Achieving high social media engagement rates is a valuable goal for any modern company. Likes, shares and comments all give companies a quantitative way to measure how their audience perceives them. But in striving for these numbers, companies can make certain mistakes that, if resolved, would actually end up helping their efforts in the long run.
Below, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members lists some of the most common mistakes companies make when it comes to engaging their audience on social media and explain what they should be doing instead.
12 Mistakes Companies Make When Engaging Their Audience on Social Media
- Asking users to buy right away.
- Not implementing a schedule.
- Only talking about themselves.
- Trying to be too trendy.
- Using a bot to automatically respond.
- Not engaging in the comments.
- Writing big blocks of text.
- Using unnecessary hashtags.
- Not addressing complaints in a private channel.
- Setting it and forgetting it.
- Being too active.
- Not speaking like a person.
1. Asking Users to Buy Right Away
Today’s social media users are constantly bombarded with new products, services and activities. The mistake most of these companies make is not building trust, instead going directly to a pushy call to action that asks people to buy. Brands must focus on sharing why they do what they do and how they are different from others before proposing a transaction. —Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow
2. Not Implementing a Schedule
You should neither be posting too often nor too infrequently. Social media enthusiasts like order to an extent. They want to know what they can expect from you and when. Therefore, get on a schedule of your choosing based on your ability to create high-quality posts. Your audience will appreciate it, and your engagement will improve. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. Only Talking About Themselves
A big mistake that companies make is to simply use social media as a platform to talk about themselves. Eschewing a broader community to focus only on your highlights won’t attract anyone new. Instead, find ways to create social content that is useful to others. Whether that’s providing tips, ideas or other useful content, this approach will make a difference in how people view your social accounts. —Maria Thimothy, OneIMS
4. Trying to Be Too Trendy
Don’t make trendy, meme-based jokes. It comes off as disingenuous and every brand in the book is doing it these days. Instead, keep it real. Find original ways to express yourself and have a voice of your own. This way, you can separate yourself from the rest and find a dedicated audience that likes your brand for its originality. —Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
5. Using a Bot to Automatically Respond
I see companies use automated bots to respond to comments on social media, which is a bad practice. Consumers can tell what is human engagement and what isn’t. Responding to comments manually is the key to building a relationship with customers. —Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Not Engaging in the Comments
One major mistake that companies make is to stay silent in the comment section. If you’re in this group, start responding to the comments you receive. This will not only help you increase engagement on your posts, but it will also help you build a connection with your audience. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
7. Writing Big Blocks of Text
Writing long paragraphs of text in your social media posts is a poor way to engage people. People online like to scan content and move through it rapidly. They won’t pay attention to text content that doesn’t have accompanying images or videos. Focus on visual content like live videos, stories, polls and other formats. Get into the features available to you and experiment to drive engagement. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Using Unnecessary Hashtags
Some companies think that adding unnecessary hashtags to their social posts is a good idea because it attracts users from different audiences, but this is a waste of time. You want to use hashtags that are relevant to your brand so you can attract relevant users that will convert into customers. By adding irrelevant hashtags, you’re bringing the wrong audience to your posts. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
9. Not Addressing Complaints in a Private Channel
I’ve seen business owners openly argue with their customers on social media when they see a complaint. I think this is a really bad look for brands. The solution is to address their concern and bring them to a private channel, like a direct message. Resolve the issue there, and there’s a good chance they will remove their original negative comments. —Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
10. Setting It and Forgetting It
I think business owners who schedule their blog posts as social media posts for the week and forget about their account until later are missing out on a significant opportunity. You should spend plenty of time engaging with people when they comment on your blog posts, share your content or mention your brand. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC
11. Being Too Active
Being active on social media is important, but being too active can be dangerous. As marketers, you can’t ignore the fact that people may get bored of you if they get to see you too much. So, you need to understand when to draw the line in order to make your strategy work for you rather than work against you. Don’t post more than twice a day; otherwise, you might irritate your audience. —Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
12. Not Speaking Like a Person
Speak like a person, not like a brand. If you let your social media manager deal with people one-on-one in comments and DMs and act like a human being, then your social media presence will sound human and natural instead of corporate and scripted. Responding to everything with “We, as a brand, believe,” or “This is not who we are as a brand” sounds corporate and scripted to me. —Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts