7 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
For business owners, having an active social media presence is vital for interacting with your audience and promoting your tours and activities. With so many trends, new social media platforms, and unique marketing strategies emerging all the time, even the most organized business can make mistakes.
Here are seven social media mistakes to avoid in order to better cultivate your business’ online presence.
1. Creating Too Many Accounts Too Quickly
If you are new to social media, start slow and stick to the most highly trafficked platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Creating too many accounts too quickly will make your content calendar very difficult to manage (more on this later) because creating unique content for each platform is no small undertaking. Your social media strategy should complement your business, not detract from allowing you to do what you do best – run your tours and activities.
If you are already established on a few social media platforms, it can be tempting to try and keep up with the latest trends whenever a new social platform is launched. Not all platforms will serve your needs, so make sure to do your research before hopping on the bandwagon with a new account. If you feel your business would benefit from having a presence on additional platforms, first consider the type of content you plan to share. For example, if your brand excels at making visual content, you may want to focus your social media marketing efforts on highly visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Businesses who frequently post blogs and create quality written content might decide to utilize Facebook and Twitter over other platforms.
Pro tip: When creating an account on a new platform, use your current platforms to promote the new profile and build your audience. If one of your followers on an existing platform is also on the new platform, they’ll be happy to give you a follow.
2. Ignoring Comments
Social media is all about engagement, and engagement is critical to creating trust in your brand. In much the same way that it is important to respond to online reviews, it is equally as important to respond to comments and questions on social media. According to a Sprout Social survey, social media is the second most preferred channel (after in-person interaction) for customers to initiate communication, whether they’re seeking a refund, asking a question, or raising a complaint. Don’t leave them hanging!
Engaging with your following on social media gives you the power to turn a negative situation into a positive one. If a customer calls you out on social media, how you respond (hint: kindly and respectfully) can help to steer the interaction in a more positive direction and it also shows other potential customers that you care. On the other hand, ignoring a negative comment can do more harm than good. The bottom line is: word travels fast on social media, so don’t give people a reason to bad-mouth your business in front of potential customers.
Finally, make sure to keep up with new comments by checking your notifications at least once a day and setting aside dedicated time to respond.
3. Paying for Fake Followers or Reviews
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make on social media is paying for followers or likes. You may have come across offers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram promising a huge number of followers for a nominal fee – ex. 10,000 followers for $39! Enticing as these options may seem, they’ll do you little good in the long run.
Even though social media can often feel like a numbers game engagement is more valuable than the number of followers. Consider this: Would you really be happy with 10,000 followers if none of them ever liked your posts, commented on your content, or clicked through to your website? Probably not. The primary reason for tour operators to engage on social media is to connect with customers and ultimately to create interest in the tours and activities you offer. Having fake followers does not serve your end goal – they will never visit your website or book a tour with you.
Similarly, writing or purchasing fake reviews for social media can have negative effects, as well as being illegal in some cases. There is nothing more important than consumer trust, so use social media to highlight your positive, real, reviews. Check out this guide on putting good reviews to work for you for tips.
Building a social media following takes time – explore more tips and tricks in other Compass guides: tips for running a successful social media contest or giveaway, keeping up with the latest social media trends , using CTAs to drive bookings, and more.
4. Only Using Social Media to Advertise
Advertisements certainly have their place on social media – they blend into a user’s feed and appear like any other posts and are a useful avenue for businesses that are looking to grow their organic following. While having a few well-placed ads can certainly help promote your tours and activities, don’t make the mistake of over-advertising on social media at the expense of natural and organic posts.
Limit your advertising on social if only for one reason – your followers don’t want to be bombarded with advertisements. In fact, 74 percent of users think there are too many ads on social media (Curiosity at Work). Running too many ads also makes your business look like selling tours and activities is its only goal, rather than connecting with its audience. Building engagement through organic means, like sharing your latest blog post or posting pictures from a recent tour, can go a long way in giving your business the human aspect that will prompt people to book a tour or activity with you.
Of course, another reason to limit social ads is the cost of those promotions. Before you sink a big chunk of your marketing budget into social media ads, consider the goal of your campaigns, how much you’re willing to spend, and what kind of testing you plan to do to ensure your ads are meeting their goals. Learn more about advertising on Facebook and Instagram in this guide.
5. Posting Inconsistently
One of the strongest ways to build a social media following is to create a social media calendar and stick to it. Posting inconsistently or with long lags between posts can cost you followers because it makes it difficult for people to recognize your brand. Posting too frequently can do your business a disservice because it can make your audience feel overwhelmed with content.
People are less likely to remember your business if they only see the occasional, random post. As a rule of thumb, post some content every day. Beyond that, play around with your social media calendar to find a posting routine that works for your business.
6. Using Social Media Without a Strategy
Social media is intended to humanize your business and help you foster relationships with your online community. Having a well-crafted social media strategy helps to define goals and better identify the results of your efforts. You’ll also be able to save time, create posts more efficiently, target your audience more effectively, and stay ahead of your competition – all with the end goal of encouraging users to book one of your tours or activities. Your social media strategy may include a posting calendar, this year’s social trends, personalized content, user-generated content, and other topics. Take a look at this webinar on building your brand with social for more information.
7. Failing to Measure Results (And Use Them to Improve)
Putting time and work into a solid social media strategy is wasted if you don’t make an effort to learn from the process and improve your future campaigns. Most social media platforms provide ways to measure engagement and reach. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram business pages offer analytics to help you track your posts, and you can look into other social media management software options here.
If you’re hoping to measure the results of a specific campaign, think about the objective of the campaign and examine those account metrics before and after. For example, if your goal was to gain 100 new followers, and at the end of the campaign you’ve reached that number, you know that your campaign was successful. Learn more about running successful campaigns.
In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, businesses that avoid these common mistakes have greater success with their campaigns and reach. Whether you’re just starting out with social media or are a seasoned pro, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at your profiles to double-check that you haven’t inadvertently made any mistakes that could be hurting your online presence. Read up on more social media tips here.