Mistakes are a healthy part of every marketing strategy, and they're certainly nothing to be ashamed of in the new(ish) world of social media. That said, being sloppy is a whole different story.
What makes the following social media mistakes particularly sloppy is that they cost little time and no money to fix, have tremendous returns, and as such are huge misses to your overall social media strategy. Stop being sloppy, and make sure you're not making any of these 10 social media mistakes (+1 for good luck).
10 Sloppy Social Media Mistakes
- Not using the social media accounts you set up. When someone sees an abandoned social media business account, it basically just looks like that company doesn't have its $%*! together. It's even more important to keep those accounts up to date if you're linking to them from your website and blog. Don't just set it and forget it. If you're going to have an account on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, put the effort into keeping it engaging and regularly updated with content.
- Not linking back to your website in social media profiles. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ all allow you to link back to your website. Not only is that five more links into your site, it's five more ways your hundreds or thousands of followers can get back to your site to find more information about your products and services.
- Not claiming your accounts. Twitter handles get snatched up like wildfire, especially if your company name is somewhat common. And if you're a big brand name, you don't want to see Bank of America's Google+ snafu happen to you. If you don't claim your name on social networks, you miss out on good opportunities to rank for keywords in organic search, risk running into brand and PR issues, and end up having to compromise the name you select.
- Not separating your business accounts and personal accounts. Companies that do this are not only building a disjointed brand experience, they're not making the most of their company's online presence. Public business accounts can return results in search engines and publish content tailored specifically to customers and prospects. Furthermore, they make for a clean, forward-facing and identifiable social media presence for your business.
- Not explicitly asking someone to engage with your content. HubSpot Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella has found the phrase "please retweet" to be the 11th most retweetable phrase. In addition, asking someone to 'like,' according to Momentus Media, increases interaction by 216%. (The words most successful at eliciting engagement are depicted here by Mashable.) If you want someone to like, comment, retweet, or watch, just ask.
- Not including a picture. It seems basic, but when your account shows up without a photo on a social network, it looks abandoned and unofficial. Social media is designed to be personal, so including a profile picture, whether of a person or a logo, will automatically give your profile some life. And in case there's any doubt, Twitter accounts with a picture have 10 times more followers than those without one.
- Not having a blog subscription and RSS feed set up. A subscription field on your blog is an easy way to build an opt-in database for lead nurturing, and an RSS feed will get you repeat visitors to your site that will help build your blog a loyal following.
- Not having social media follow and share buttons on your website. Buttons for all the social media accounts you use regularly should be included on your homepage and next to every piece of content you write, especially your blog. For example, HubSpot customer Pharmacy Development Services includes buttons to visit their pages and profiles on the right, and offers links to +1 the blog article and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn on every article it publishes.
- Not including links in your tweets. A retweet is great, but a click is better. If you don't include links in your tweets, you're not driving new traffic to your site with your social media reach. For the highest click-through rate, place your link 25% of the way into your tweet.
- Not posting updates with context. Instead of just throwing up a link to a blog post, include some commentary describing what's interesting about it. Momentus Media found that lengthy status updates show higher interaction rates than shorter ones, measuring from 1 to 450 characters and seeing higher interaction rates the higher the character count. Zarrella found similar findings on Twitter, where the most clicks were received on tweets up to 130 characters.
+1 for Good Luck: If you haven't set up a Google+ business page yet, you're missing out on great opportunity to get in on a new social network in its infancy. Unlike companies with thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, most of the Google+ landscape is ripe for the picking. Be the first in your industry to stake a claim instead of playing catch up later on.
If you're making any of these social media mistakes, shhh...we won't tell anyone...as long as you promise to go fix it. These are easy mistakes to make, but luckily, they are also super easy to remedy. And whether you have a fledgling social media strategy or a robust one, fixing these social media mistakes is a guaranteed way to supplement your efforts.
What other social media mistakes have you encountered, either on your accounts or someone else's?
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