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 wingwoman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing know how for free from socialsmarty.co/freebies Now, before we dive in, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.
Welcome to episode number 22 of The Social Smarty Show. In this episode, I'll be discussing the ten most common mistakes that business owners make when it comes to their social media marketing. Now, whether you're just getting started with social media or you are wanting to improve what you're already doing, this episode is for you.
So I'm going to dive right in with mistake number one, and that is not having a strategy. Now this is the biggest mistake that the majority of business owners I work with make and that's really just not having a clear plan for your social media marketing. Without a strategy. How much do you know what you're trying to achieve on social media or what to post or how are you measuring the success of what you're doing? Now, a strategy doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, we could probably lose the word strategy. Let's call it a plan. In our plan, we're going to focus on what we want to achieve, how we're going to achieve it, and how we will know that we have achieved it. And that's it. That is the most simple plan that we can have for our social media strategy.
Now of course, if you want to put together a social media strategy with all the bells and whistles, you can check out my template, head over to the Social Smarty Store. The link is in my show notes, but it's literally just socialsmartystore.com. You'll see a template there to put together your own social media strategy.
Okay, mistake number two is ignoring the analytics. Now this really ties in with mistake number one. So if you're not keeping track of your analytics or if you're just not regularly checking in on your metrics, it makes it really hard to measure what you're doing on social media. But when you do have a handle on your analytics, then you can make data driven decisions about what's working and what isn't. It's not just you putting a finger in the air and going, I think that worked. It's actually using data to drive that decision making process in your content creation, making sure that you are evaluating whether or not what you're doing is working. So that's really important. And again, it doesn't need to be complicated or complex. A simple spreadsheet or a Google Sheet and just a monthly reminder in your calendar and honestly, that is all you need, right?
Mistake number three is not being consistent now, there's a saying in the social media world that you can't reach anyone with the content you don't post. Or maybe I made that up, but anyway, it's true. We complain about how low our reach is and how the algorithm doesn't show anyone our content, and yet we'll take a whole week or two off posting. When I say we, I really do mean we. I am so guilty of this myself. But inconsistency means that it is harder for the algorithm to decide who to show our content to. We also make it harder to stay top of mind with our target audience when we're not showing up on a regular basis. And when we do post, our reach is typically pretty low. So then we think, well, what's the point? And then we stop posting again. So we need to get off that cycle, and we need to get into a consistent rhythm without posting. Right onto mistake number four. That I see business owners making is not engaging with our audience. Now, when I review a social media account for a client, I'll often, often find comments that haven't been responded to, including reviews.
Now, if someone has taken the time out of their day to publicly endorse your business, for example, on Facebook, please thank them. It is just common courtesy. But when you do respond to your comments, ask questions, build a relationship with your audience, and create a sense of community around your business. And magic things happen when you build an online community.
Okay, onto mistake number five, not giving enough consideration to the visual aspect of your content. Now, the job of your photos, your photo, your video, that is to stop your target audience scrolling. Now, it doesn't matter what you've written in that caption. If they don't stop scrolling, they're not even going to read it. And we need to appeal to our target audience. So something that appeals visually to me may be something very different to what appeals visually to, like, a 55 year old male farmer, for example. So we need to give real thought to our visuals from their perspective, our target audience. Now, I'll often work with a business owner who spends so much time planning out the content, writing the captions, researching the hashtags, and then they literally go and get a photo from a Google search.
Now, firstly, you do not have the right to use images you find on Google. Those images do not belong to you, and they are often the subject of copyright. Now, you can filter on Google images based on usage rights, but let's just stick with tools like Canver or stop photo websites like Pexels, Unsplash, Pixabay, or better yet, take your own photos and videos, because then we can be certain that our content is not going to be like anyone else's.
