The seven worst social media practices new marketers adopt
When you first start a social media strategy, everything seems like a good idea. It's free to use most social platforms, so you have free rein to post whatever you want. This makes social media exciting and engaging - which is good for new marketers getting their feet wet - but it also makes it dangerous. Unfortunately, a disappointing percentage of new social media marketers end up adopting unproductive or downright destructive practices
that compromise their campaigns.
17 Oct 2016 11:10
Why is this, and how can they be prevented? The biggest problem
The common thread throughout all these habits and practices is what makes them so dangerous in the first place: they all seem like good ideas on the surface. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be a problem. These pitfalls only serve to weaken your campaign. Because of poor assumptions, lack of evidence, or just a lack of experience, too many new marketers fall into these traps. Bad practices to avoid
These are some of the most commonly pursued destructive practices, in large part because of how appealing they seem at first glance:
- Buying followers. As Peerboost, provider of a tool that increases reach, explains, buying followers is almost always a bad idea. Yes, the thought of having tens of thousands of followers on any of your social media profiles is tempting to the point where buying followers almost seems logical. However, remember that these are only numbers; they aren’t real people who will be engaging with or supporting your brand. Furthermore, if any of your prospective followers does a bit of digging and sees that most of your followers are fake profiles, they may become averse to your brand altogether.
- Ignoring comments. When you first start social marketing, you’re completely focussed on what you’re saying to people — you want every post to be perfect, and once you’ve made a post, you walk away to think about the next one. But don’t forget the “social” element of social media; people want to be heard. Whenever you see a comment or reply regarding your brand, respond to it. Make sure your followers feel seen and heard, or you’ll stand to lose as many followers as you initially gained.
- Abusing hashtags. Again, the temptation here is logical; hashtags are used to organise posts, and if included in your photos or posts, you can boost the visibility of your content. However, it’s not only possible, but common to use too many hashtags. If you use a hashtag you don’t fully understand, it could make you appear foolish, and if you stuff too many hashtags in a post, it will make you seem spammy.
- Automating all your posts. There are a ton of amazing social media management tools out there, many of which revolve around automation. Automation can help you maximise your productivity and save time, but it’s not a perfect solution. If you automate your posts too frequently or with reckless abandon, you could compromise the perceived sincerity and/or immediacy of your brand. Try to stay in the moment at least part of the time.
- Not posting enough. Sometimes, you’re so worried about what you’re posting, or you reserve your efforts for such big events that you don’t post enough to maintain some semblance of consistency. No matter what platform you’re using or what audience you’re targeting, you’ll need a steady stream of posts if you want to generate more relevance.
- Focussing on too large an audience. Some marketers come into the game with the idea that bigger is always better. They know that to get more sales, you need more people, so they think the best way to get more people is to target the largest possible audience. The trouble is, when you 'zoom out' and focus on bigger audience segments, you get more general with your content, which means you lose relevance. In reality, it’s usually better to focus on a smaller segment so you can maximise your relevance.
- Spamming your followers. Social media marketing seems like the perfect opportunity to sell some of your products, so many new marketers end up posting frequently about their products, services, and promotions. However, posting too many sales and promotions can come off as spammy and compromise your reputation with your followers.
These bad habits aren’t the only ones that exist, but they are some of the most temptingly appealing that new social media marketers fall for. Avoiding them will put you ahead of your competition
, and help you understand some important fundamental truths about social marketing, but be aware that it will still take years of experience before you can begin mastering social media marketing. It’s easy to get started, but it’s hard to get it right.