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#SocialMediaFail: Everything You’re Doing Wrong on Social

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you spend time on Facebook and Twitter every week — maybe 10 minutes or so — and you follow as many people as you can, yet you’re not getting people to follow you back or interact with you on these social sites.

You hear how magical social media can be in helping you reach a wider audience, and yet, you’re just not seeing results to back up this claim. What gives??

It’s likely your approach. If you’re doing any of the following, you’re headed down the wrong path. Read and learn so that you can correct your actions and start getting real value from social media.

#YouFollowtheWrongPeople

Quantity does not beat quality, well, ever. Especially not with social media marketing. Focus your efforts on following people who are in your industry, fit your customer demographic, or otherwise provide value to you on social.

Follow My Tweets - Social Media PR FAils

You can start by following the people who do share your content or interact with you directly, assuming they fit one of those categories. You can search certain keywords relevant to what you do and follow people using them. Or you can use tools like Twitter’s Discover/Who to Follow tool.

You also don’t have to follow everyone who follows you. Skim over each user’s profile to decide if it’s going to add value to follow that person. Don’t do it just to boost your numbers.

#YourUpdatesAreMonotonous

All your updates are shares from your blog. Or promotional. No one wants that. People will follow you if you offer a nice mix of content (yours and others’), promotions, info, and personal updates. It takes time to craft your social content, so don’t gloss over this tip and automate all your posts. People want to get the sense that your social accounts are run by people, not bots.

Read other people’s streams and get a sense for the mix that will attract more followers to your profile.

#YouDon’tSpendEnoughTimeonSocial

Now, I’m a huge advocate of getting more done on social in less time, but you can’t skirt the fact that it does require time. It’s all gravy to schedule your tweets in advance or automate some of your blog shares, but when you don’t check in every day or two to see if anyone has sent you a direct comment, you look like you don’t care about your followers. And that is counterintuitive to your goal to grow your network on social media.

The time you spend updating your business’ social accounts is all about quality (there’s that word again). Don’t get sucked into a funny cat video black hole; do what you came to do and get out. Review the stream of who you’re following. Share and retweet, as well as comment. Put it on your calendar if it helps.

Don’t have enough time in your day? See 25 time management tools that will help!

#YouOveruseHashtags

I’m using hashtags for this post to be tongue in cheek, but I hate it when people invent useless hashtags. Hashtags are meant to organize content in a meaningful way. If someone uses #smallbiz in a tweet, you know you will find other updates relevant to a small business audience.

Hashtags - Social Media PR Fails

If  you do want to create a hashtag to drive conversation around an event or topic, search to see if it’s already being used, and keep it short and easy to remember. Then ask others to use it.

All you need is a little direction to drive your social media efforts to create better results. Pay attention to what you’re sharing and who you’re following, and focus on creating value above all.

Want to see what tools will make social media and PR easier? Register for Kellye Crane’s “Tool School: PR Success in 2015” webinar now!

Image: Amboo Who?, Matt Brown, Michael Coghlan (Creative Commons)

Tags : social media

About Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the president of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Cision, Forbes, AllBusiness, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Eggspert Blog and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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