5 Embarrassing Social Media Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

Think about the last time someone recommended a product or service to you. There's a good chance the first thing you did was check them out on social media. 

People use social media to do a ton of self-guided research on businesses, sometimes long before they ever decide to actually make contact. (And let's be honest: who among us hasn't used Facebook to try to find out more about someone before a first date?) They're no longer learning about you just from your paid media or reviews.

To ensure that they actually do start a conversation, do a quick audit of your social media accounts. Check to be sure you aren't making any of the following tacky mistakes.

1. Being messy

By “messy” I’m referring primarily to spelling and grammar errors. I recently checked out the Instagram of a so-hot-right-now Atlanta restaurant. I was shocked to see their status: "Grateful for everyone's support! We have been recognized by Atlanta Magazine in thereupcoming "BEST OF" issue!" Yikes!

"Sure," you say, "but if you can cook great tasting food, is it really necessary to use perfect grammar and spelling?" Well, no. But the person handling your social media should. Because errors like that are sloppy and show a lack of attention to detail. And those aren't things you want associated with your restaurant kitchen. 

Cheesy stock photos or poor quality images? No excuse. It's 2019. You can take amazing photos with your phone and edit them using tons of great apps. But if you don't want to take your own snaps, there are several sites where you can get beautiful free or low cost images. So easy.

2. Abandoning Accounts

This one is very, very common. A business owner gets on the social media bandwagon with no real strategy or plan. After a flurry of self-promoting posts, tumbleweeds. 

When I'm checking out a business on social media and I see that their last post was in 2017, it's almost worse than having no account at all. It looks like the business doesn't plan well and/or doesn't follow through. Either way, no bueno. 

Same goes for businesses that fail to respond to comments or questions from the community. If you're not using the account, ditch it. Which brings me to my next point...

3. Trying to be in all the places, all the time

An auto parts shop probably doesn't need a Pinterest account. (Although there is a surprising amount of information when you search "auto repair shops".) A senior living facility probably doesn't need a Snapchat. It's simply not necessary to have a presence on every single social media platform. Figure out where your customers hang out on social media - ask them! - and then be in those places, ready to interact with them. 

4. Letting the kids handle it

Your niece's best friend who's working on her marketing degree and has a lot of IG followers is probably a great person. But she may not be the best choice for planning and executing a comprehensive social plan. Social media is the (very) public face of a business you've worked hard to build. Don't hand over the reins to anyone without making certain they can help you refine your social media goals, shine up your online presence, and get you the results you want. 

5. Broadcasting

Social media isn't broadcasting. To use it effectively, you need to remember that you're part of a conversation, not giving a speech. People don't like to be "sold to." So when businesses use their social media accounts to push nothing but promotional content, they're unlikely to build a community of people that pays attention. Offering solutions to their problems, answering their questions, and sharing content they'll find useful builds trust. And it establishes your company as reliable, tuned in, and appreciative of their customers.  

Know what else is tacky and embarrassing? Ending a blog post without a call to action. (It's late; I'm getting very meta.) So here's mine: If you enjoyed this post, please share it far and wide.

Want to talk about your business and how to get your messaging to the right people? Let’s schedule a call!


9 Things To Blog About When You Have No Idea What To Blog About

The pressure to come up with a new blog post on a regular basis can be pretty overwhelming for a small business owner. When we start a blog, we're fired up and brimming with ideas. The thought of consistently producing new business-related content seems like a breeze. Running out of ideas seems impossible. 

But then real life gets in the way.

Actually, running your business gets in the way. The ideas that flowed so easily at first can dry right up under the demands of running a business. But you know that producing original content on a regular basis is the key to driving website traffic, establishing authority/credibility, and building a social media following.

So now what?

While you may not always be able to sit down and crank out a 750-word think piece, there's always something you can post about.

Here are nine things to blog about when the pressure is on but the creativity is off. 

1. Lists!

People flippin' love a listicle. Like this one. It's quick and easy to read and there's the perception that you'll come away with some useful knowledge. How do you think Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed stay topped up with new material all the time?

Maybe your post isn't "10 Things Millenial Redheads Wish You Knew About Anxiety". (Or maybe it is. No judgment.) But if you're a wedding planner, you could create a relatable listicle on "8 Things Couples Overlook When Planning the Wedding". Or if you're a printing company, you might make a listicle of industries that hire graphic designers. 

2. Videos

One of the reasons people like working with small businesses is because they are likely to make a human connection with the employees. Short video content is great for blogs because it gives you the chance to show not tell. Maybe your video demonstrates how to use a new product you offer. Or shares a fun event your business was a part of, or even a short interview, or a video on what goes on behind the scened.

