Although it may seem simple, gaining a large audience and making an impact on social media – especially for businesses – can be tricky. Time for some tough social media love. Natasha Bansgopaul of Return To Change shares the five common mistakes that people make online:

In today’s world a company’s social media plan can be found in nearly all marketing decks. First with Facebook’s IPO in 2012 and now with Twitter’s recent IPO, there’s no denying that social media is an important factor for success in this current day and age. But did you know that you may not be using it correctly?

Here are the top 5 misconceptions about social media- and some tips to right your wrongs.

1. Using Social Media Does NOT Mean You Have to Use ALL The Social Media Channels!

This is a common mistake that startups often make. Just because it is available for use, doesn’t mean you MUST create an account! Before you decide which channels you want your brand/startup to communicate through, it’s important to (1) take the time to understand what channels your consumers use and (2) how they interact with these channels. For example, a Pinterest account may not make sense for a crowdinvesting portal like Return on Change, but it would make complete sense for beauty and fashion brands interested in sharing their designs and tips to build the “right” following of folks and show them how to use their products and offerings.

Take the time to think about WHY you should have a presence in each particular social media channel you choose to be involved with.

2. Diarrhea of Your “Social Media” Mouth Is A REAL problem!

Fact: If you talk TOO much through your channels your fan base will drop! You have to find the right balance between posting important information for your fan base, info you personally want to share, and random topics of interest that can come up in real time.  Some followings enjoy multiple messages through all channels, but these come few and far between (and still needs to be done RIGHT to work).  It comes down to knowing your audience and making sure you are providing USEFUL content, so you don’t provide them with a reason to un-follow you.

Consistency is key, not necessarily a post per new idea, a tweet per new thought, or a picture for every move of the day; but making sure that you are providing the right content through the right channels consistently, so your fan base starts to identify your brand with information they want to know vs. scrolling past your content because they are too used to seeing your hundreds of posts a day.

3. Analytics Are For People Who Aren’t Creative

You might be thinking, “Did you see my last uber creative tweet?!” No we didn’t, and neither did anyone else! You failed to realize that NO one has engaged with you through social media in quite some time. How did you not realize this?  Because you are NOT looking at your channel analytics! Every social media channel has tools to track different engagement metrics with your audience (Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc). These tools can shed light on metrics that can give you insight. For example, with RoC, we realized when we were posting more than 5X per day, we were having fallouts from our audience through various channels. We also realized that the important things we wanted people to know weren’t breaking through enough.  We took a look at the analytics and decided to minimize the number of posts we had through certain channels as we saw the engagement metrics decrease throughout the day; and we decided to create consistent messaging for our blog posts, as we wanted people to really focus on this.

As a result, we were able to increase our followers and increase the sharing and time spent on our blog….but we wouldn’t have known that if we didn’t look at our social media analytics!

4. Content and Titles Don’t Matter, My Friends Will Read It, They Know I’m Smart!

Well, your friends don’t matter….we mean, of course they do!  But don’t you want your messages and information to break through to others interested in your subject matter and/or company?  Your friends, no matter how great they are, will only be able to get you SO far, and you need your content and messaging to get you to the next level. So again, this goes back to creating compelling content and titles for blogs (Like 5 Misconceptions about Social Media), that can actually catch the eye of your network and draw them in to hopefully convert them as fans of your brand/startup.

You can search for titles you come up with and see if it has been done before. This can also give you new ideas about how to change your titles/content so you aren’t using the same info someone has already shared.

5. Your Brand Has A Voice….And It’s Not Necessarily YOURS

All too often, we see startups and brands posting messaging and content through their channels as if they are posting on their personal page. Your startup’s social media channels are NOT your personal channels.  I know….CEO’s just rolled their eyes at me….but it’s true! You should keep your channels separate, as your brand should have its own distinct voice and personality, which can be similar to your personal brand/voice, but it should NOT be used as one and the same.  For instance, though I may share the RoC posts on my personal FB Page, the status updates I post from my personal FB account, is NOT what we would post on the RoC Channels. I speak for myself, and RoC speaks for the company and fans.

Take the time to understand what your brand’s voice IS and IS NOT. Use this as a gauge for when you create messaging to be shared through your channels.  Ask yourself: Self, is this me talking or my brand talking to me?

Hope you found these helpful and would love to hear your thoughts.

Return on Change is an investment platform connecting high-impact startups with investors. We work with socially innovative startups in the Tech, CleanTech, EdTech, Life Sciences, and Social Enterprise sectors, and we’re committed to helping bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors. See what interesting startups we work with or view investment opportunities at returnonchange.com. 

Facebook: facebook.com/returnonchange

Blog: blog.returnonchange.com

5 Misconceptions About Social Media | Return On Change

Today’s world is inundated with useless and often contradictory information. 5 Common Misconceptions That Make You a Dumbass

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