Being a social media manager is a fun and frantic job, but considering all of the content you must produce it also comes with some risks. Whether you’re a budding social butterfly or an experienced social media star, you’re bound to make a few mistakes as a social media manager.
To improve your craft and help you improve your social media management, we’ve compiled six common mistakes that even experienced social media managers sometimes make, and how to fix them.
While it may seem like everyone in marketing is up-to-date on their productivity habits, even experienced social media managers sometimes forget to schedule social media updates in advance.
Being a social media manager can be a stressful job. You’re running promotional campaigns on multiple platforms simultaneously, as well as supplementing your social media with a sneaky bit of email marketing. With so many things to juggle, it’s easy to let consistent social media updates slip through your fingers.
The problem is, consistency is important. Consistent posts on social media provide a higher ROI and create a more approachable image for your brand, both of which are essential for good customer service.
If you’re struggling to stay on top of your social media, there’s a simple solution. To ensure you are scheduling your social media updates consistently, embrace the magic of a social media calendar. A social media calendar helps you plan out your social media posts in advance and can even post them for you.
To get the most out of your calendar, it’s best to plan out some of your posts up to a month ahead of time. We all know that some posts can’t be scheduled that far ahead of time, but many can, especially if you plan ahead with a social media holiday calendar that helps you prepare for those national and hashtag holidays well in advance.
And by getting those posts slated into your social media management tool, you can give yourself more time to focus on the work that needs to be turned around more quickly. Scheduling your social media updates also comes with some powerful benefits for your brand.
Pre-planned posts feel more consistent with each other as they reflect your brand’s voice rather than your feelings on the day. It’s also easier to run a series of connected posts if you schedule them in advance.
Have you ever seen a brand publish a Facebook post, only to see the exact same post published on Instagram minutes later? It doesn’t feel very authentic, does it?
While this tactic makes somes for something like a product launch or a company-wide update that’s intended to break some news, it’s not how you should handle regular posts.
You have different audiences who engage in different ways on each social media platform, and there are different best times to post, so why would you try a one-size-fits-all approach? Each social media platform has a different algorithm, meaning how you sell on Pinterest is different from the hacks you use to succeed on Instagram. There are also more subtle differences between the platforms, including:
Each platform even has its own best practices for search engine optimization, meaning cross-posting the same thing at the same time on all platforms isn’t the way to get a good return on your marketing. But if you like to reuse content, there is a way.
When it comes to social media, there is content you can re-spin and content you can recycle. When you re-spin content, you update the wording, fix broken links, and freshen up the content with new visuals. This works well with blog posts, buyers guides, and eBooks, as well as social media posts.
Other content can be recycled several months after it was created. This includes infographics, GIFs, images, animations, and graphics, as these take on fresh meaning when they are placed in a new context.
TIP: If you don’t want to use the exact same visual twice, you can freshen it up by updating statistics, changing the design, or using it as a template for new content.
While social media managers spend a lot of time focusing on customer engagement, sometimes they can forget to stop to ask those same customers for feedback. It takes a lot of departments working together to close the expectation gap, and that often starts with social media managers because of their high engagement with customers.
Social media is a unique promotional space. It gives your brand a voice but also opens up a two-way discussion with your customers. If you want to keep this relationship healthy long term, you need to show your customers that you value their opinion by responding to their feedback.
Great feedback results from collecting quantitative and qualitative research on your audience. Qualitative research collects non-statistical data about your customer’s thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. In contrast, quantitative research focuses on statistics-based data.
You can collect qualitative data through surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Or, if you want to keep things simple, just ask your customers to share their ideas in the post’s comments. You can also run polls from your page on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
You can get quantitative feedback by tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs). According to experts, the best KPIs for customer feedback include:
If you are having trouble getting feedback from your customers, try using an incentive. Offering a product giveaway or a 10% voucher on their next purchase can be an easy way to collect valuable feedback that improves your marketing and gives you more potential to create ROI through your social channels.
As a social media manager, it’s easy to believe that everyone who sees your content is a fan of your product – but this simply isn’t true.
Paid social media advertising appears in the feeds of people in your customer demographic. In contrast, organic social media posts appear in the feeds of people whose friends interact with your content. This means that many of your posts are the first experience a new lead will have with your brand.
To ensure new leads get a positive first impression, make sure you create high-quality content in collaboration with the talented professionals around you. This means collaborating with the web designers who run your brand’s website and asking the design department to enhance your graphics. Depending on your business, there may also be analysts and sales experts who can help you improve your social media selling skills.
Interdepartmental collaboration also extends to the content of your posts. Good social media managers aren’t afraid to include work from other departments in their posts, including giving product updates, alerting customers when there are change-log updates from developers, and sharing articles from their brand’s online newsroom.
Social media is simply not a solo activity! Don’t be afraid to ask the specialists around you for expertise, because as one of the key customer-facing departments in your company, it’s important for everyone to feel like they’re being represented. Not to mention, you won’t always be around, whether it’s on holiday or sick days, so it’s important to have friends and allies in the company who understand the importance of social media and can contribute to its success in your absence.
While most social media managers watch their engagement metrics on each social media platform, the day-to-day grind might get in the way of looking at the data long term.
Tracking your social media metrics allows you to understand your customer’s journey better. This will help you develop more effective marketing.
Tracking results also allows you to spot buying trends within your customer base. In most businesses, sales increase around critical periods. However, some businesses also experience boosts in sales at industry-specific times. If you can work out when these times are, you can adjust your marketing to take advantage of the sales boost.
So, what metrics should you track? While metrics are often industry-specific, here are some of the key data points that social media managers should be tracking:
That brings us to the final mistake experienced social media managers make: failing to market to their target customers.
Your target customers are a bracket of people grouped by a similar characteristic that makes your product attractive to them. If you offer stock advice, for example, your target customers would be people looking to invest.
Marketing that isn’t aimed towards your target customers is less effective, as you are advertising to people with no interest in your product. Thankfully, Socialbakers offers a free social media marketing persona template to help you zero in on the right target audience.
First, you need to classify your customers by how they access your product (i.e. retail or online store). Next, you need to describe your customers by demographic characteristics. This includes basics like age, location, and interests. Crucially, it also digs deeper into goals and frustrations, brands or influencers that they already follow, and which platforms they engage with.
Once you have a better idea of who is interested in your product, you can narrow down your market by their behavior as consumers. This includes understanding their needs and motivations, as well as why your product meets these needs.
With a clear picture of your target customer in mind, you can tailor your social media marketing and branding to get the attention of your target customers, which can greatly improve your lead-conversion rate.
Every social media manager makes mistakes, but your missteps don’t have to ruin your marketing efforts. While we hope you avoid these six mistakes (and the countless others that you may encounter), don’t judge yourself for making them! We wouldn’t learn if we didn’t make mistakes.