Number six is forgetting to optimize for search. Social media platforms work just like search engines like Google. People are searching for millions of products, services, tips, tutorials, people, et cetera, every single day on social media. So when we create our social media accounts or we write our captions, we need to give some real thought into what words our target audience are using to search for us. You need to approach it in the same way that you would when optimizing your website for search. So think about all the keywords that your target audience would use to search for your products or services. Those are the words that we need to think about, including in our account names on social media and our captions. And this is really important when you're starting out or launching a new business, because you can't rely on people to know or search for you by brand name because they don't know that you exist yet.
Right onto number seven is only posting promotional content, that this is really common. But we need to think back to why social media was created in the first place. It is literally a space for people to come together. It was not created as a space for you to sell your products and services, but as marketers. We have a habit of ruining things. So we jumped all over social media and we used it as our new marketing channel or promotional tool. Except it doesn't work really well when all you're doing is shouting at people by my stuff. So what we need to do is apply the 80/20 rule or maybe let's do a 75/25 rule. So one out of every four posts is going to be completely promotional. And then the other three, they are going to educate your audience or inform them of something they didn't know, or entertain them, or ask them a question, or take them on a trip down memory lane or get them really thinking or make them laugh out loud. Now, of course, all four of your posts are going to be relevant to your target audience, relevant to you, related to you, your business, and they'll often encourage people to buy your products or book your services, but less in your face, less really promotional. So we need to get that balance right and then you'll be on to a winner. Okay.
Mistake number eight is not showing your face. I know. It's so hard, isn't it? Particularly when you're getting to my age. Nothing like a selfie to make your spot. Every wrinkle, every gray here. But when I do post that selfie, when I do have the confidence to show up, I always get more engagement than I do with any other type of visual element. And that's because people connect with people. It's just what we do. So when we can see the people behind the business, see who we're doing business with, we have a much deeper connection. So let's embrace the wrinkles, embrace the grey hairs and get our faces out there right.
Mistake number nine is not being authentic people can tell when a business is not being genuine. So it's really important to be authentic and a little bit transparent when you're interacting with your audience. Now, I usually find it really obvious when a business has outsourced their social media marketing to an agency or a social media manager and they don't have anything to do with the content, that content just loses that something special. The messaging is often generic. The imagery is too professional and stocky. Is that a word? I don't know. Now, of course there's nothing wrong with outsourcing your social media marketing, but you still need to be involved. You need to give your professional, whoever you're working with axis to shoot photos. And I mean like the candid behind the scenes stuff, not just a professional planned photo shoot. You need to help them with jargon to get your industry lingo correct. And I don't want you approving every post, but you need to collaborate. The process needs to have an element of collaboration.
Okay, lastly, mistake number ten is not being social. Social media is a two way conversation. It's not just about broadcasting your own message out to the world. And I will say it until the cows come home. Social media is just a massive online meeting space. So you don't want to stand in the corner of the room shouting at people about your business. You wouldn't do it in real life, so don't do it online. Engage with people, ask questions, join in on conversations, build relationships. And I promise you, you'll have a much better time than you would if you were the shouty weirdo in the corner. So there we have it. The ten mistakes I see so many business owners making with their social media marketing, including me. I am by no means perfect, I promise you. But the key takeaway here is that when we do our best to avoid these mistakes, we can achieve so much more with our social media marketing.
Now, let's quickly recap on the ten:
Mistake number one is not having a strategy. Sorry. We're going to call it a plan. Not having a plan. Now, a quick slide note - go and check out that social media marketing planner in my online store. The link is in the show notes. You'll find it at www/socialsmartystore.com okay.
Number two, ignoring the analytics.
Number three, not being consistent.
Number four, not engaging with your audience.
Number five, not giving enough thought to the visual element of your post.
Number six is forgetting to optimize for search.
Number seven, only posting promotional content.
Number eight, not showing your face.
Number nine, not being authentic.
And number ten, not being social.
Now come and find me on social media - come and be social with me. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok @socialsmarty.co and let me know if you're brave enough. Which of these mistakes you're guilty of? That's it for another episode of The Social Smarty Show. Until next time. Stay social.