There are plenty of insights and data on the internet about social media and how social is increasing every company’s revenue goals by “1 trillion dollars,” or how the population is running to every social platform by the “gazillions.” We should all be on social as soon as we can and start posting every day, every minute, every second! Right? Wrong!

The true power of social media is influence. Social provides an avenue for companies to not only engage with customers, but also influence them with the right content that helps them make a decision.

Many companies are not leveraging the power of social media to the best of their capabilities. These companies are:

  • Reposting the same content across social every channel
  • Not using the appropriate voice for the social platform
  • Asking for likes
  • Posting only conversion posts: i.e. Fill out this form to download
  • Lacking a social strategy that aligns with the marketing strategy
  • Using every social channel out there

Let’s address the pitfalls of each of these individually.

Reposting the same exact content across social channels

Why this doesn’t work: This isn’t effective because each social network is different. The audience is different, so therefore the delivery should be different. Each social network has a different layout and process you have to follow to ensure your post gets maximum reach.

What you should change: Approach each social network as a brand new tool rather than lumping them all together. Optimize your voice and content to match the user-base of the social platform.

Not using the appropriate voice for the social platform

Why this doesn’t work: Having a company voice that doesn’t match the platform will hinder your social interactions, and this includes having too formal of a voice. People are not leads on social networks, they are people.

What you should change: Remember to have fun and interact through memes, pictures or even casual conversation as appropriate. Change your tone to match the social platform you’re on. You can post a formal company-focused post on LinkedIn, but keep it casual on Facebook, and short and simple on Twitter.

Asking for likes

Why this doesn’t work: Asking for likes is the social equivalent of asking for a compliment. If something works or a post reaches a set audience that engages or likes the post. They will come and like your page, or even better share it.

What you should change: Changing your outward social strategy to match the unique social platforms will help your followers not only like what you post, but also share it and help increase your reach. There are also other ways to “ask” for likes, without coming right out and posting a status about it. For example: if someone likes your Facebook post, you can “Invite” them to like your page. This is a great tool to convert post likes into page likes.

Posting only conversion posts

Why this doesn’t work: Nowadays marketing is everywhere. You can see tactics being adopted across multiple brands and multiple channels. People are very cautious about submitting their information. Simply posting assets or links to blog posts and expecting people to engage probably isn’t the best strategy.

What you should change: Share other posts and industry information while keeping it fun and social!

Lacking a social strategy that aligns with the marketing strategy

Why this doesn’t work: Social shouldn’t be separated from marketing. If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “Yeah, let’s put that on Twitter and Facebook,” that means you treat social as an afterthought. Planning is the most crucial part of any marketing campaign. This allows us to build a strong foundation and also set requirements of what we want the results to be. A strategy helps define what is considered success.

What you should change: Involve social just as you would any other channel: inbound, outbound, 3rd party sender etc. Always include social media and set aside the budget needed to run a social ad or promote via social. If the budget or time isn’t allowing it, then it’s ok to not use it.

Using every social channel out there

Why this doesn’t work: While being involved in social is always good, spreading yourself too thin is not. Just because there are multiple social networks to choose from, doesn’t mean you should use them all.

What you should change: Try one or two at first and then slowly expand to other social networks. Or, don’t! Go where your audience is involved. Analyze your social networks, look at the ones producing the most engagement and focus more attention on those. If LinkedIn or Twitter is not your audience’s medium of engagement, then don’t spend effort or time on it. You want to focus what’s working and then slowly expand. Get a firm foothold on one social network and how you need to be interacting with your followers there before you move to the next.

We tend to forget the ‘being social’ part of social media marketing and tend to focus on the marketing part. There are no leads or prospects on social networks, just people. Some might like goofy cat pictures or “The Most Interesting Man In The World” memes, but mainly they are people that are trying to take a break from their crazy life and relax for a second before moving onto the next meeting or the next email.