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The 5 Biggest Mistakes That Social Media Managers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

The 5 Biggest Mistakes That Social Media Managers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

As I transitioned from intern to full-time social media manager at Simply Measured, I fully immersed myself into the world of social, which drove me to engage and learn more about it and the best practices involved in effective campaigns.

It didn’t takeme long to identify what works and what doesn’t. The original outline of this blog post was a list of what I’ve learned since becoming the social media manager for Simply Measured. When I realized that it was becoming too specific for my role, I took the topic to Twitter to include some of our audience’s opinions and lessons.

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes social media managers make and what can be done to avoid them so that they don’t continue to negatively impact their social efforts.

Creating Content That Isn’t Specific to Each Social Channel

Automation is great. It increases productivity and saves a lot of time. Think of all the social media posts you need to send out every day. Now imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t use a publishing tool.

For me, that would mean being at my at desk from 4:00 AM to 11:30 PM with an alarm going off every 30 minutes reminding me to send out a tweet, and three more alarms reminding me about LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. There’s no way around it: you need to create content specific to each social channel where you’re present. That’s because there are different types of people on each channel, and people are looking for different kinds of content on each channel. BloggingWizard created infographics for each platform.

As you can see, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook boast more female users, while Twitter has slightly more male users. This explains why a brand like FitFabFun, a quarterly subscription service that sends you the latest in beauty and fashion, fitness, and wellness, doesn’t have a Twitter account. And why sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks are more active on Twitter than they are on Pinterest (their Seahawks Weddings board is definitely a fun one to take a look at, though).

Another reason to create content specific to each social channel is that followers will most likely be able to tell that you only created one post and pushed it out to all channels.

As this tweet points out, your followers will be able to see that you’re not taking the time to personalize each piece of content to each network. According to Crowdspring, 78% of consumers believe that companies focused on custom content are more trustworthy than companies that simply churn out generic content. When companies create custom content, their audiences are more likely to believe that the company cares about the consumer’s time.

How to Solve This:

You want to use similar visual elements for consistent branding. Crowdspring says that 90% of consumers expect that their experience with a brand will be similar across all platforms and devices. Your audience wants a seamless transition when it comes to color, flow, and overall quality.

 

However, creating similar images and using the same image for every channel are two different things. Always make sure your images are optimized for individual social channels. If you’re worried about sizing, there are many resources on the web that will help you do this.

 

For example, here are the Twitter and Instagram images our graphic designer created for our most recent webinar.

Twitter:

Instagram:

 

Although these images have the same color scheme, icons, and messaging, they differ in size and icon placement. The similarities allow people to recognize this webinar post despite the social platform they are on, but the differences let them know we created separate posts for each channel.

Not Responding to People Who Engage with You

Automated responses can be useful. For example, Schwartz, a spice brand, is creating a chatbot to help people find recipes on Facebook Messenger. One of the reasons food goes to waste at my apartment is because I have a hard time looking for or creating recipes out of the food that’s in my fridge. The article linked above mentions that the chatbot will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) from Whisk’s Food Genome technology to advise people on personalized cooking recipes based on what is available in their fridge.

This is a great way for people to engage with the brand through a social platform. By using a chatbot, they ensure that this feature will not be limited to business hours, meaning no matter what country a person is in, they will be able to use it. It is also a way for Schwartz to show current and prospective customers how to use their products.

However, chatbots like this should not be your only tactic for engaging with customers.

As Ben points out with his second point, it’s a mistake to not respond to customers; joining in conversations can humanize your brand.

How to Solve This:

Know that it’s okay to utilize automation as a tool. As stated above, I schedule posts to go out in a certain cadence every day. Set aside time in your schedule to engage with your followers. Even though I schedule posts, I still check each social channel every day to make sure we are engaging with our followers.

Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty come down to communication. A customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be discovered and addressed on social.

Once customers are happy, they’ll become brand advocates.

 

 

One of the main differences between social media marketing and traditional marketing is that, with social media, your audience can interact with information your brand pushes out and share their opinions on that content immediately.

 

Using a social listening solution can help this process go more smoothly. For example, if someone happens to mention “Simply Measured” but doesn’t tag us, I can still find that post and engage with the user. According to this article by Forbes, of all the Tweets about your brand, only 30% actually include your Twitter handle.

 

Pushing out Content That Doesn’t Connect Back to Your Business Goals

Inc 500 executives rank social as the number one channel with potential to impact sales this year. In order to measure the veracity of this statement, social media marketers need to start spelling out how their efforts are impacting the bottom of the funnel.

One of the reasons it’s hard to prove the ROI of social is because the actions of the social media program aren’t always being drawn back to business values. This is why we’re so glad Express Writers asked this question:

How to Solve This:

Before creating a social media campaign, program, or post, you have to think about the outcome you want. I want X to happen, so I’ll do Y on social media.

 

The next step is to create a goal. In reality, by posting Y, I believe Z will happen.

 

Next, think about how Z affects or connects to your business values.

 

Finally, analyze what actually happened by comparing results to your desired outcome and goal.

Forgetting to Incorporate Your Company’s Core Values into Your Campaign

Every brand is looking for a way to stand out. One way to do this is by showing your company’s core values. This goes back to the fact that people want to work with people, not brands or companies. When Domino’s accepted this fact and started using it to their advantage in their social strategy, they saw an increase in sales. Integrating your company’s core values shows the personalization behind why your company does what it does.

Millennials who are part of the B2B purchasing process say community involvement and company values are more important than content, training, and product features when deciding on which vendors to work with.

How to Solve This:

Although there are various ways to go about this, one tactic would be to dedicate one post a week to showing your company’s core values. For example, one of Gymboree’s core values is “ We are connected to each other and the communities where we do business. We collaborate. We believe in giving back.”

By posting this on Instagram, not only are they showing what they value, they also are acting on it.

 

Another tactic would be to create a hashtag for your employees to use when they post on social media. We use #LifeatSM

Not Working with Other Departments—And Incorporating Them in Your Strategy

Our State of Social Marketing 2017 Annual Report proved that social was growing into various departments. 

The fact that social can live in different departments proves that the person running it can’t be working in a silo.

 

How to Solve This:

Ask the sales team about feedback they get from customers. They are on the front lines with you. Because they encounter prospective customers in a different environment, they will likely get feedback that you haven’t heard.

Sync with your content marketing manager. They are the creators of a lot of the content you push out, and you are in touch with the customers, so you should have a firm grasp on their feedback and conversations. Work with your content manager to make sure your opinion (which includes their feedback) is heard and incorporated into the content manager’s strategy

Working with lead generation can also be pretty useful. They’ve got a combination of a marketer’s and a salesperson’s mind, so if and when your ideas don’t align with the opinions of the sales team, go to someone on the lead generation team, because they will empathize with both sides. (They might also be a little biased towards you because they are on the marketing team. Just kidding! It’s part of their job to understand the sales process, so count on them being objective.)

 

Bonus: Letting Yourself Burn Out

As social media managers, the working world we live in is on 24/7. If you’re a one-person team, it’s easy to constantly find yourself checking your company’s social profiles.

How to Solve This:

Take your weekends as seriously as you take your job. We all need time to unplug every now and then.

 

Want to be featured in future blog posts like this? Give us a follow so you can join the conversation when we send out another tweet.

Laurie Anne Nilo

I'm the Social Media Manager here at Simply Measured. I love coffee, all things wellness, and Gilmore Girls (pre-Netflix revamp).

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