Social media strategy is not that hard. If you boil the whole thing down. Your social media strategy becomes, what do you want to achieve with your social media? The biggest problem most people have with their social media strategy is that it becomes convoluted. The social media strategy grows to this big  complex thing. With that important details get lost. It becomes a case of can’t see the forest for the trees.

When it comes to mistakes being made in your social media strategy. There are plenty that revolves solely around your industry. What some call mistakes can be called best practice to other industries. Yet, there are at least 5 common mistakes that are made with a business’ social media strategy.

In my worst Casey Kasem impression here is our top 5 biggest social media mistakes being made.

The Social Media Strategy Mistake #5: Sell Sell Sell

The social media strategy of Sale Sale Sale always being in your customers face is a huge turn off. Dont always be selling. Help you customer out more times than not is the better social media strategy to use.

Coming in at number 5 on our countdown we have the over excited salesman. This strategy is often thought of as the best. But, it is one of the worst social media strategies you can perform.

As a whole, this problem is out of annoyance. Look around. You will see ways people avoid being sold to. Though they want your products. This is why people use Tivo’s or the Hopper. People don’t want to see advertising. This is why terrestrial radio is fading away. Nobody wants to be hit with 16 minutes worth of sell sell sell.

The issue with trying to sell to everybody is the shotgun effect. Sending a blast to each and every person on the internet sounds good. Yet, your product isn’t for everybody. Your social media strategy doesn’t work well at all using this for of selling.

Many people claim that the 80/20 rule works pretty well for advertising. This rule, when applied to your social media strategy is to help your customer 80% of the time. You provide useful information that will help your customer. Then sell to them maybe 20% of the time.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook* talks about giving to your community. This is because of the law of reciprocity will come into effect. You help enough and your clients will eventually be compelled to want to pay you back. All because you helped them time and time again.

Don’t make your social media strategy all about selling. It will fail 100% of the time it doesn’t provide any value. Remember it is about your customer, not you.

The Social Media Strategy Mistake #4: All Sizzle and No Steak

You want to sell the sizzle but at the end you better have that steak ready, or your social media strategy will fall flat. People want what is promised.

Social Media Content is more than just writing. When it comes to your social media strategy social media content is what you are building. So how to you build content? With the greatest tool man has used since we first poked out overly large foreheads out of the cave.

You tell stories. Now, stories are more than what most people claim it is more than just a beginning a middle and an end. Because a turd has just that a beginning a middle and an end. You are out to create piles of poo. So you have to get a little exact as to what a story is. The best definition of a story I have heard is this: A hero who overcomes an obstacle.

So, apply that line of thinking to your social media strategy. When you are writing your social media content think of who the hero is. What obstacles are is your hero going to overcome in your video? How are you going to show this story in pictures? The story can be carried over and over in your other social media channels. Use stories in your social media strategies.

This may sound tough and it can be. The storytelling muscle has to be exercised over and over. with the increase use your social media content will improve. You will add better stories of how a customer was able to overcome their adversity. All because of your product. Your service at one time is the caliber for another company. So make your stories sizzle. In doing so you will be able to provide the content and help them achieve their quest of eating the good steak.

The Social Media Strategy Mistake #3: Graphic Wasteland

Pictures are very important for your social media strategy. You want people to see your post. if there is no graphics or pictures then it will be nothing but a sea of text.

95% of the people reading this post are using their eyes. These two jelly filled orbs help us understand our world. They also alert us to something different. If you look at any social media stream you see lots and lots of text. Most of your customers are faced with a torrent of text rushing by their eyes. Sadly most of these carefully crafted words are lost. Never to be fully taken in and enjoyed. All because they look the same as all the other text out there. This is why no pictures in your posts is a big social media strategy mistake.

Many blog posts and other social media posts are graphic wastelands. Many times the writer doesn’t believe it is worth the effort to find a relevant picture they can post. I am guilty of this. if you look at many of my early posts on this very blog. You will not see much in the way of pictures. I did the featured post and well that was it. I believed I had done my job and that was an ok social media strategy. Till I started looking at the posts that had some interaction and those posts have pictures in the posts. not just the Featured image.

Many times, social networks will pull an image from the post itself. In doing so they will leave the featured image alone. Why? That I am still trying to figure that out. Yet, still, I have more interactions with the posts that have images in the post. So, there are dual benefits to this social media strategy.

The Social Media Strategy Mistake #2: The Mind Reader

What do you want people to do? YOur target customer isn't a mind reader so as a strategy for you social media tell your customer what you want from them.

Men, we know this feeling. you walk in and you dear blushing bride is upset. Hell worse than that she is down right pissed off. WHY? We are supposed to know what we did wrong. We didn’t pick up all the subtle clues that your dear wife worked hard. Every day she worked to get you to get you to thin she would like to go to her favorite band’s concert. Like most men we just didn’t get the hints. Why? Because we were not given a call to action.

Your customers are the same way. You may have placed deeply thought out posts after deeply though out post. You have dangled every imaginable carrot in from of your customer’s nose. Still, they don’t act. The best solution to this social media strategy mistake is asking for that email address. You don’t have to be annoying and have this huge 100 point BUY NOW!. in front of them. You can let your ideal customer know that they can get that cool product you were talking about.

It isn’t because people are dense or slow-witted. Nothing like that. Wifes just like your husband. Though it would be nice if hubby would see all the clues you are placing in front of him. You customer is no more a mind reader than the man who would cross a desert to give you a glass of iced tea. Just state the obvious everyone will be happier.

The Social Media Strategy Mistake #1: The Hermit

not interacting with your customers is not a good social media strategyy

There is a keyword many companies overlook in their social media strategies. That word is social. Social networks and social media are about the social interaction with your customers. If a tweet is sent to a company and no one is there to answer did anyone hear it? This is why this is the biggest mistake a company can make in the social media strategies.

You may have a potential customer who has a question about your service. This social media strategy goes to the heart of customer relations. It allows for your company to shine in the customer service field. You can answer questions. Help a customer qualify themselves to your product. So when they walk in. They are not a warm lead. They are a glowing red hot lead wanting to use your service and brag to their friends.

Yet this is often the case.Customers will post to say twitter about a product and the door is left wide open. No answer or worse a competitor comes by and answers the question. Who gets the sale now? here is a hint. It ain’t you.

A good social media strategy to have is to have a social media manager. Someone who will be there to answer any and all questions. To have someone start up a conversation that would help find out if your product would be a good fit.

Another good social media strategy is Use your free time. while you are eating lunch answer a few questions. If you are standing in line one of the three checkout lines at Wal-Mart. You have time to post a tweet or Facebook update. There are little nuggets of time that you can use social media for your business. You can help build that relationship so that your customers know like and trust you.

As you can see social media has its fair share of moving parts. Whether it is taking a picture on Instagram or community building on Facebook. you will have a better chance of succeeding if you avoid these 5 social media strategy mistakes.

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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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