Social Media can be a tricky beast, but is a key tool in any blogger’s arsenal. When you are first launching a blog (you can find the ultimate guide to launching your blog here, and a free checklist to help you get started here), or starting out with a new social media platform, it is easy to make mistakes ranging from picking the wrong social media platform to not sharing engaging content with your audience.
Here are five common mistakes made by bloggers, and how to fix them.
Picking the Wrong Platforms
Picking the right social media platforms is key to your social media strategy. It does not matter if you are posting ten times a day if you are posting on the wrong platform. The key to selecting the right social media platforms is to think like the readers you want to attract. What platforms do they use? Where do they spend their time?
Here is a list of the most common social media platforms you will encounter.
To really understand if your users are on these platforms, you will need to spend time on them poking around, and searching for things relevant to your blog or business. You will also find as you investigate social media platforms that some take more work than others to build a presence on. If you are not seeing a lot of activity around the area you are working with, that would indicate this may not be the best platform for you to spend your time on. While this may feel like a waste of time, this research up front can really help you avoid spending your time in the wrong place. It is also a great way to be productive when you are not feeling the writing vibe.
Once you figure out which platforms your users are active on, it is time to start working with them. if you have not used social media before, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Here are a few tips to make it easier:
- Sign up for your desired platforms immediately. This way you can try to get similar names on each platform.
- Make sure to fill out profile information including your logo or picture, your website, and a descriptive bio that tells the world what you or your brand or about.
- Start with one or two social media platform. If you have never worked with social media before, start with one. If you have experience with social media platforms, you may want to be more aggressive. The key is to not undertake too many new platforms at once. Each platform has their own nuances, and take time to get used to.
- Start connecting with others on your desired platforms. Search for other users in your area of interest and start following them! With any luck, they may follow you back.
Remember, social media networks take time to build! You are not going to have 10,000 followers overnight. Creating a presence takes time and effort on social media, and avoiding these common mistakes will help.
Lack of Planning
If you want to conquer social media, you have to have a plan! Deciding what types of messages to post as part of your social media strategy is a very important decision, and each platform has its own nuances. If you do not put a social media strategy in place, it will be very hard to judge how successful you are.
Think of your social media strategy as your blueprint for success. The good news is that your social media strategy can evolve as you evolve as a blogger. A big part of social media strategy is sharing content your followers find valuable. If they do not find it valuable, they have no reason to either click on it or share it.
Now, let’s think about what types of content you can post on social media:
- Your blog posts
- Blog posts you found interesting and think your readers may
- Reposts from social media followers
- eBooks/White Papers/Data Sheets
We are going to break down each type of content, so you can understand why it may be right or wrong for you to use in your social media strategy.
The number one rule (and easiest rule to follow) when posting content for your audience is to never post something you did not find value in. If you did not relate to the content or find it worth a look, why would your audience? There is one exception to this case. If you are an expert in your niche or area of business, and your audience is not, you still may want to share more basic content. As long as you you can see how someone with less experience than you would find value in it, it is a great piece of content to post.
Now, onto sone of the different types of content you can cultivate for your audience.
Your Blog Posts
First and foremost, it is important to promote your blog posts on social media, and more than just once! CoSchedule has some great guidelines for when you should schedule an initial post, and an awesome feature called ReQueue that allows you to cultivate a queue of content to share when you have gaps in your social media content publishing. You can read more about why I love CoSchedule and why it is one of my go to tools here. These guidelines are built right into the CoSchedule marketing calendar, so you can schedule a whole social media campaign with only a few clicks. You can even try CoSchedule for free for 30 days.
Blog Posts Interesting to Your Audience
As much as your readers hopefully love your content, things may get a bit boring when you show them your content over and over again. Showing your audience cultivated content you thing they will appreciate will go a long way. First of all, you are helping to them to learn something new, even if you did not write about it. Secondly, you are building good will with others as you share your content. Be sure to tag them when you share their content, and you may find yourself with additional followers and they may share your content too!
Reposts From Social Media Followers
As a rule of thumb, I tend to follow people who are following me back. This is not an approach everyone takes, as I am sure you have seen many social media accounts with a ton of followers that are not following many people at all. One of the goals of my social media interaction (and hopefully yours) is to build a relationship with my audience. A great, quick and easy way to accomplish this is simply re-sharing their content when it is relevant.
Does your target audience like videos? If they do, this is a great piece of content to share. When I share videos I try to stick with ones that are short and sweet, as in less than five minutes. This is because I know I probably will not watch anything much longer, and I value the time of my followers. I also will not post or re-share a video unless I have watched it myself to make sure it is worth everyone’s time.
Similar to videos, I try to stick to sharing shorter Podcasts that my followers find relevant. I know probably will not bother with a podcast that is too long, and the sweet spot seems to be 20 minutes or less. A great example of a quick and awesome podcast is the Marketing School Podcast by Neil Patel and Eric Siu.
The episodes are short and sweet, and all contain useful information. These are the qualities to look for when sharing podcasts, or any content when it all boils down to it.
eBooks/White Papers/Data Sheets
eBooks, white papers, and data sheets are all great resources depending on what your audience likes to consume. Personally, I would rather read something than listen to it or watch it, so this is a form of content I really enjoy. Once again, it is important to make sure the resource you share is valuable, since this can be a little bit of a time investment for your reader.
Lack of Scheduling
After we have decided on a social media strategy, we want to schedule the daylights out of it! We want to make sure our followers are seeing fresh, interesting, engaging content when they log onto their social media platforms.
One of the worst mistakes bloggers make is to think that they can manage everything without a little help. Let’s face it, life happens, especially if blogging is not your full time job, and it can get way to easy to forget to post content or to simply not have the time.
Once again, my favorite tool is CoSchedule, and it has saved me hours upon hours in time.
Not Checking Notifications
Once you start publishing content on social media, it is important to make sure you are checking in on your notifications. On most platforms, notifications are completely configurable, and you can even elect to receive e-mails based on certain notification activity. Keeping an eye on notifications are important for a number of reasons.
First of all, notifications allow you to see if people are enjoying your content. If you tweet a blog post and you have not received any reposts are likes, it may be an indicator that you need to alter the hashtags you are using, images you are posting, or change your headline to something more engaging. This is all part of the process of learning the ins and outs of a social media platform. You will be surprised to find that changing these seemingly small things can have a huge impact on people engaging with your content.
Not Engaging With Your Audience
If you do not engage with your audience you may find they are not engaging with your content! Something as simple as following an account back, a repost, or a like goes a long way in building good will between you and your audience. It is also important to respond to messages, both public and privately.
Another great way to engage with your audience, which also helps you, is to share and repost their content when relevant. This both keeps you active on your platform, shares relevant material with your audience, and builds good will between you and others on the platforms. This can also help lead to others sharing your content when you share theirs.
Mistakes are a Part of Learning
Do you find yourself making some of these common social media mistakes? Try not to worry too much, these mistakes are easy to fix! While it will certainly take time and effort to see the results, a solid social media strategy is a key component to any blog’s success. When you make a mistake, you simply need to take a look at your social media strategy and how you are implementing it. Like growing the traffic to your website, changes to your social media strategy will take time to see the results from.
Have you made social media mistakes? Be sure to let us know how you fixed them on Twitter!