The great thing about video content is that you can not only post it to your website but also share it across social media. Rumor is it's here to stay

3. How to's 

How to's are super easy to crank out. Mortgage brokers might write about the steps involved in getting a home loan. Yoga instructors could go into some depth about a pose. Even better if it's illustrated with photos.

Or see above and make a short video showing how something is done. Even iPhone videos are great. 

This photo comes from a YouTube video on "How To Open A Locked Door With A Banana." I'm sorry I don't have time to watch at the moment. If you do, please comment below and let me know if I should. 

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4. GIF stories

I'm not sure "gif story" is an actual term but it should be. It's really just when the steps or stages of something are illustrated with gifs. Here's an example

5. Answer a question relevant to your business

Perhaps you hear the same question or types of questions over and over again in your industry. Answer it in the same conversational tone you might use if you were just talking to someone about it. 

Dr. Caroline von Fluegge-Chen is a chiropractor here in Atlanta. In this post, she addresses the question of "ice or heat?". Perfect!  

6. Review, showcase, or compare products

Let's say you run a house cleaning business and your blog is all about sharing tips with clients and potential clients. If you discover a great new product, a review that spells out why you love it makes a great post. 

On the other hand, if you find a product you really don't like, that can sometimes be an even better post. People like REAL. Share your authentic opinions and it makes for engaging content. 

7. Share a story about how you made a customer happy

If it's hard to think of an example, you may have some bigger things to work on than a blog. 

8. Common misperceptions of your industry

Yes, here I am just savoring my slow-paced morning coffee in my meticulously arranged workspace. (Free use photo from DesignersPics.)

People assume that the world of the boutique social media agency owner is a glamorous one. They assume it's filled with elegant parties, champagne business meetings, and leisurely scrolls through celebrity Instagram feeds. (No they don't.) 

But surely there are things that you wish your customers understood about your work. A blog post is a great way to start that conversation.  

9. How difficult it is to come up with blog post ideas

I mean, why not? 

You get the idea.

Don't pressure yourself to create a masterpiece every. single. time. And when a great idea for a longer piece hits, don't let it get away! If you can't sit down to write at that exact moment, make a voice recording of your brainstorm.

Just know that what's most important is that you consistently create and share quality content over time. That's really the heart of how you build an audience on social media. 

We would love to help you develop a blog strategy for your small business or organization. Let us know what your biggest challenges are and let's talk about how we can help! Hit us up on TwitterFacebook, or IG!

3 Ways to Drag Your Social Media Content Out of a Seasonal Slump

Social media engagement is how and how much your fans or followers are interacting with your Page’s content. Engagement comes in many shapes and sizes: likes, comments, shares, tags, retweets, +1s, etc. The more actions your fans take when interacting with your content the better your engagement rate will be. So why is engagement important? A higher engagement rate means your content and timing is on point. You go Glenn Coco! Basically, what you’re doing is working. And isn’t that the point of any marketing effort? To see more interest, pre-orders, walk-ins, phone calls, or {insert your brand’s goal here}?

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Just like your teenager’s moods, the flow of social media engagement can change drastically. Seeing ups and downs in your Page’s engagement is totally normal but there are a few things you can do to try to beat the seasonal slump.

  1. Go back to your roots.

    Social media has been successful because it allows users to be human and share information with one another. It has made it easier than ever to communicate and keep in touch with people as far away as Narnia and as close as the cafe seat across from you. Don’t be afraid to show your human side! Snap a few pictures next time the team heads to lunch or a local weekend festival. Let your customers and fans know that people (inside and outside of your organization) are important to your brand.

  2. Celebrate. 

    Sometimes seasonal slumps come around the holidays. Re-engage your followers and share some relevant content they can use right then. If your coffee shop offers seasonal pumpkin flavors, let people know (and don’t forget to use #PSL). Share a quick video of how to wrap the perfect present or concoct the chicest cocktail. Think about what your fans are looking for at that time of year and make it your own. You don’t have much time to grab their attention so make sure it’s worth their while.

  3. Host a contest.

    A pretty much guaranteed way to gain interest on your Page is to host a contest or giveaway. A small prize like a gift card or prize pack can drum up a lot of interest. There are rules to hosting a contest on your Facebook Page. Remember, contests must not leave your Page. A like and comment are legal forms of entry for a contest but shares are not eligible. Use a random number generator to choose your winner and ask winners to message your page to claim their prize. And be prompt when sending out their prize!

We want to know: what times of year do you experience slumps in your social media engagement?