Becoming an expert at anything requires a period of learning and often a few pitfalls on the way to proficiency. However, just because you’re a social media marketing rookie doesn’t mean that you have to be one forever. Check out these 6 rookie mistakes so you know what to avoid or correct, in order to get on the fast track to becoming a pro.
1) Not posting enough
Not posting often enough is one of the most common rookie mistakes. Remember, the average Twitter user follows about 150 people, so while it may seem like 5 or 6 tweets a day is a lot, those who follow you may never see a single one of them, thanks to the sheer volume of posts in any one person's feed. It may feel like you are bugging people to tweet that often but most people don’t constantly check their Twitter feed. They dip into the stream when they get a moment and if you don’t have a post that meets them in one of those moments it’s a lost opportunity.
2) Posting too often
The flip-side of #1 is that it is easy to have too much activity, especially when using certain mediums. While Twitter necessitates a high number of daily interactions in order to be noticed, sites like LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook do not require such a heavy touch. Shoot for only a couple of those every day.
3) Going dark when things get busy
It's easy to lose focus of your marketing activities, especially when day-to-day operations get heavy. Make sure to systematize your social media marketing, by putting a schedule in place for curating content, creating original content, and automating posts with scheduling apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or HubSpot.
4) Using different tools for reporting
With such a wide array of social media marketing tools and applications on the market, it is easy to fall into the trap of using a little bit of everything. While tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, and HubSpot have their place, make sure you choose one of them, and one only, to use for data analysis and reporting. Otherwise, it can result in skewed data come review time. You need to be comparing apples to apples in order to accurately evaluate progress and set goals.
5) No defined goals
Speaking of goals, rookies think that social media is something that you just do, with no specified target or standard against which to measure success or failure. Without a rubric for self-examination, there is no way to optimize your performance and improve over time. Set specific SMART goals using this worksheet (link to HubSpot template).
6) Neglecting engagement
Rookies talk at their network. Pros talk with them. Make sure you are budgeting time to not only respond to your followers, but actively participate in discussions about relevant topics. Monitor streams of keywords and add valuable insights when necessary. Your followers will see that you are interested in adding substance to the social sphere, as opposed to just broadcasting content.
Making mistakes comes with the territory when you are new to a process or discipline. But knowing the pitfalls ahead of time and avoiding them can accelerate the ROI you get on your investment in social media marketing. Use these tips to make sure that you leave your rookie days behind and start becoming a social media marketing expert.
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