Social media is public. This means your brand is always on watch, and a small mistake can make a big impact.
Let’s get to it – here are the top social media mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Being Tone-Deaf
Being tone-deaf in the land of social media means being out-of-touch and unaware of top trending conversations. By ignoring social tones, you could engage (or in some cases, not engage) with sensitive content, and in the process, affect your brand image.
An example of this would be the United Airlines incident. A passenger that was dragged off a flight was caught on camera, and the video got posted online. It went viral on social media almost immediately.
At first, United refused to apologize. But once they began listening to various social dialogues, they came to the realization that they indeed needed to apologize – right away and with the right tone – to save their brand. But was it too late?
The incident happened on April 9, 2017, and the apology came two days later on April 11, 2017.
You have an opportunity to turn this into something great by tackling flawed industry standards – you can be the voice of change but hurry
— Tom Stokes (@SportsPlusShow) April 11, 2017
How to avoid this mistake: Social listening! Listen to what your customers are saying about you, and make sure you follow trends so you’re aware of noteworthy news. Check out the Explore pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and get to know what’s happening in the world by checking out Google Trends.
- Not Posting Often Enough
Social media was invented to prevent people from being forgotten. It allows your brand to be top of mind, as your updates consistently remind users that your company is active and in the know. You can do this by sharing updates, posting photos, and staying in touch with people who you might not know personally, but are still crucial to your market. If your brand has a social media page, take advantage of this open opportunity.
Here’s how often you should post:
- LinkedIn: 5 times a week (Monday – Friday). Avoid weekends, as they are proven to be a slow time for this primarily business-based platform.
- Twitter: 2-3 times a day. The average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so post at various times to make sure your users are seeing your content. Feel free to post the same content again and again throughout the week – this will allow you to gain insight on when your users are most engaged.
- Facebook: 1-2 times a day. As Facebook’s algorithm changes, the reach of your posts may not be consistent. It takes about two hours for it to reach its capacity, so make sure you are posting on a regular schedule.
- Instagram: 4-5 times a week. You want to build a consistent feed, but not overwhelm your followers. Over-posting can drop your engagement, and 4-5 times a week hits the sweet spot.
Not posting often means missing the opportunity to connect with your biggest fans and keep them updated on your latest product launches, brand announcements, and job opportunities.
How to avoid this mistake: If you can do it in-house, spend at least 2-3 hours a day curating and creating content you think your followers will love. Create engaging posts that follow your brand voice, and highlight your business’s best benefits.
If you’ve hired an agency, have them spend the time getting to know your brand and provide you with a content calendar laying out how often a post will be published.
(Ps. Looking for a little help? Check out What We Do.)
- Untimely Humour
Everyone has a voice on social media. Your goal should be to start conversations and engage your users without hurting your brand image. Sometimes, the easiest way of doing this is by participating in hashtag trends to “humanize” your brand. But be careful – not everything is an opportunity for humour.
In 2014, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending. Without context, it seemed straight forward. But with context, the hashtag was actually a discussion about domestic violence. Unfortunately for DiGiorno Pizza, they didn’t do their research:
How to avoid this mistake: Do your research! And if you’re unsure about a post, run it by at least two other people before pressing publish. This will give you insight into whether your post is appropriate or out-of-touch.