I might blow your mind right now, and I may even shatter your expectations about my own business, as social-media is what we do– but here’s the thing: social media isn’t magic.
You’re probably like a lot of my clients, and you are under the impression that social media is a game changer. You aren’t wrong about that. That is fortunately a huge part of what keeps my company in business. But my work only works if there’s already a good business plan in place on your end. I can promote your brand until I’m blue in the face, but if I send 100 customers to your door and you refuse to wait on any of them, or you’re out of product, there’s only so far that my services will get you.
For the businesses that are already established, social media is absolutely something that can instantly change the way that you’re perceived and shared by your customers. There are still some things that I feel that I need to clarify though: I have a lot of clients and unfortunately it doesn’t work out with all of them– I think it’s absolutely important that we explain to current and future clients, as well as some prospective clients, or some people who are just trying to learn about social media — that there is a set of common social media mistakes that many entrepreneurs make over and over again. It’s important that we put it all out there so you don’t have false expectations for the future of your business, and our relationship together.
Here are some of the top mistakes companies make regarding social media:
Posts aren’t well thought out – If you’re doing your own social media, you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be a 30-day plan highlighted with tabs in a 3 ring binder, but you still need to know what works on certain days and what doesn’t. For example, you definitely shouldn’t post pictures of an event at midnight on a Saturday night, no matter how amazing it was — because no one else is on social media at that time! They’re either sleeping, or they’re out at an event of their own. Your beautiful post will be lost in a newsfeed abyss by the time your followers are interacting online again.
Pictures aren’t labeled — If you’re posting a picture of the floral centerpiece you just made, great, but you should make sure that your logo is on it, along with some kind of caption. Because to you, it’s the amazing orchids that you worked overnight on and imported from Mexico, but to everyone else, it’s just flowers on a table.
Which of these looks best?
Pictures are dumped in batches — If you have 50 photos from an event you’d like to highlight, please, for the love of God, don’t ever just post them to your page. I’ve been a business owner myself, and I understand how you want people to know what’s happening as it’s happening. You may even think that someone will steal your idea, or you just can’t wait– but the truth is that none of that will happen, and the only thing that will happen is that people are annoyed that you’re blowing up their newsfeed (because sometimes only the individual pictures hit their pages, and sometimes they get a notification on EVERY. SINGLE. ONE), but they’ll have no idea what the pictures are, out of context. And did you know that Facebook pages choose random photos to feature at the top of the page? So months later, when random folks are viewing your page, they’ll have absolutely no idea what they’re looking at. You’re much better off dumping them within the photo galleries on your website (with photo comments), or in a well-thought out blog, and THEN shared to social media. This helps with your ad revenue, as well as the SEO on your page, as well.
Photo-Quality? What’s that? — Listen to me very carefully. I only want the best for you. Only take photos and videos by holding your phone horizontally (the exception is Facebook Live, which we’ll get to in a minute). Always try a couple of different flash settings, and make sure you are aware of where the light isn’t. Try it both ways, with the light in front of and behind you. None of us are photography experts, unless your business is a photography studio, so sometimes trial and error is the best way to go about it. Make SURE there’s a blank / beautiful / or easy to edit background behind the subject of your photo. And above all, make sure you edit and polish the photos before you post them. I’m guilty of this sometimes myself — I grab quick photos with one hand while I’m running around trying to make sure I pictured this or that, or while customers are arriving, or whatever, but the bottom line is a garbage picture is better left out than posted. It will do more harm than good when it comes to your business, because a picture is generally what’s going to sell your product.
Facebook Live Videos are poor quality — Make sure you only share information about yourself if viewers have asked for it. Most of them are there to shop or receive important information, and could care less about your husband, your kid or your cat. Be mindful of your audience. Don’t take 60 minutes to show followers your makeup tutorial when you could cut the video and steps and make a clear video in 5 minutes. Make sure there’s quality lighting and not any background noise. If possible, get someone to hold it for you (so you don’t have to use the selfie feature), or buy a photo tripod. Add your logo and contact information to the top of your Facebook Live video. It’s permissible to wait a few minutes before getting started to let everyone join your video, but after that you should keep the chatter to a minimum. Think about what you’re selling — if you are selling makeup, make sure your makeup is well done. If you’re selling an energy product, think twice about taking your video while lying down on the couch. If you’re trying to market Pepsi, don’t be drinking Coke. And above all, have everything ready to go so you never have to wander off camera.
You (the business owner) have too high of expectations — If you’ve hired someone to do your social media, you can absolutely expect that your content be quality, professional, spelled-correctly, and delivered on-time. You should absolutely demand that your posts be eye-catching, engaging, and share-worthy. What you can’t demand is that you’ll have a certain number of engagements, shares, comments, or likes.
Because here’s the thing — if someone has promised you a certain # of likes, comments, or shares, they’re either buying them, or they are getting their friends to like and share your site.
And although this on the surface seems like a result, these people don’t really care about your product or your site. It’d be better for them to build a great blog, a fun and interactive group, and somewhere where people are going to check back every day to get new information about your products or what’s going on in your industry. I’ve been let go from marketing gigs before for not providing enough shares to find that the client’s latest video has 100K views/likes, but all of the comments are from viewers in other countries. I’m not sure if they were purchased, or what, but let’s be real– none of those are actually going to convert to customers for him. I know someone who paid this girl to do his social media that I was insistent was a fraud because she promised shares. He did receive shares, from cajun food recipes. Did I mention that he was a real estate agent? Oh, she also racked him up hundreds of dollars in fines because they were sharing listings that weren’t his to share, and not complying with guidelines from the National Association of Realtors®.
Or, you do too much work yourself — If you have someone running your social media, and you’re holding them accountable for your results, then please by all means don’t post your poorly taken vertical dark cell phone pictures at midnight. It just messes up what they’re trying to do, and it can literally result in lost followers. It is your business, and you have every right to do things the way you want to do, I’m just saying that it might be helpful to consult with them first. After all, they’re the expert, and you hired them for a reason. If you weren’t sure how to build a deck on your back patio, and hired a guy to do that who’s the best in your area– do you think it would help or hurt him if you tried to help by picking up your hammer and building a part of it overnight, without telling him? That’s a little extreme, but the same thing happens when you post things when sometimes I had a scheduled post that was going to run a minute later.
If you would like to talk more about your social media and ways that we can help you, we’re happy to give you a 100% free evaluation of how it could be better. We’ll even throw in a sample of a post that you’re welcome to use, to find out how Quatrefoil can work for you. You can contact us here.
In being happy and content with your content,