Managing a business’ entire social media campaign is a big job for anyone. Between the half-dozen different popular platforms to choose from and the millions of people to meet there, managing even a small business’ social media presence is an incredible task, especially when you want to do everything right. Handling yourself correctly on social media, staying in the good graces of each community, and reaching your lead generation goals can be quite the challenge and may even seem nearly impossible at times.

The good news is that it gets easier over time as you get used to the tasks, learn what each community wants, and figure out how to please everyone. Whether you’re leading a team or it’s just you and the internet for now, the key to successful social media management is to mind your manners and avoid these common mistakes that businesses often make:

1. Mis-Targeting Your Social Media Platforms

One of the biggest problems a social media manager can have is trying to get too much out of cross-posting. Crossing content between social media platforms is an important efficiency hack for effective community management, but it’s also important to understand the environment and attitudes of each platform to pick and choose what you share.

For instance, a silly picture and caption that goes over well on Twitter and Instagram is likely to be seen as unprofessional on LinkedIn where the climate is one of employers, employees, and freelance specialists rather than people meeting to hang out and discuss last weekend’s blockbuster. For each social media platform you choose to work with, study the community and choose each post with care.

2. Forgetting to Proofread a Post

Typos are one of the most common things you will see in social media as people type out and share their thoughts quickly, often while they’re moving from one place to another in a busy real life. However, when you’re posting on behalf of a company, it’s vitally important that typos, misspellings, and other grammatical mistakes are kept to an absolute minimum even when used for a comedic purpose. While you can and should create a personal relationship with your community, that person-ability should not come at the cost of professional writing standards. Always proofread any post before you submit it to ensure that the content won’t embarrass your company in the future.

3. Using Social Media for Pure Self-Promotion

The vast majority of companies join the social media sphere in order to create leads, improve conversion, and raise awareness of the brand. While everyone knows this is true, it’s considered overwhelmingly rude to make all or even half of your company’s social media posts distinctly self-promotional. Don’t advertise in comment threads or on other people’s pages and even keep your blog promotions to a minimum. Social media communities are very likely to support a self-confident company but if you feel the need to constantly plug your product, you’ll quickly lose your following and all respect on the platform.

4. Joining the Wrong Groups

Another problem with promotional thinking is the urge to join and post on groups. Groups do contain useful collections of users who will all see something you post to the group, however not just any group will do. There’s a nasty social media spamming habit in place in which companies will post their promotions to completely non-related group pages in hopes that one of the irritated members will be inspired. Respect group and discussion topics and only bring useful contributive content to the table.

5. Engaging with Belligerent Users

As a social media manager, it’s your job to interact with the community when they post on your wall, send you a message, or comment on something you posted. However, certain other users of social media should not be interacted with and if you haven’t met them already, you will soon enough. Some of them are trolls, looking to cause fights for the fun of it while others are genuinely argumentative people who will never let go of a disagreement. If you find yourself involved in an exchange that seems to be turning into an argument, disengage and stay away from that user in the future. If they get abusive or insistent, report them rather than interacting. Neither you nor the company need a pointless internet fight, but trust us, the fights will come to you and you will have to walk away.

This is part one in our list of Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media Management. Join us later in this month for part two!

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