Think you know how to create the perfect branded social media feed? Following recommendations for best practices is a good start. But what if you don’t know all the social media bad practices to avoid? You may be spinning your digital wheels, not executing a successful content marketing strategy. In spite of what all those inspirational viral quotes on Instagram say, focusing on the negative can actually pay off sometimes.
What Not to Do on Social
There are a lot of not-great ways to use social media as a marketing tool, but many of them are kind of obvious. You don’t want to post objectionable content or neglect your feeds, but that’s kindergarten-level social media common sense. If you want to be a real social media content wizard, you need to avoid these bad practices.
Serving Up Hashtag Hash
Hashtags are absolutely essential tools for growing a brand’s social presence, but that doesn’t mean you should take a pepper spray approach to using them. There’s something uncool about a brand post with a ton of hashtags at the end. Not only does this mass of hashtags seem desperate, but if you use a bunch of irrelevant hashtags, you’re also wasting your time. These off-topic hashtags are reaching audiences that probably aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Pick a few strategic tags and stick with them.
Only Listening to Your Followers
Think you can get the full story on what people are saying about your brand by only paying attention to your social media comment sections? Big mistake — even looking at mentions and tags might not tell the whole story. Lots of people on social media talk about brands without even following them. Want to get the full story on the conversation around your brand, your competitors and other important industry topics? Use a social media listening tool like Hootsuite Insights or Brandwatch.
Pouring Champagne for Your Fake Friends
Do you think having a high follower count means you’ve really made it? Think again. You can have a million friends, but what’s the use if none of them like you enough to show up to your birthday party?
Whether your followers are real or fake, it’s more important that they interact with your content than that they’re there in spirit. Don’t fall into the trap of paying for followers, either. Take the time to post good content and interact with your audience when they comment to increase the organic engagement quality on your feed.
Posting the Same Content Everywhere
What works on Facebook won’t necessarily attract the same kind of attention on Twitter. Each social platform has its own content strengths and weaknesses. That means you shouldn’t just repeat the same exact post across each account.
If this seems like too much work, remember that you don’t have to be everywhere. If you find that it’s easiest to post some videos on YouTube and create regular Live or Story posts on Instagram, stick with those approaches. There’s no need to try to use every single social network — but you need to use what your target market uses. Just make sure you take time to optimize your posts. Take advantage of SEO and other growth opportunities for each platform you actually utilize.
Putting Your Best Face Forward on Social
Avoid these bad practices and focus on good practices at the same time. You may just notice your engagement numbers and other KPIs starting to take a turn for the better. Remember that the ways you should use social media as a marketing professional differ from the ways you should use social media as an individual. Things that might seem creepy or uncool for a person are vital and important for a brand. Always keep in mind that you’re executing a strategy on social, not just having fun.