When I first started blogging and a supporting social media for it, I made a ton of rookie marketing mistakes. Once I accidentally posted a cat article to my company’s corporate Facebook page, which had nothing to do with cats. The funniest thing is that this cat article got better engagement than our own “highly-targeted” content. Well, I guess cute animals always bring in lots of engagement, but that was not the kind of engagement we were looking for.
Here are some major, and oh-so-common, marketing mistakes I made that might be putting your social media following growth at risk. They might just make you or break you, and have a much more significant negative effect on your digital presence than an accidental cat post.
1. If you start blogging, they’ll read.
While it’s great that you started blogging, you’re just starting to do your job. Don’t rely on someone accidentally stumbling upon your blog; even the best content needs promotion. We now know that “great product doesn’t promote itself.” You do. Assuming your content is top notch, you still need to be active on social media sites to push this content where people will see it.
2. Just leave the old posts alone.
Updating an old article is a very effective blogging technique. If you’re trying to build thought leadership, you have to ensure that every page on your website is true and accurate. Opinions, trends and data change over time. Links get broken. However, instead of writing out a whole new thing, just update an older post.
You can even leave an older post as is and type a sort of comparison or commentary on previous thoughts. This will show your readers that you are very mindful of your own content and what you put out there. If some prediction didn’t take place or the trend has changed, write out your thoughts on why it happened the way it did, where you were basing your opinion on before, etc.
Bonus: Google likes when pages get updated, because an update increases relevancy.
3. You need to come up with new content constantly.
While you do need to post something consistently, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Take your most popular blog post and reuse the content by creating an infographic, creating a video, developing a webinar or podcast series to further expand on the topic. The possibilities are endless.
If you recycle your content occasionally, you’ll have a wealth of content in different media. Different forms of content will also attract new audiences who prefer one content form over another. It will also make social media post ideas easier to come up with once you have a wealth of options.
4. Don’t bother collecting emails if you’re not sending out newsletters.
You might not be planning on having a newsletter right now, but maybe in a year you will. Start collecting emails even if you don’t see immediate use for them. Your email list is still your biggest asset; this is a single digital marketing channel that brings in the best ROI.
People who are willing to share their email address with you signal their interest in your content or possible products. Don’t reject their interest, because once you have a product, a launch, or just a simple newsletter, you’ll be able to let these people know. E-mail communication is a great way to send them back to website and build a base of constant readers.
5. You have to be on all popular platforms.
Seriously consider which social media platforms to use. You don’t have to be on every single platform that’s hot right now. If you have limited resources -- such as time, money and staff -- concentrate on a couple of proven networks.
Instead of spreading yourself thinly, build meaningful connections and impressive following on just a couple of networks, where you can consistently bring value and quality. Think about your content and where it would be most appropriate. If your content is highly visual, use Pinterest or Instagram. If you’re producing videos, use YouTube. If you provide timely industry updates, consider Twitter.
6. Social media is free.
Of course, you can slowly build your following organically. There is still some kind of stigma, where if companies promote their content it’s looked down upon. Well, smart marketers understand the need to boost their content reach to see real results.
Never promote your stuff just to be seen by anyone. Use highly-targeted strategies that will ensure that your content is seen by the audiences who need to see it. Then, it’s well-justified.
7. Sharing new content once.
This one is probably the biggest mistake I made for so long! You create this beautiful piece of content; you work so hard on it to make perfect. You post it. You share it once on all your social media platforms… and then you forget about this piece… Um, what? You’ve worked so hard on it to show it to the world once?
You have to post the content more than once to ensure that a lot of people see it. If your audience is not online when you post it, they just missed it. Experiment with different copy, headings, and images for social updates. Share your older posts you feel especially proud of.
8. Don’t get personal online.
While no one wants to read your rants or complaints, or see obsessive amounts of cute cat photos, showing your human side is ok.
Things like interests are usually pretty safe. If you’re a sports fan, show your team colors once in a while. If you like to cook, share an amazing recipe you loved. If you’re a photography hobbyist, share a snapshot you took. This will bring your audience closer to you. You might be surprised at how much engagement you can get on a simple post talking about your interests and hobbies, because passion is what really drives humans.
Social media is about being social, so encourage conversation, encourage information exchange and sharing. Because, you know, sharing is caring.