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Social Media Traps and How to Avoid Them

Quick Tips for Going From a One Post Wonder to a Social Media Hotspot

by Kaynen Harris, Digital Media Strategist

No matter the generation you may have grown up with, social media has legitimized itself as a necessary function for most businesses. However, many brands jumping into social media approach these platforms in the wrong manner, often biting off more than they can chew.

Before telling you the steps to creating a successful social connection, let’s dive right in to what an ineffective or minimal social presence looks like.

Common social media traps that most companies fall into:

  • Losing the brand’s personality/voice
  • Using too many media platforms
  • Cluttering platforms with a high quantity of posts rather than quality
  • Recycling content
  • Misusing platforms from how they’re preferred

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, we don’t do those things, so we’re all good, right?” Yet reading about these traps and seeing them in the wild may be eye-opening. Let’s take a look at some examples of these errors that often go unnoticed. There’s no better industry to observe than the food industry, which can use this form of media in a large variety of ways.

Take a look at this example from Einstein Bros Bagels:

Facebook: 757K followers, 50-150 reactions per post
Instagram: 7K followers, 100-300 reactions per post
Twitter: 8K followers, 0-5 reactions per post

Look familiar? Not to worry, we can help your brand bring new life to your followers and extend your potential reach, as well as strengthen your brand’s voice and values for both your followers and employees.

To take the first steps toward social success follow these four guidelines:

1. Keep your voice and personality consistent

The first thing to determine what it is you are trying to do/say with each post. You never want to post solely to post. Similarly, this message should share the same personality you have already developed. Straying from your already established voice will likely cause confusion or conflict and could potentially push consumers away. If you’re quirky then be quirky; if you’re factual, push facts, but play to your strengths.

2. Have a solid objective and measure outcomes

You should have a goal behind each post as you would with any traditional media campaign. If awareness is key then obtaining likes, reposts, shares etc., is a great avenue to pursue. Yet, if you are looking for in-store response, promoting giveaways or discounts may be a better approach. Either way, establishing the objective and using a measurable outcome is the only way to see if your goals are making progress. This will also help determine the right ad approach and keep you from wasting sponsored dollars.

3. Use the right platforms, not EVERY platform

First of all, we cannot stress this enough: EVERY COMPANY DOES NOT NEED TO USE EVERY PLATFORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA. We also always recommend doing one thing well before adding on. The more channels you are using, the greater chance you have of creating clutter as opposed to valuable content.

Secondly, it’s important you ask yourself: Does your brand’s voice align with the platform? While a statistical or software company likely won’t have a high draw on a more artistic channel like Instagram, Einstein Bros Bagels doesn’t seem to have a real need for Twitter. There is almost no reaction and it’s all recycled content, so why waste time creating repetitive clutter? Do one thing well rather than doing too many mediocre things at once.

4. Post content that plays to the channel’s strengths

If you aren’t reaching users in a way they enjoy using the platform, you are more likely to be skimmed over or ignored. Instagram is not for wordy blog posts. Facebook typically must be paired with a form of content. Twitter is quick news, short info, or fan appreciation. LinkedIn is more business-professional in its approach and should be treated that way as well.

The most common error (as seen above) is recycling the same content with the same or similar copy across all channels. Users will interact with your posts more if they aren’t seeing the same content on each channel. You need something that plays to the platform being used while maintaining your voice.

Check out the great examples of Taco Bell below:

Facebook: 10M followers, 1-15K reactions per post
Instagram: 1M followers, 10-20K reactions per post
Twitter: 1.8M followers, 500-2K reactions per post

These are just the first steps to becoming an effective social media guru, no longer posting aimlessly, but with intent on the correct channel with purpose.  The proceeding steps begin a new interactive journey that your followers are sure to love. What once seemed as a generational fad is now a fun, yet strategical, marketing plan.