The 10 most common mistakes most companies made on social media in 2017, and will make again in 2018

Social Media Mistake 1: Not tying your social media strategy to your key business objectives.

The most common and most simple mistake brands make on social media is taking part because they think they have to, without linking their strategy to their key business objectives. If you haven't, you should first define your business objectives, choose relevant SMART social media goals and success metrics, design an appropriate social media marketing strategy to deliver on those goals, monitor your audience, results and success metrics weekly in the same way you monitor your sales and financial performance and optimise and iterate accordingly. I receive an in-depth social report every Monday morning detailing our channel's performance, with actionable insights.

Social Media Mistake 2: Not Tracking Analytics

Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Social media instantly is doing the same thing and never optimising based on a careful analysis of the results. Social media without actionable insights, is social media with the lights off. 

Social Media Mistake 3: Stretching yourself too thinly.

You do not need to be on all social media platforms. It's my belief that virtually all companies would stand a better chance of achieving their business objectives if they focused on fewer channels and better content. Which channel is delivering the least on your business goals? I suggest moving the resource from that underperforming social channel to any area of your business that improves customer experience.

Social Media Mistake 4: Posting the same content across platforms.

Every platform is a different stage. On different stages, you have to tell the same story in different ways. Tailored content for each platform increases both reach and engagement considerably. If you've checked the box to auto-post one piece of content across all your channels on your social media management tools, immediately uncheck the box and repent to the gods of Social Media, for you have sinned.

Social Media Mistake 5: Not curating user-generated content.

We have multiple case studies where UGC has grown Instagram accounts by 500-1000% within three-six months. Posting UGC, drives UGC. What you reinforce will grow. Social Media is all about community and engagement, UGC, is a great way to show you care and are in-tune with your own community. UGC comes in many forms, it's not just about pictures of your customers using your products. Why not screenshot a tip / good advice a customer leaves on your channels or reviews and broadcast that with credit to them? This will reinforce that community behaviour.

Social Media Mistake 6: Not uploading videos onto social platforms: 

Native videos are shared five times more than YouTube videos on social. Additionally, there is currently a video arms race happening between every major social platform. A few years ago the only shop in town for video was YouTube. Now, video is Twitter, Facebook, IG, Whatsapp, Snapchat... everywhere. Video = new ad revenue stream for all of these sites, so they are currently prioritising video in their algorithms to encourage publishers like us, to do more. What they reinforce will grow. The game has changed, your social media team needs to be a publishing house capable of producing and editing original video.

Social Media Mistake 7: Boosting the posts you want people to see and not the posts people want to see.

Top-performing posts do even better when boosted. You are wasting money by boosting posts that aren’t performing well organically. You cannot pay for people to watch your bad content you can only pay for them to ignore it, by placing it in their timelines. The organic stats will tell you clearly if the content is good or not. If it performs poorly organically, don't be romantic about it, listen, and save your budget for content that people love.

Social Media Mistake 8: Viewing your social channel as a megaphone in which you have earned the right to broadcast self-obsessed messaging through. 

Social media is a two-way conversation and the days of organic reach and bitly link blasting marketing at people are over. All the major timelines will reduce reach on posts like this. Adopt the simple 10:1 or 20:1 rule for all your channels. 20 pieces of value-based content, before you link out, or ask your community for something related to your products or services.

If you want to win, publish value, converse, don’t market or spam. This is how we've grown a following of 400million across the channels we own and operate.

Social Media Mistake 9: #Over #Hashtagging #Because #Someone #Told #You #It #Helped.

Hashtags make sense on Instagram but on Twitter, they don’t matter as much as you think because every word is indexed in search and under trending topics anyway. They’re really not that 'cool' either, so I would suggest including the word in your tweet and not hashtagging if you can help it. If you do Hashtag, use sparingly and where it makes complete sense. For example; if you've produced reactive content that rides on cultural relevance (breaking world event/world news) where there are millions of people suddenly searching for an opinion on a topic, then make sure you include the trending phrase or hashtag.

Social Media Mistake 10: Believing the quantity of your following is more important than the quality of your engagement. 

The game has changed. It doesn’t matter how big your following is anymore. Algorithms are here to stay. Engagement is more important than following, past engagement improves future engagement and good engagement also drives your following growth. Engagement is kind.

BONUS! Social Media Mistake 11: Not believing in the power of social media. 

Brands that still consider social media a fad, ineffective or irrelevant are choosing to pass on the attention of 40% of the worlds population. Social media can make or break your business. Take it seriously.

Thank you for reading! I'm keen to hear your thoughts and mistakes you've spotted so that I can continue to extend this list (with credit to you). Please comment below if you have anything to add.

Much love!

Steven

Andy Evans