12 Common Social Media Mistakes (& the Ultimate Guide to Avoid Them)
Are you damaging your business by making social media mistakes?
Let’s explore the top 12 social media mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Not actively maintaining your social media
- Not creating a marketing strategy
- Not targeting your audience
- Posting irrelevant content
- Treating each social media platform the same
- Posting too much promotional content
- Posting just to post
- Not including a call-to-action
- Not returning the engagement
- Managing too many accounts
- Not utilizing analytics
- Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket
12 social media mistakes and how to avoid them
1. Not actively maintaining your social media
Have you ever compared your social media presence to your competitors?
We often see a big divide in marketing efforts here.
For example, having a Facebook page with a few pretty pictures isn’t going to cut. Especially when your last post was from weeks, months… and yes, sometimes even years ago.
If anything, having an inactive social media presence may be worse (from a potential patient’s view) than not having one in the first place.
An inactive social media presence screams: I am old-school, I’m out of touch with technology (terrible), I don’t care about my business, I don’t want new patients, and so forth.
Do you want that?! Didn’t think so.
2. No marketing strategy
In your personal life, social media may be “just for fun” where you sporadically post with no end goal. But that should NOT be the case for your business.
Social media is an essential part of your business, and it needs its own marketing strategy complete with:
- Defined goals
- A target audience
- Tactics (number of posts, types of posts, the best time to post, monitoring accounts, etc.)
- Budget (team members, allocated time, boosting posts, etc.)
- Metrics to track its success
Our social media experts recommend starting with a social media strategy that is attainable (increase page likes by 100 or increase click-rate by 10%) and build upon it as you go.
The key thing is to start with something – don’t just wing it.
3. Target audience
Your social media efforts need to be geared toward your target audience. Ask yourself what type of patients you are trying to attract then answer these types of questions to narrow down your strategy:
- What is the age demographic?
- Where do they live and work?
- What barriers do they have? Time? Money?
- What are their values?
- How will they connect with you and your business?
- What is their preferred social media platform?
- What time of day are they most likely to use it?
4. Posting the wrong content
As the term states, social media is a place where people go to be SOCIAL. Your goal should be to create engaging content that is relevant to your target audience AND your niche.
For example, as a dentist, your content should primarily focus on dentistry; share dental-related tips, facts, jokes, articles, blogs, office news, and so on.
If you start sharing cat videos or SNL skits, you are going to confuse your followers – and the likelihood is if they find it interesting, they are probably already following another social media profile dedicated to that sort of content. In which case, your followers, engagement, and so forth will decline.
This leads us to the next social media mistake…
5. Treating each social media platform the same
To maximize your business potential with social media, you MUST treat each social media platform differently and for what it is.
That’s not to say you need to create entirely different content for each platform, but it may need to be tweaked.
Here’s a preview of the differences with some of the top platforms:
- Facebook: Most businesses’ preferred platform. Big emphasis on engagement (comments, shares, messages, reviews).
- Instagram: Heavy on visuals (photos and videos), less on words. Links in captions do not work, so tweak Facebook content for this platform.
- Twitter: Fast-paced with a limited character count. Can reuse content from other channels but will work best if you shorten captions into bite-sized snippets.
- LinkedIn: More professional than all the others. Great place to share business/industry-related content.
Additionally, it may be wise to set a marketing strategy for each platform.
6. Posting too much promotional content
Name one person (besides Don Draper) who loves advertisements? No one! So remember that with your social media.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your promotional content under 25%. What should you do with the other 75%?
Here are some social media marketing ideas for dentists with examples:
- Tips – Advice on what to do in emergency dental scenarios, like knocking out a tooth.
- Facts – Did you know gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss? Here’s how you can prevent it…
- Jokes – Where do teeth like to shop? The Gap!
- Raise awareness – October is National Dental Hygiene Month!
- Office news – Birthdays, new hires, community involvement, schedule changes, available appointments, etc.
- Articles, infographics, blogs – Thinking about braces? Read this first!
- Build business relationships – Need a date night? Here are our top 3 restaurants in town!
Now, before you take this list and run with it, you should be aware of this next social media mistake…
7. Posting just to post
While yes, you should post on social media consistently…
You should NOT post irrelevant, thoughtless content just to post something. This can be more damaging than not posting.
With today’s social media algorithms, if your posts are not relevant to your audience, then you will slowly decline on their feeds – making your content less visible.
So remember: It’s essential you have an intention behind each post and that it benefits your greater goal.
8. Not including a call-to-action
Without a call-to-action (literally instructing your audience what to do next), you might as well forget any conversion from happening.
With the overwhelming bombardment of social media today, your audience does not have the time or attention span to decide for themselves what they should do next unless you…
- Tell them what action you want them to take and…
- Give them the resource to take that action (phone number, email address, link, etc.)
By explicitly outlining these, you essentially put the idea in their head (which was likely not there otherwise) and create opportunities for conversions.
Now, not all calls-to-action require a call or link taking them off the platform. Some can be as simple as “Like this post if you agree!” or “Leave your questions in the comments.”
For more social media call-to-action examples, check these out:
- Like this post if you agree
- Tag someone you want to refer
- Share this post with your friends and family
- Comment with your favorite memory
- Read more: [insert link]
- Learn more: [insert link]
- Find the answer here: [insert link]
- Start your smile journey today: [insert action (phone, email, link)]
- Sign up today: [insert action (phone, email, link)]
- Join our membership plan: [insert link]
- Claim your FREE trial: [insert action (phone, email, link)]
- Take advantage of this offer before it’s gone: [insert action (phone, email, link)]
- Schedule your appointment today: [insert action (phone, email, link)]
- Call us: [insert phone]
- Email us: [insert email]
9. Return engagement
Social media engagement is a two-way street. Don’t ghost your audience!
If your audience is leaving comments, sending messages, or tagging you in posts, be sure you return the favor with a follow-up reply.
P.S. You don’t have to wait for them to come to you. You can stir up engagement by interacting in your audiences’ or nearby businesses’ posts to boost relationships and brand awareness.
10. Too many accounts
Trying to keep up with every social media platform usually never works. It’s best to invest your efforts where your audience is; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn… the list goes on.
It’s better to be excellent on one platform than mediocre on multiple.
11. Not utilizing analytics
Without the use of analytics, your social media game is like blind leading the blind. Luckily…
Did you know most social media platforms provide some form of analytics?
That’s right; you can find out what posts perform better than others, who your audience is, when your audience is online, and more!
This is crucial for tracking your success and finding areas that need improvement.
Super helpful tip:
By using a social media scheduling tool, you can not only schedule your posts in advance, but you can gain access to their analytics, which are usually more robust than the social media platform itself.
Here are some of the most popular social media scheduling tools:
- Sprout Social
- Publer (free!)
12. All your eggs in one basket
Last but not least…
Social media is NOT the answer to all your marketing needs. While it can help you grow your practice and meet some of your goals, you will get the best results by diversifying your marketing efforts across the following:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Reputation Management (reviews)
- Advertising (especially on Facebook and Google)
- Social Media
Time to avoid these social media mistakes
How many social media mistakes are you guilty of making?
Whatever it is, don’t feel bad. The past is the past.
Now you know these top 12 social media mistakes and, more importantly, how to avoid them, it’s time to focus on your new social media marketing strategy for 2020!
What mistake stuck out to you the most? Share your opinion in the comments!