Social media marketing can be a minefield. You know it’s important to keep posting content across the major platforms but it’s easy to make mistakes. These mistakes could be costing your business its online presence, likes, clicks and ad spend. Let’s take a look at the most common mistakes you need to avoid.
Mistakes people make in social media posts
Let’s start with the most obvious one:
You’re making spelling and grammar mistakes
Double-check everything you post to your social media accounts. Even the smallest typo will cost your brand some of its reputation. Most likely, these mistakes will go unnoticed by your team for days or even forever. An error dramatically impairs the performance of an otherwise great piece of content and if the piece does perform well, unfortunately, more people are going to see your mistake!
If you’re using a scheduling software it’s easy to draft up lots of content and assume you’ll check the pipeline later. Unless you’re a hawk-eyed proof-reader, this is a risky strategy. Create the piece as if it was going out live before you schedule it and, ideally, get someone else to proof all the scheduled posts.
You’re using old stock imagery
Visual collateral is hugely important to your brand and post performance on social media. First and foremost, your content must grab the attention of busy users and boring stock imagery is not the way to do that. There are some instances when it can be acceptable, however, using images that people have seen many times before will not stop them from scrolling right past.
It’s a far better option to share branded graphics designed exactly to suit your needs, especially in paid adverts.
You’re not getting to the point
The first few words of any social media post are the most important – you must spark interest immediately. The key is to make it harder for someone to keep scrolling than to stop and read.
Think about words or phrases that will catch the eye of your audience and draw them into the rest of the copy. Try and speak directly to your audience by using “you” and “your” or by using a quote from someone they can relate to. Statistics or headline value propositions are often effective too. Once you’ve grabbed their attention, you can then add secondary details.
You’re explaining things from the ground up
Audiences never like to feel condescended and they certainly don’t like wasting their time reading something they already know. Trust that your audience already has a baseline understanding of what you’re talking about and go from there.
Instead of beginning with “Press-ups build bigger pecs…” go straight to “These press-up variations will get your pecs burning…”. Instead of “Quentin Tarantino is one of the most celebrated movie directors of all time…” go with “Which of these lines from a Tarantino movie is your favourite?”
You’re not checking the post previews on different screens
Before you publish a post, it’s vital to check how it renders on a variety of screens. Different devices and operating systems deal with content on browsers or in apps uniquely. This aside, sometimes the social platforms display a strange link preview or image thumbnail which makes the entire post unappealing. You may also see a meta description from the linked page being pulled through, which you may want to change.
A platform like Hootsuite has a tool for previewing content across various devices. It’s also worth checking content after it is live to see if anything has gone awry, especially if it’s a key post.
You’re not checking your links work
It’s highly recommended that you check that the links in your posts work as expected, especially in any paid ads. Unlike Google Ads, where the platform will identify a broken link in an ad (and cease spending), Facebook will generally continue regardless. Most users won’t bother to notify you that a link is broken because they may assume it’s only broken for them. Three things to note:
Always check the very final version of the ads – when they’re in their live state – to avoid any wasted spend.
Link-shorteners are popular on social media but a single character error may take a user to an entirely different website!
Links that use a 301-redirect will sometimes fail as platforms crackdown on misleading content and malicious practices.
You’re posting at the wrong times
There’s no true wrong time to post on social media, but there may be sub-optimal times. Most social networks use an algorithm to determine who sees which posts. “Recency” – how recently a post was shared – plays an important role in those algorithms. If you post at 4am but your audience isn’t usually online until the following evening, there will be a full working day’s worth of content that is more recent than yours.
A simple rule of thumb is to post when your audience is online. However, it’s more important to see when your posts tend to perform best. Keep experimenting and find out what works for you.
You’re sending people to bad landing pages
Maybe you’re following best practice as far as the post goes, but you’re directing users to a terrible landing page. Double-check that the page works on a range of mobile devices and that the language flows nicely from the social media post. Ensure the text is broken up with images or callouts and there’s a clear call to action for users to follow.
Getting lots of clicks but no sales or enquiries? It’s likely that your landing page or entire site isn’t user-friendly enough. Read this for more landing page tips.
Hopefully, you’ve learned some useful information about how to cut out the most common and costly mistakes on social media. Good luck!