5 Social media mistakes that make your life harder in 2021

5 Social media mistakes that make your life harder

Graphic of a hand holding an iphone with a social likes icon

Many business owners think that managing social media for their business is easy because they’re already on social media for personal use. 

Not to be dramatic, but every social media expert worth their dime will agree that managing and creating content for businesses is VERY different. There is a right and wrong way to do it, but the right way takes a lot more preparation, effort, consistency, and most importantly…TIME. 

As a business owner, it can be a burden to spend so much of your time on social media, especially when you have many other areas of your business that need your attention.

To make your life easier on social media, here’s a roundup of  5 common mistakes that business owners make online and what you can do to avoid them.

 

1. You’re on the wrong social media platforms 

A simple demonstration for this point: if you want to market to Gen Z, you can’t expect to do so on MySpace. As a Gen Z myself, I can tell you that I wouldn’t even be able to recognize the MySpace logo if it hit me in the face!

The point is, different platforms will attract different audiences. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re on the wrong platforms, it’s probably because you’re not doing enough research.

Social media users vary by country, age, gender, motivations, interest, choice of media, and much, MUCH more. You might think you know a particular demographic well, but doing research will put you ahead of all the other brands that are also relying on their intuition or experience without any data to back it up. Here’s an infographic that illustrates various behaviors, interests, and media consumption from Millennials around the world: 

Source: Global World Index

On the left, you can see what kind of video content inspires Millennials to make purchases. On the right, we see the motivation for millennials to use social media and what they’re interested in based on the type of accounts they follow. This information has to be collected through ample research to come up with an effective social media strategy. This brings us to the next common mistake…

 

2. Having no strategy 

So here’s the thing: everybody knows how to post pictures and write captions, but not everyone knows how to create value-added content. 

Focus on providing EDUTAINMENT: entertainment with an educational aspect.

For example, if you’re a houseplant business, you might want to create video reels, graphics, and photos that offer the following:

💡 Ideas for houseplant education:

    • Caring for houseplant tips and tricks
    • Differences between different species of houseplants
    • Mistakes that new plant owners make 
    • How to decorate your home with plants 
    • What pet owners should know about having certain plants
    • How-to’s

💡 Ideas for houseplant entertainment:

    • Types of houseplant owners: elite vs. novice vs. amateur (fake plants only)
    • Relatable struggles and failures of trying to take care of plants
    • Plants in the wild thriving on their own, plants in the home dying if you look at them wrong
    • What your houseplant says about you
    • Spot the fake plant
    • Expectations vs. reality

Comparing content types for houseplant businesses social media

Social media is a free tool for your business, but it needs to be used strategically to be effective. There is a WAY smaller incentive for people to follow business accounts, which is why you need to give them a reason to follow yours. Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your social media strategy (or lack thereof):

  • Who are your competitors? Doing a quick competitor analysis can help you identify what’s working for them and what they’re missing.
  • Who is your audience? The houseplant example I talked about earlier is not going to attract sports fans. You’ll need to understand your audience through thorough research as discussed earlier.
  • What is your goal?  The question is not “what can I do for my social media”, but rather ‘what can social media do FOR ME?” Like everything else, if you don’t have goals, you won’t know how well (or IF) your efforts are paying off. Whether it’s to engage with customers, drive conversions, or just to have a solid online presence; you’ll need to strategize how to get there and define metrics to help you recognize when you’re there.

 

3. Only creating new content 

You may see other businesses on social media regularly posting new content which pressures you to come up with new ideas to do the same. Not only is that a lot of stress added, but it’s also not what they’re actually doing. 

The real secret to having a steady stream of content is a process called ‘repurposing.’ 

Repurposing content is just like recycling. Think of how the Harry Potter book series was repurposed into 8 films – that’s 2 powerful ways of consuming the same content for the millions of Harry Potter fans. 

The same thing is done for social media. Some people enjoy reading long texts in blog or book form; some people are more visual and prefer videos or images. Repurposing your content across various mediums is a great way to reach your audience with different media consumption preferences, and it makes your life a whole lot easier. 

Our client JRP Employee Benefits is a great example of how content can be repurposed effectively. Every month, they publish new blog posts that are packed with a ton of useful information. A lot of work goes into a single blog post, so it would be a shame if it stopped there. 

That is where we step in; our design and digital strategy team turns this content into stunning graphics that can be used for their Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts. See how we turned this JRP infographic into branded graphics for their social media:

Example of repurposing content for social media

By repurposing content each month, JRP’s social media platforms will never run out of value-added content to be regularly posted without boring their audience.

 

4. Ignoring growth tools 

Technology advances fast. And we mean, FAST. 

There’s a new update every month for new features, algorithm changes, or maybe even the next hottest social media app being released.

Keeping up with all these changes and following your ideal clientele is crucial to keep your social media game up to par. You can either use social media just to be on social media, or you can take it more seriously to grow your brand. 

Here are just a few current and new features for the 2 biggest platforms right now:

👉  Instagram has just announced that it will no longer be the photo-sharing platform we all knew it to be; instead, they will be prioritizing video content in order to compete with TikTok. This means every business account who is on Instagram needs to be prioritizing Instagram ‘reels’ in order to promote brand awareness on that platform.

 

👉  Facebook business pages now make it difficult for your followers to see what you post, UNLESS you sponsor a post or do ads. This is important, because you need to now consider that as part of your strategy if your main audience is on Facebook. Here’s a trail of how much the Facebook algorithm has changed rapidly over the years as the company grew in influence. 

👉  Tiktok blew up in 2020 and continues to be the most popular platform with over 1 billion users on the app. It’s dominated by influencers big and small, who have loyal followings that watch their videos, even the ones that don’t go viral. This is a very personable and organic way to reach a wider audience and because of platforms like TikTok, influencer marketing is another tool that will continue to soar.

 

5. Not having a social media manager 

Social media is certainly worth the time, but not worth YOUR time. 

If everything we’ve covered so far sounds draining and time-consuming, you’re right. That’s why NOT having at least one person dedicated to managing all your social media can slow you down and possibly burn you out. 

A social media manager can focus on researching trends, developing strategies, and protecting your brand’s online reputation. Passing on those activities to a trusted social media manager allows you to tend to what actually needs your attention as a business owner. This saves time and therefore significantly reduces the cost of running social media. 

I'm a social media mogul!

 

Make your social media work for you, not the other way around.

Our digital marketing team at U7 has years of experience in content creation, strategy, branding, advertising, and all other marketing tasks for small and medium businesses. 

Whether you’re a brand new or a long-time business wanting to level up your marketing, our experts are ready to make your life a whole lot easier. 

Get in touch with us for a free discovery call and learn how we can optimize your online presence on social media!


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Wendy Zhang
Wendy Zhang
Wendy is a digital strategist and talented writer at U7. Not only does she have a creative mind for marketing and design, she also holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia! Outside of U7, you can find her reading at a coffee shop, taking care of plants, or on a plane to somewhere new.
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