Top-Shelf Tip No. 216:

"Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you."

Matt Goulart

Five Social Media Mistakes

"Social media just doesn't work for me." Does this sound familiar? Many businesses avoid putting resources and energy into social media channels because they don't understand its impact on the business.

Make it a goal in 2018 to incorporate a social media strategy into your marketing plans, and avoid these critical social media mistakes, as outlined by Jason Gordon, CEO of Strong Social Media, a social media marketing agency.

Mistake No. 1 – The Social Dynamic Of Social Media. Many are not aware that most of your social media followers are most likely not your buyers. This is why social media channels shouldn't be used as a sales pitch platform. The end state goal of any marketing sequence is to generate revenue. However, you need to understand the buyer's journey doesn't take place over the course of one tweet. Social media is, instead, an education and knowledge platform.

If you're constantly posting about your offers, don't expect a massive return on your investment. Instead, focus on creating thoughtful content that's valuable to your audience. Social media should be used as a medium to educate and instill trust. This will entice them to take the next step in your marketing sequence.

Mistake No. 2 – You Think You Have a Strategy, But You Don't. If you're serious about building a social media strategy that works, you can't treat it like a hobby. Posting "whenever you feel like it" is not a strategy. Write down the specific platforms that you want to leverage in your business. Each week, create a document that lists the posting frequency of each social media website. Block off a few hours each week to write, create and schedule your posts. This regimen will keep you accountable over the long-term, which is the key component to generating traffic.

Mistake No. 3 – You Don't Know Your Audience. Gordon says that although you may be positioned as the expert, there's a good chance that your followers are novices. Your content needs to accommodate their level of knowledge, not yours. The benefits they are looking to glean might be different than what you initially thought.

So how do you figure out what they really want? Engage with your audience to learn about their challenges, pain points and interests, so that you can create content that speaks directly to their goals, fears and frustrations.

There are various ways to engage on social media, including:

Post open-ended questions: "What is your primary goal for this year?"

Interact with your followers in the comment section.

Give direct calls to action: "Leave a comment below and let me know about the biggest obstacle you face."

Mistake No. 4 - You Don't Know Where Your Audience Is. Using the right strategies on the wrong social media websites isn't going to produce results. Your audience is most likely following only a handful of platforms. It's your job to figure out where they are before you start crafting your content.

Some social media websites are focused on a specific niche, while others are used in a much broader spectrum. For example, if you have client companies in the fitness niche, you may want to create most of your content through video and images. Certain channels such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook will allow you to optimize the visual appeal of your posts.

Mistake No. 5 – You Aren't Focused On The Right Metrics. If you want to get results, then you need to track the social media metrics that matter. Garnering a ton of "likes" and "shares" is meaningless if you can't convert your traffic. Focus on optimizing your social media content to entice your fans to subscribe to your email list. You can do this by:

  1. Posting content that directs your fans to one of your personal web properties, such as your blog.
  2. Use direct calls to action that send your followers to a landing page with more specific sales content

The quality of your traffic is much more important than the overall quantity. Be persistent and stick to a structured social media regimen in 2018, and you will see the results.

Source: Jason Gordon is founder and CEO of Strong Social Media, a social media management company that has worked with more than 300 companies around the world, and over 25 partners that resell their services.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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