As someone who creates content primarily for brands’ social media, I eat, breathe, and consume all things social media. I like to tell my clients that it’s not just amazing photos that will bring your audience (though that does have a big deal to do with it), but rather the combination of great images and valuable content.
When it comes to social media, it’s not about the amount of followers you have nowadays, but rather how engaged your audience is. Do your followers comment on your posts? Why do some accounts have great engagement and others not so much? How can I create a raving fan base?
The success of your social media account stems from how well you interact and provide for your audience. Great images spark their interest, great content keeps them coming back. Luckily, there’s common mistakes that are easy to avoid when it comes to your social media presence.
Not sure what I mean? Read on to learn the most common social media mistakes.
1. Not engaging
Have you ever followed someone on Instagram, commented, and never got a reply back? It’s one thing if it’s a huge account with hundreds of comments per image. But when there’s a select amount of comments and no reply, it feels a bit standoffish.
It’s important to reply to as many comments as you can. Obviously, you don’t want to stress yourself out if you have a bunch to reply to, but replying back shows that you’re genuinely interested in your followers. It also stimulates more conversation, prompting others to join in and thus increasing your engagement—which can help your spread your content to new eyes (thanks, algorithm!).
2. Not narrowing your focus
If you have too many social media profiles to keep up with, then it’s probably time that you drop some of them.
Just because there’s a million-and-one social media platforms out there, doesn’t mean we have to use them all. Find which ones work best for your business and forget the others.
It helps to start with the big ones first: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you find Instagram is working particularly well for you, yet you’re spending lots of time on Twitter, then it’s best to aim your focus to Instagram instead. This will allow you to put more effort and get better results out of the platforms that work best for your business.
3. Not using a planner
Manually planning and posting can not only be annoying, but a huge time waster as well. Instead of trying to quickly come up with a post for the day (which get severely hurt the quality of your content), spend an hour or two each week planning your content for the week ahead.
There’s lot of different planners out there, but my favorite are Later and Tailwind. I use Later for all my social media posts, and Tailwind for my Pinterest pins. One reason why I love Later is because you can create your own hashtag sets to use and you can also preview how your feed will look. The reason I use Tailwind for Pinterest is because it’s super straightforward, has great analytics, and has an awesome plugin so you can schedule any image in a snap. In fact, utilizing Tailwind helped me reach 4M+ monthly views! 😮
4. Constantly just promoting your work
Always aim to be helpful when approaching your audience. No one wants to follow someone who’s just constantly advertising their business.
Find content that really resonates with your audience. Maybe that’s posting inspiring quotes, or providing tips and insight into what you do. Give your audience a reason to keep coming back—constant promotion will just push them away.
That being said, you also don’t want to be afraid to promote yourself. Find that careful balance between being helpful and promoting your brand.
5. Creating your own content
Unless you’re treating your social media as a portfolio, then you probably shouldn’t be spending all your time creating new content. This is especially true on visual platforms like Instagram. Unless you’re a designer or photographer, it’s best to find images that fit within your brand rather than spend the time making them.
Visual content creation is a full-time business (trust me, I know 😂). Instead, spend that time to push your business forward. Not only will your images feel more professional, but you’ll be saving lots of time.
6. Treating each social channel the same
Chances are, you’re probably using at least 2 different social media platforms. But the way you use Twitter should be different than the way you use Instagram. Even your audiences can feel different between each platform—maybe your Twitter audience is more sarcastic, and your Instagram audience is more animated.
Slightly adjust your tone to appeal to each audience with an alternate caption. Avoid posting the same exact image + caption to each social platform. This variation will give more people a reason to follow you.
7. Posting without a plan
Don’t just post and hope it does well—have a solid plan behind your posting. Your social media should have a general theme to it. If you’re posting about beauty products and then start posting foodie pictures all of a sudden, you’re going to risk losing your audience (because they came to see the beauty stuff!)
Moreover, it’s a good idea to have individual topics within your niche to aid the direction of your content. For example, if your account focuses on mental health, some topic ideas could be:
• inspiring quotes
• tips that help you cope with anxiety/depression
• building awareness
• supporting a cause
Find the topics within your niche that resonate most with your audience and keep creating that type of content. Not sure where to start? We can help develop a visual strategy for you.
8. No personal touch
Social media is for socializing and engaging with others. Don’t just be a faceless brand or company, show your values and why YOUR brand is worth following!
How do you speak to your audience? Are you funny, serious, or silly? What topics are important to you/your brand? Developing your own brand voice is challenging and can take awhile to develop, but once you strike that voice that resonates with your audience, strive to be consistent.
Show behind-the-scenes of your workplace, even if you just work out of your home. Ask your audience questions. Share fun facts about yourself. Talk about things that are challenging to you. Become a brand that people can relate to, AKA be your authentic self.
While there’s many dos and don’ts of social media, these are the main offenders that separate the successful accounts from the not-so-successful ones. Ensure that you’re regularly engaging with your audience and providing them with something that will keep them coming back for more. Avoid constantly promoting yourself. Save time by planning your content in advance and outsourcing your visual content, whether that’s through hiring a photographer or finding on-brand images.
Keep these tips in mind each time before you post and you’ll be well on your way to creating that highly engaged, raving fan base!
What do you struggle with most when it comes to social media? I’d love to know in the comments below!