Run a Google search for “social media tips” and you’ll find plenty of useful wisdom. Most of the advice, however, only works if applied correctly and in the right context. Like trying to screw a nail in with a hammer, tools are only as useful as those who know how to use them. Here are three common social media tips, their pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Tip #1- Automate updates
Power-users of social media advocate setting up posts and updates to be released automatically.
Pitfall #1- A lot of automation feels robotic. Social media at its best creates engaged communities and meaningful dialogues between companies and their patrons. By relying heavily on automation, people who view your Twitter feed will quickly see you’re more interested in promotion than actually adding value to a conversation.
Remedy #1- Focus on automating only a portion of your content. Use tools like HootSuite and Tweet Old Post to help schedule and recycle your automated posts to best effect; but remember to stay responsive and reactive too. Communicate with followers if you won’t be able to respond to them in a long time. Being upfront and showing an interest in communication looks great on the feed and will ensure camaraderie between you and your potential clients.
Tip #2- Be everywhere
Most advice says you’ve got to stay active on every social media platform.
Pitfall #2- Having a presence on most social media sites can’t hurt your brand awareness, but taking the time to alternate between all of these sites and keeping them current will spread you thin. You’re already strapped for time as it is. Stressing about having a significant presence on every new social media outlet won’t make things better.
Remedy #2- Spend your time on the social media outlets most closely related to your product. Know your clientele and meet them where they are online; focus your energy where it will pay off the most.
Tip #3- Streamline Networks
The more tech-savvy social media users often promote the use of tools like HootSuite to broadcast updates simultaneously to different networks.
Pitfall #3- People may very well find themselves on more than one of your social media profiles. If the content is all the same, it just shows (as with pitfall #1) that you are not truly engaging people, but merely broadcasting self-promotion. Furthermore, different networks are better for different types of content. Facebook is better suited to longer updates whereas Twitter is all about short and snappy attention-grabbing tweets.
Remedy #3- By all means streamline updates that naturally lend themselves to all networks. For example, some updates only need to be a concise statement followed by a link to other content: These would be suitable for mass-broadcast. But you should also vary some posts across networks in order to fully utilise the available media space. Finally, always engage with individuals on all active networks so that they seem more inviting for people to connect.