8 Mistakes Your Business Is Making On Social Media

social media blog-s.jpg

These days it's just about as common for a business to have a social media presence as it is to have a website. In order to build a loyal and engaged community of followers, it's important to practice proper social media etiquette.

Whether you're posting on Facebook or capturing a company event on Snapchat, be sure to maintain the same level of professionalism that you normally would when representing your business. That means not alienating customers with swear words, your opinion of the newest "Bachelor" ... you get the idea.

Even if you consider yourself a seasoned pro on social media, there's always room for improvement. Avoid these 8 mistakes and you’ll be a social guru in no time. 

1. Not keeping Customers in Mind

What you post on social media matters more than you may think. Beware of red flags like profanity, illegal drug references, sexual posts, alcohol, guns, political affiliation and even poor spelling and grammar. Remember: First impressions are everything.

2. Failing to respond to comments or messages

Social media should improve your communication with customers—but this only works if you're an active participant. Never leave questions or negative feedback unanswered. It makes you look unprofessional and it can cost you valuable business. If someone posts a negative comment on your company page, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your amazing customer service and professionalism. And remember that when you take the time to answer a question for one person, you're also informing everyone who visits your page. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

3. Posting without considering the time or day of the week

Unless you’re a social media manager for a living, you’re probably not sitting on social media all day long. Neither are your friends, family or customers. If you want your content to reach as many people as possible (without paying for it), it’s important to pay attention to the time and day of the week you’re posting. 

HubSpot created a general guideline to help you find the optimal posting times. While they created the infographic primarily for business, there’s no reason you can’t refer to it for personal use, as well.

4. Failing to attribute

Social sharing has quickly become one of the primary ways that we communicate with friends, family and customers. The pressure to post a steady stream of must-see content has never been higher. While there is nothing wrong with sharing other people’s content, failing to give proper attribution is stealing. It doesn’t matter if you’re sharing an article, a meme, an inspirational quote, an image or video. Think of it this way: If the situation were reversed, you’d want credit.

What does attribution look like? On Twitter, tag the source in your tweet or simply retweet. On Facebook, tag the source in the post or share the original post. On Instagram, tag the source in the photo and/or caption. (The Repost app makes it really easy.)

5. Using hashtags incorrectly

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re using hashtags on Instagram and your profile is set to private, only you and your approved followers will see that photo on the hashtag page. This is especially important to remember if you enter a contest via Instagram wherein the rules require you to use a hashtag. 

If you don’t care, hashtag away! Otherwise, there’s no need to waste your time typing them out. 

Not sure how many hashtags to use? Buffer figured out the optimal number of hashtags for each social platform. On Instagram, it’s 11!

6. Leaving a link in the text of a post on Facebook or LinkedIn

If you’re going to share a link on Facebook or LinkedIn, make sure to delete the URL from the text box as soon as it auto-populates. Leaving the link in the post is a rookie mistake and also a waste of valuable space.

7. Not including an image with a tweet

Tweets with photos get 313% more engagement.

Enough said.

8. Limiting yourself to Instagram’s filters and video options

While Instagram has a variety of filters to add warmth, artistry and depth to your images, there’s no reason to stop there. 

Apps like Afterlight, Snapseed and VSCO offer even more options for photo editing. And, if you want to add text to an image, Font Candy + and Over are great tools.

To spice up your videos beyond Instagram's video editing features, you can use Time-lapse and Slo-Mo on the iPhone camera.