Social Media Strategy Pitfalls to Avoid

Social media is arguably one of the most ubiquitous digital tools available at the moment. These days, nearly every person, brand, company, and corporation has some sort of social media presence. But having a social media account is not the same as understanding the nuances of social media strategy. There are times when brands get it right, and others when they miss the mark completely. Although this might be the nature of the social media beast, there are a few key things to avoid when crafting any brand’s digital strategy.

Broadcasting, not listening. Social media is a living, breathing ecosystem. It changes daily, if not hourly, and almost no week is identical to the next. Although planning and scheduling content is a useful part of any digital strategy, none of that really matters if internet trends, changing tones, and pop culture news are being ignored. As important as it is to craft on-brand, quality content, it’s equally critical to stay in-tune with what’s actually happening on each platform, not simply broadcasting brand messaging.

In practice, this means participating in conversations with online communities, sharing or creating trending content like gifs or memes, and not being afraid to occasionally push the boundaries of a brand’s traditional tone of voice. It’s also important to remember that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel; sometimes being relevant means putting a unique spin on something that might already exist. But remember: You have to find it first.

Robotic, repetitive messaging. Robotic, repetitive messaging. Robotic, repetitive messaging. Gets old, doesn’t it? Now think about it in terms of a brand’s social media presence. The reality is that no one wants to read the same message over and over, especially when the tone of the post doesn’t necessarily align with the platform where it’s shared.

If tasked with creating content for a brand’s social media channels, take the time to write compelling messages that are platform-specific. Take Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter is faster than ever, with more than 6,000 tweets sent per second, meaning that every message needs to be direct, concise, and engaging, otherwise it’ll get lost in the mix. LinkedIn moves more slowly, with people spending more time per post on an interface that encourages longform content. Both of these platforms have their place in any brand’s digital strategy, but the tone and content types couldn’t be more different. Our two cents? Take the extra time to craft quality messages on each platform; it’ll stand out.

Bad imagery. In the case of some platforms like Instagram or YouTube, visual content is king. And more often than not, eye-catching, professional-looking content performs better than the rest.

While not everyone is a graphic designer, easy-to-use tools like Unsplash and Canva offer anyone the opportunity to create compelling visuals. These (often free!) photo sharing and editing tools can help elevate a brand’s social media presence through creative, relevant visuals. It may take a bit of extra time, but trust us — it’s worth it.

The more the merrier. More is not always better when it comes to posting on social media. What actually matters? Consistency and quality. There’s nothing that makes a strategist sigh more than seeing repetitive, boring content shared over and over again, particularly if it’s not engaging or interesting.

The reason is simple: We’re humans, and we know when humans are talking to us. By taking the time to create relevant, quality content that consumers will engage with, it’s also showing them that their time is valued and their needs are understood. This considerate approach to your social media content will outperform quantity any day of the week.

At its core, social media is meant to connect us. It’s a tool that enables fans to chat with their favorite celebrities and brands. It provides us with real-time updates on current events and news. And the beauty of it is that it’s often raw, unfiltered, and real. So let companies and corporations in on the fun, but stay away from these avoidable mistakes.

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