Welcome to The Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections and your business. I'm your host, Jodine McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader and wing woman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing know-how for free at www.socialsmarty.com/freebies. Now, before we dive in, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.
Welcome to episode number eight of The Social Smarty Show. In this episode today, I'll be sharing with you the five things you need to stop doing right now on social media. Now, when I say you, I really mean we because I'm definitely guilty of at least one or two of these.
So let's dive right in with number one, which is leaving keywords out of your captions. Now, this might sound interesting, but it's a massive mistake that I see so many business owners, professionals, even marketers making all the social media platforms. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about Instagram or Facebook or TikTok or LinkedIn, but they all work just like search engines. So just like Google. And you had better believe that there are people on there searching for products and services. I mean, think about your own life when you've been hunting out a particular product or maybe a gift for someone. Of course, you turn to social media and do a search, particularly Instagram. Instagram is really good for finding new products and discovering inspiration, and it definitely works like a search engine. So what we need to do first is we need to understand what words our target audience is using to search for our products or services.
That's a really big thing to understand because we know our products and services inside and out. We might use industry jargon or particular words to describe what we do or what we sell, but that's not the words that our target audience are using. So we need to do some research and we need to get really clear on what our target audience is searching for. And once we have those words, we need to include them in our captions. This can massively increase your reach, and I mean massively.
So I tested this myself and I created a video. It was basically a review of something that I knew people were searching for on social media. And the reason I knew they were searching for it was because I myself had been searching for it before I purchased the product and I couldn't find a really good review. So I created my own. And then when I posted the video, which I posted to both Instagram as a Reel and also to TikTok, I purposefully used the words that I myself had been searching for in my caption. So I included those exact words in my caption. Now, on Instagram, I used no hashtags at all. I was literally relying on the words and the platform acting like a search engine to get me in front of more people.
And it worked. It went crazy.
So my Instagram Reel has reached over 100 people and my Instagram audience is small. Like I'm talking under 2000 and my TikTok video that has reached over 16,500 people and had over 14,500 plays. And do you want to know the size of my TikTok audience at the time of recording this? It's just 120 people, 120 people. And I've reached over 16,500 just by creating content that I knew people were searching for and using the keywords that they were using in their search. So if we put that into perspective, honestly, audience size can be totally irrelevant if we're posting content that we know our target audience is searching for and we're using the words they are using in their searches. Now, I know it sounds simple. It does take a bit of research and a bit of effort.
But I also want to mention another thing about keywords is we need to include them in our profiles as well. So when someone does search for particular keywords on a social media platform, the platform itself is also looking at other places. So it's not just looking in captions, but it's also looking at the accounts themselves. So there's a few key places. We also need to include keywords. So for Instagram, that's in your username and your account name. For TikTok, it's the same it's username and your account name. Or it's just called name on TikTok over on LinkedIn, for our personal profile, we need to include those descriptive words in our headline, for our company page, it's in our tagline, and for Facebook, it's actually in our username, our page name, and also our short description or our about section. So on Facebook, we get a few more characters to play with. So I absolutely want you to go and review all of your social media platforms and make sure that you have descriptive words. So I'm talking about words that are not just your business name or your name, but words that describe what you sell or what you do and make sure they are included in those really important places so that you can increase your discoverability or your search ability on the platforms.
Now, the next mistake that I see happening over and over again is obsessing over getting things perfect. Now, we will never have the perfect social media posts. There's always something we can do to improve. And if your video is not quite perfect or you haven't quite found the perfect music to go with your TikTok or your Instagram Reel, or maybe you're not quite 100% right with that caption, I want you to think Jodine is telling me to post it anyway because you can't reach anyone on social media if you don't post and obsessing over trying to get things perfect is just going to hold you back from being consistent. So even if you post and it's not 100% perfect, do not worry. Because social media moves quickly. The lifespan of a typical social media post is literally 24 to 48 hours. So if it's not perfect, people would have moved on and forgotten about it. And then the other thing is, with captions, we can obviously edit them if we need to. There's nothing wrong with editing your captions. Unfortunately, we can't do that on TikTok, which is frustrating. But most other platforms we can. You can always delete posts. So if something goes out and if you realize there's a mistake in it, of course you can delete it, but I would rather you post something then wait to get it perfect and post nothing.
Right on to number three which is posting and ghosting. Now, this one is really common with businesses when they're starting out on social media, they put all of their effort into creating content, pushing out content. But they don't spend any time searching out their target audience, engaging with their content, responding to comments and private messages, asking questions, all of that sort of engagement stuff that is so important on social media. You want to spend just as much time, well, within reason, but just as much time engaging on the platforms as you do posting. Now, this is where obviously your time can get sucked a little bit, where you can spend too much time consuming content and not enough time posting. So what I want you to do is make sure that you limit your time. So I have a timer that sits on my desk so I can flip it over to 15 minutes and make sure that I'm limiting my time there.
The other thing that I do is make sure that I'm using a tool to help me make sure I haven't missed any comments or any direct messages. So I actually use Facebook's own Business Suite, and I use it like a dashboard. So I log into Business Suite where I can see all of my comments across Facebook and Instagram and all of my private messages, so I can make sure that I am responding to every message and every comment that I receive.
At the end of the day, social media is just a big online meeting place. So we need to go out and meet people. We need to bring them back to our platform. We need to pique their interest, engage with them, and encourage them to come back and find out who we are and then potentially follow us or engage with our content in some way or maybe even book our services or buy from us. If we spend all our time posting and we don't engage with people, we're not friendly, we don't get out and about it's literally like fishing and sitting in the middle of the lake in your boat waiting for the fish to jump in. Sure, it might happen, but it's far less likely than it would be. If you go out, put your fishing rod out, put your line up, put your bait out and actually go and find those fish.
