Ahhhh perfection, Robbi is not thy name. I’ll admit I have made social media blunders. I posted a blog with a typo that I somehow missed. I made a comment I wished I could take back.
I don’t imagine any of our BlogPaws readers have made these mistakes, but if you have… here are steps you can take to fix a social media faux pas. There are common social media blunders and how-to-fix-them tips that any pet professional can embrace.
Common Social Media Blunders & How To Fix Them
Wandering aimlessly. This, I think, is the biggest social media blunder a pet professional can make. Why? Because if you’re spending time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and others, but you have no clear marketing strategy, you’re spinning your wheels. Simply slapping a photo on Instagram or a post on LinkedIn with no strategy behind it means you are simply throwing spaghetti against the wall and waiting to see what sticks.
You need a strategy for all of your social media and blogging efforts.
An example is if you want to “Get to 100,000 Facebook followers,” but don’t:
- Have a good reason why,
- Know what you will do with/for those 100,000 followers once you get them,
- Or understand the purpose behind the number. If you just want to announce, “I have 100,000 FB followers” and that is your goal–congratulations. If, however, you want to monetize those followers, what will you do?
Don’t feel you have to be on all of the social media platforms if they don’t fit into your social strategy. Do you really need to be on SnapChat? Just because “everyone is on SnapChat” is no reason you need to be.
Strategy matters. Put yours in place even if you’ve been on social for an extended period of time you can still rethink, or put into place, a social media strategy. Need help creating one? Here’s a primer on how to create a social media strategy.
Buy me. Buy me! This goes two ways.
- You buy followers.
- You are always trying to sell your followers something.
Stop both practices! Buying followers is a way to get your numbers up, but toward what end? Do you truly think that when you’re buying followers that those followers are viable or matter to you, your business or your social strategy? It’s not a numbers game, it’s a building a connection strategy. Buying followers is not a strategy.
If your followers come to your page and all they read is about a new course you’re selling, or a new affiliate program you’ve become involved in, or about a new book you’ve written, they will head for the virtual hills. I’ll bet you don’t follow people based on how many ads they can send to your newsfeed, am I right?
Offer your followers valuable information. Share your expertise with them so when they are ready to buy they will automatically think of you, your book or your course because you have been providing them useful information, insights and interaction.
…you won’t believe what happened next!!! We’ve all read the click-bait pieces, and I’ll bet I am not alone in clicking through when I see a puppy and a kitten by the side of a busy highway and the caption is, “You won’t believe what happens next!?” Of course I have to click. I need to make certain the puppy and kitten are safe. I’m not a monster!
However, once I have clicked and I am taken to a page advertising the new triple cheeseburger with a vat of fries at a local burger joint, I am more than a little angry–with my gullibility and with the person/entity that lured me in with a fake news piece.
Getting trendy with it. Of course you want your posts to be part of a trending topic, but if today’s trending topic is #nationalpopcornday and you use that hashtag but are sharing a post about “dewclaws and dogs,” I will be more than a little angry that I was lured into a post I was hoping was about popcorn and am faced with dewclaw information. Shame on you.
If you can truly write to a trending topic, then go for it! If you can’t, then don’t. It will only take one post for you to get a potential reader not to trust you or your content and never to come back. Build your online relationships on a sturdy foundation of trust and trustworthy content.
Walls of words. Graphics are not my forte, but I know that readers (and Google) love them, so I struggle with them and add them into my posts. I could write a 1,000-word post in less than an hour, but it could take me much longer than that to find an appropriate image and make it relatable to the content I’ve written. Ugh!
Be cognizant that many of your readers are looking at your content on their tablets or smartphones. Break up the text with images. They will thank you for it. Keep in mind that your images do double duty because you will be sharing them on your other social platforms so multi-tasking at its best.
Numbered or bulleted lists and subheads are ideal for breaking content up into readable chunks.
Who are you really? Do you ever follow back someone on Twitter whose profile pic is the “egg”? Why? If that person can’t find an image to put up with their profile, chances are they aren’t going to take the time to offer me relevant content–my own personal feeling, for sure.
If you have a social profile that you haven’t completed, why not? Make use of all of the opportunities Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. provide to help you share your story and be found online.
What if I want to get in touch with you, but you have no contact information or a website in your social profile? If you had a service or product I was truly in need of at that time, but I couldn’t reach you, believe me I will find someone else… someone with a complete social profile.
Take time today and look at your social profiles. Update them if necessary. Complete them if they’re incomplete.
Hello? Is there anyone there? If you post on your social sites and someone takes the time to comment, for Pete’s sake, answer them! If someone complains, respond. If you get a thumbs up or a RT, return the favor. Social media is, by its very name, social!
#Icantstopmyselffromhashtaggingeverything. Hands up if you use hashtags too much… or too little. Sure, some hashtags are just fun and funny. Other times, I have to look at the hashtag for far too long to decipher it (like the one in this paragraph, right?) Use hashtags sparingly and use hashtags that make sense.
Ignoring or spending too much time on analytics. Don’t be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand about your numbers and your analytics. What if you write a blog post that “goes viral”? How will you know if you don’t check your analytics?
What if you write a dozen blog posts that get nothing but crickets? How will you know if you don’t check your analytics?
See where I am going with this? You don’t want to have everything you post “be all about the numbers,” but if you’re writing a blog post series of 20 posts and no one has cared about the first three, five or 11, is there any reason to continue?
I check my analytics when I am filling my editorial calendar. If something did well, I’ll re-work that piece and write about that topic again. If crickets met my last post (that I was convinced was brilliant) I will see if I can do a deep dive and determine why it didn’t trend. Could have been the wrong time of year, I could have targeted the wrong audience or any number of other reasons.
Many social platforms provide analytics dashboards, take time to research your numbers then write more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
These are a few of the social media blunders I have seen–and probably have made! Do you see yourself in any of these? How can you change your way of doing social media to address any potential blunders? Share your tips!
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I will be speaking at BlogPaws 2017 as part of the Cat Writers’ Association. My topic is: “Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing” Synopsis: Whether you’re writing full time, blogging, in the midst of a multi-book project or just starting out, this session will help you lose the feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed. You’ll learn a four-step process to beat procrastination, use time blocking to help you get more done, claim your writing time and bump up your creativity and some in-the-trenches writing tips, hacks and advice. There will be giveaways, handouts and time for questions! Hope to see you there!