As more and more enterprises start relying heavily on social media for their marketing we have seen social media management services popping up. These service allow individuals as well as organizations to schedule messages to go out on various social platforms. While scheduling social messages can be extremely useful….user beware! Here are some mistakes every enterprise should avoid when using social media scheduling tools.
1- Sending Out the Same Messages Across All Platforms
Each social platform has its own language, rules and etiquette. Understanding how all the social platforms work and following the “rules” is important if you want to successfully build an engaging community. Because of this you must watch out for sending one message out, via a social management tool, across all the platforms. The use of hashtags (#) and handles (@) are common, and in fact very important, on Twitter but should never be used on Facebook. In order to assure your messages are received positively its essential messages are crafted individually for each platform. This might take a bit more time and effort but it’s an important rule to follow.
2- Scheduling and Forgetting
There are some fantastic social management tools that allow you to schedule tweets and Facebook updates. This can save time and allow you to operate on social platforms 24/7. In the social media marketing world there is no such thing as 9-5 and its imperative to have a presence on each platform during the week, weekends, mornings, afternoons and evenings. Without a social media management tool one would be required to have someone on staff 24/7 and that just isn’t an option for most. However, while scheduling messages can be a huge time and money saver be careful. One of the biggest mistakes social management users make is they schedule their messages for months in advance and walk away. Be sure to check over your scheduled messages to ensure they are still relevant and correct information.
3- Not Responding
Its great to schedule messages but don’t forget to pay attention and respond when social users communicate with you on your various platforms. Most social management services have great tools for listening and users should pay just as much attention, if not more, to these listening tools. Set up alerts for when your organizations name is mentioned, when a comment is posted or your twitter handle is tweeted to and then respond promptly. This is a new media world and the rules of traditional media do not apply. Now we are required to do more than simply shout our messages out. Don’t make this mistake!
4- Missing the Bigger Picture
Getting your organizations message out is important but don’t forget to keep the bigger picture in mind. What messages do your current and potential consumers want to receive? How is your strategy working? Do you have goals and if so are you reaching them? Is your audience who you thought they were? Social media allows easy ways to answer all these questions and more. Don’t loose sight of the bigger picture even though it may seem easier to simply shout out the messages you want. In the end, if this is all you do, your social media strategy will surely fail.
5- Shouting Out Messages
As stated in the previous mistakes to avoid, the goal should not be to simply shout your messages out. Messages should provide useful information, answer common questions or simply show the human side of your organization. The Top Ten Social Media Communications post has a plethora of message examples that work.
6- Ignoring Time Zones
This is an easy mistake to make but very important! If your an organization that sells products and/or services across multiple time zones keep that in mind. For example, Global Strategic Management Institute provides an assortment of educational services for enterprises, including conferences. Our attendee’s come from all over the country and world! This means messages going out at 9 am EST are will be received only by our West Coast customers who are super early birds, 5 am. This doesn’t mean we don’t send messages out at 9 am EST but we are aware that a second message, for our West Coast friends, should go out later. Most scheduling tools allow you to change time zones but if they don’t just do the math. To help you check out this Time Zone Table
7- Getting Stale
Be sure to stay relevant when posting messages. Consider what’s going on in the world at the time, is it a holiday, special day for your enterprise or maybe an awareness month? When scheduling out posts one can risk missing out on crafting messages that are relevant because of whats going on, at the moment, in the world around us. If you’ve already scheduled your posts don’t be afraid to slip in some additional messages based on current events, special occasions and more.
8- Being Irrelevant
Have you picked up on the theme yet? Don’t get caught up in scheduling and then walking away from your community. Doing this could lead to your brand being irrelevant on the social platforms it inhabits. Be part of the conversation, post directly on the platforms once and a while and comment on others comments to your posts. Scheduled messages should only be a part of your content strategy.
9- Not Listening
One of the best times to listen is when you are posting on the social platform. You can, literally, see if brands are sending out similar, maybe even better, messages. You will also see what type of traffic is going on, whose involved and what the discussions are about. When you log into a management system and schedule out your Facebook updates and Tweets you are undoubtedly missing out on this opportunity to listen. Don’t get the wrong message, I am not saying you shouldn’t schedule your messages. However, if you do, be sure to still go onto all social platforms throughout the day and listen. Your message may have already posted but that should not be the only reason you’re on the various social platforms.
10 – Not Being Part of the Online Community
All of these mistakes to avoid lead to one big, very important, tip —- Do NOT take yourself out of the conversation. The goal, for every organization, should be to build a strong and engaging community. While this community is built around your organization the brand still needs to be a a part of it. Not only should every organization work hard to play a role in their own community they should be out there researching other organizations presences on the same social sites. Learn from what others are doing well, what they have failed at and what the chatter around their communities are.