On to number four. This is not having systems in place now I still see so many business owners professionals that just post ad hoc when they feel like it, and that is not the most effective way to maintain or manage your social media marketing. Now I want you to have some systems, some workflows, some tools that you're using to help you make the most of social media marketing. And your time is precious. So we want to save as much of it as we can and reallocate it to the things that really matter.
The first thing we can do is have software that we use to schedule our posts in advance. This is straight away going to be a great system for you and it's going to save you time. So I recommend Business Suite for Facebook and Instagram. I also recommend a tool called publer. You'll find a link to it in the show notes. It is a fantastic tool that's going to help you save time when you are creating your social media content. And when you can sit down and schedule it in advance, you are on to a winner.
The other thing I love about Publer is it lets you create some evergreen content so we can save some content that we can post over and over again. So maybe something we post every couple of months or every three months. And again, that's building up your system. So you know you have that post that you're going to push out on a regular basis. The other thing is making sure you're actually blocking time out in your calendar, in your diary to schedule your content in advance. I cannot stress how much easier your life will be if you're planning your content in advance. Now that could mean scheduling your content for the week, for the fortnight, for the month. But having that system scheduling it out is going to be fantastic.
The other thing is having a way to create your content plan. It's all well and good having software to help you schedule things in advance. But what on earth are you going to be posting now? A wee plug for my own content planning guide, which again the link is in the show notes. You can go and grab that guide. It is the guide, it is the system that I use in my own business. Once you start using it, you'll start to see which of my posts fall into which content type. But it is a really simple system to use and it really is going to save you time.
Now the other thing I love about having systems in place is using templates for my social media content. So if you have a scroll back through, particularly my Instagram content, you'll see that there's a lot of repetition in terms of the style of my posts. So what I've done is I've spent time creating templates in Canva that I can use over and over again, so I can just switch out key elements, maybe the text, and I can use that template over and over again. Now, Canva, if you haven't discovered it yet, I don't know how because there are literally millions of people that use it, but it is a graphic design software. It's online, browser based, and it is a fantastic tool. There's a free option as well, so you don't have to pay for it. But I highly recommend using Canva.
The other thing I do recommend is maybe buying some templates. So Canva comes with a whole lot of templates which are available within the platform, but you do find that you'll often see other businesses that are using the same template. So it does get a little bit repetitive. So if you want to purchase a template for Canva, which you can use over and over again, that's just a little bit different than that sort of standard Canva looking template. I would recommend either Your Template Club or Creative Market and I've put links to both in the show notes. You might spend a little bit of money on a template that you've got it to use over and over again.
One last recommendation when it comes to having systems in place is to consider hiring a VA to help you with scheduling your content. So I would still expect that you would be involved in the strategy and the content planning, but you could leave the actual scheduling to a VA. That is going to save you time and remove some of the stress with your social media marketing.
Now that brings me to number five. It is worrying what others think of you. Now I know this is easier said than done, right? One of the biggest issues I see over and over with my students, my clients, is lack of confidence and they are worried that someone is going to judge them. They're going to look at their content and they're going to think, what a dick. But you know what? In my experience, what happens more often is that other business owners, other professionals, they're looking at your posts and thinking, wow, they're showing up on social media and I'm not. They're out there posting, building their business, doing fantastic things. And I haven't posted for a whole month and I don't know what to talk about and it flips around to them. So don't stress about what others are thinking about you. It is so much more important just to show up, put yourself out there. And I know it's hard. I wish I had a magic wand and I could wave it and take away all of those fears. But I promise you, the more that you post, the more that you show up on social media, it really does get easier. Plus, I want you to think of me sitting on your shoulder. I am your cheerleader. I'm saying you can do this. People won't be laughing at you, and if they do, it says far more about them than it ever would about you. You're doing awesome things showing up on social media.
So there we have it. The five things you need to stop doing right now on social media. Let's recap. You need to stop leaving keywords out of your captions. You need to spend some time putting together a list of words that you know your target audience is searching for. Make sure that you're including them in your captions. And also do a bit of a review of your social media profiles and make sure you have some descriptive words in those key areas that I mentioned earlier on. Number two was obsessing over getting things perfect. We're not going to worry about that anymore. We're just going to work efficiently. We're going to get our content out there because we can't reach anyone if we're not posting and if we're worrying too much about trying to get things perfect. Number three, we're going to stop posting and ghosting. We're going to spend time engaging with others and using the platforms as they were designed to be used. Number four, we are not going to just fly by the seat of our pants. We're going to have systems in place. We're going to use software to schedule our posts. We're going to have a content planning system. We're going to use Canva and we're going to create some templates in Canva. And the very last thing we're going to stop doing on social media is worrying what others think of us. Now, this may be the hardest one, it is certainly the hardest one for me, but I want you to know that I'm out there cheering you on and we are just going to show up regardless of what anyone else may think about us. And at the end of the day, they may not even see that social media posts that we're stressing about. We have businesses to build, we have brands to build. So let's get out there and get posting now.
Do you think you can stop doing these five things on social media? If you can, I will, too. Do we have a deal? Let me know. Come and find me on Instagram or flick me a private message on Facebook. You'll find me @socialsmarty.co on both platforms. Let me know if we have a deal. I would love to hear from you. I'll see you in the next episode. Until then, stay social.