing where they are, the easiest way is to think of the type of consumer you want as your customer. From there, determine what platform they use, based upon the people you know who are just like them. If this isn’t working, perhaps you can just ask your customers when they’re in store.

Ditch the pitch

The last thing anyone wants to see in their news feed – on any platform – is sales pitch after sales pitch after sales pitch.

Social media is about building relationships, not direct marketing. Businesses that put time into building relationships will find sales come from that.

Think of how many Facebook pages you’ve ‘unliked’ because of what they do or don’t post. Avoid strolling down that path. Instead of posting product, ask your audience questions. Get to know what they like and dislike. Show them some genuine interest.

Less is more

No one seems to have an answer on how often businesses should post on their social media pages. Google that very question and there are sure to be hundreds of differing opinions.

The one consistent piece of advice is not to ‘over-post’. Ideally, one to two times per day on Facebook is better than once an hour, every hour, for every day of the year. If I see too many posts in my Facebook news feed from a business in a short period of time, I quickly find the unfollow button. You may be posting great content but I don’t want to see only you in my feed.

Likewise on Twitter, don’t send out 30 tweets in 60 minutes. You will overload people and turn them away. The recommendation here is for five to six tweets per day only.

On Instagram, a business should post three to five times per day. I would not recommend going over that. There’s nothing worse than logging into Instagram to find that a business has posted five posts in the space of five or 10 minutes. People will instantly unfollow because of that.

Don’t do it all yourself

I’ve had more than a dozen business owners tell me they could spend all day working solely on social media. Rarely can a business owner successfully run the social media for their business and run the business itself without something getting left behind.

Don’t get me wrong, it can be done; however, it’s in the best interests of most business owners to pass it off to another employee or to hire someone to handle it.

Your primary job should be to do what you love – if you’re a jewellery designer, you need to be designing, not scheduling Facebook posts; if you’re a sales guru, you need to be face-to-face with customers, not figuring out which picture will look best on Instagram.

Trust me when I say you’ll spread yourself too thin if you take on too much.

In the coming year, I encourage you to take a good, hard look at your social media marketing plan. Incorporating just a few small tips will help ensure efforts are working and not unnecessarily eating into a business owner’s precious time.

Mandy Edwards

Mandy Edwards is founder of ME Marketing Services, a social media and management consultancy. Visit:

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