“Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years—going from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. In 2017, analysts predict a 26.3% global increase on spending for social media ads,” according to Hootsuite.
So why are brands still getting it wrong? What mistakes do they continue to make?
1. Posting The Same Content Across All Channels: This is my biggest pet peeve. If you're going to post the same content on every channel, then why would I follow all of your accounts? I've worked with big agencies that disagree strongly with me on this. Don't listen to them. Joe Legaz, director of marketing for the LA Clippers, says, “Know your medium. Different channels encourage different types of content. LinkedIn is for professional development. Twitter is for quick hits of news. Instagram is for eye grabbing images, etc. Understanding each channel is the key to successful engagement. To this point, don’t get caught in the trap of posting the same thing on each channel."
2. Promoting Too Many (Or Too Few) Posts: Ever seen John Legre, the CEO of T Mobile, on Twitter? Every day there's a promoted post in my feed, asking me to follow him. It's so annoying. It makes me want to punch him in the face. To be fair, it's next to impossible to get heard among all the chatter without boosting posts. According to Joe Legaz, “Don’t feel the need to boost every post. But when you really feel strong about a message, or feel it is particularly great timing for your brand to capitalize, don’t make the mistake of not boosting it. You want to make sure that you not only engage your current audience, but help grow it by reaching others who may not be following."
3. Posting Infrequently (Or Too Much): Again, I see brands going to the extreme: Either clogging up my feed or not posting for days. Thoughts vary here but the general consensus is that you should be posting up to fourteen times a day on Twitter, five times on Snapchat, and two times per day on Facebook and Instagram. This can change depending on the brand, but the general message is to post frequently without being annoying.
4. Providing Poor Customer Service: Are you going to handle customer service via social or not? Every time I go to a Vons grocery store, I wait in ridiculously long lines. I complained on Twitter and ten minutes later they got back to me and asked what location I was at. I replied and then never heard back from them. Cool story bro. Either you're going to do customer service via social or you're not. You can't expect a social media manager to handle customer feedback 24/7. You're going to have to put some resources behind it in order to be successful.
5. Not Being Honest: Ever see a company go through major issues (product recalls, scandal, etc.) and not address them on social? It breeds distrust. Take a page from the sports world. Joe Legaz, of the Los Angeles Clippers, states that, "No matter how painful it might be (say you’ve just been blown out by 20 points) you still have to find a way to engage with scores, pictures, quotes from the locker room, etc." Be honest with your followers and they'll appreciate it.
What do you think? What are brands getting wrong on social?
Article first appeared in Forbes on January 21, 2017