Especially during these tense times, it's easy to set off a hair-trigger temper without even knowing it. Here are some common annoyances that may be alienating your fatigued followers and costing you business and visibility.
Social media may be a science, but it’s still mysterious when the formulas are secret and far from static. Algorithms change with alarming frequency to adapt to users, so just as soon as you think you’ve cracked the code, the entire rubric changes!
However, grant us the serenity to change that which we can, right? Because no matter what updates they make on the platform’s side, there are still a few things you could be doing that might be negatively impacting your visibility, follow-ship, and other stats that you might not even be aware of! Here are a few of the common pitfalls that social media marketers can fall into, and how to avoid them.
1. Spell-Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Sounds super simple to just hit that spell-check button on your word processing document, right? But realistically, most of us post directly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, and whatever other channels we use and bypass any proofreading! This opens the window for autocorrect to troll in and ruin your post or comment with an inappropriate or out-of-context word, which not only detracts from the power of your words, but the power of your brand.
Sound like an overstatement? Well, it’s not. Think about how fast you dismiss a phishing scam because you can tell it’s written poorly by a non-English speaker—you can always tell by the typos and odd, off-brand phraseology.
And although you may not consider a small grammar, spelling, or formatting error a big deal, several of them add up to an impression of carelessness. Subconsciously, that translates to consumer expectations of your quality of work. They take you less seriously, and think: if you don’t care enough about the details in your own brand’s messaging, how on top of the minutiae of their trip will you be? How easy to understand will your correspondence be, especially when everything is virtual and written these days? Everyone wants an easy booking experience, and that starts with clear communication from the get-go.
Pro-tip: Plan out your social media posts ahead of time—even if it’s just a week’s worth of maybe three posts—and write them out in a Word doc on your computer. Spell-check it and when you go to schedule or post it, check that the formatting doesn’t get changed from your original writing. If it does, go back in and edit it after posting. You can do so in Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn by hitting the three little dots on the top right of your image or post then selecting Edit.
2. Forget Your Sales ABCs
Always Be Closing. Yes, this is a principle salesfolks live by. You have to stay focused and remember your purpose. Keep your spiel tight and ready, and know when and how to get your customers to pull the trigger.
Now scrap that, because we’re not in the real world, we’re in the online world, and ultimately, what people want from their social media is to social … not sold to. They “friend” you online to connect with you on more than a surface level. They want to get acquainted with your likes, hear your recommendations, learn about your experiences, and know that they share things in common with you. Most of all, they want you to become someone they can trust—their friend. And what that means is that you need to make sure your agency page isn’t just a billboard or a sales pitch, or they’ll hit that “Unfollow” button quicker than you can say “EVERYTHING IS ON SALE!”
That’s not to say you can’t promote your services or partner suppliers. They do want to hear about your latest sales, promotions, and Exclusive Perks, too … just not in an obvious way, nor all the time. Social media followers want to feel special for following you, like your news flashes on flash sales are just for them. They want to feel reassured that they really are getting a true Steal of a Deal and not just getting suckered into false hype.
Pro-tip: When you share a sale or a promotion, add a personal note, like the options we have pre-written for you in ALGV360⁰. Don’t just say something generic like “book now!” or “call me today” when you can instead start a conversation. Instead, write your post as if you were sharing a secret tip with a friend. Sound excited about the deal or offer itself rather than pushing hard to get them to buy, buy, buy. And most importantly, curate your content. Make sure not every post you put up is a push to purchase, or that you’re not highlighting the same sale and offer every time. Variety is the spice of life, and new information will keep folks coming back.
3. Engage with Your Audience
Okay, you’ve posted your posts, you’re putting your name out there. Whew—you can sit back and relax now that you have content up. Right?
WRONG. As a business page on Facebook, for instance, you don’t show up on newsfeeds as often as a personal friend would. That’s just how the platform works, because they run on ad revenue and need to give you a reason to spend that money (hello, paid boost button!). However, the best way to naturally mitigate that is to increase your engagement—which is to say, make your online presence a two-way street. The more users you respond back to, talk to, and tag, the more often you’ll pop up on their timelines since they’re now indicating that you’re a business providing content they want.
That’s not to say to spam-tag your fans and customers. (Seriously, don’t do this—you’ll alienate them faster than a cough will clear a room these days.) What we mean is that you should end posts with questions to indicate that you’re interested in what your followers have to say and share. When they comment, like it and comment back. Follow your biggest fans back, and like and comment on their public content, too (but not too much, because also, don’t be a creep). Share travel memes from their pages that speak to your brand, or news articles and the like, once you properly vet their sources. Snopes is a great resource to use for making sure your news is real, and this infographic guide makes it really easy for you to identify reputable outlets, which helps you do your part in preventing misinformation.
Pro-tip: It’s easy to take note of who is paying more attention to your posts, stories, and links. Just hover over the “Like” button on Facebook or click the starter tags listing recent “hearts” on Instagram to see who took action on it. On your Facebook Stories, you can see who clicked on to view by playing your own Story; on Instagram, tap on the little profile pictures on the bottom left corner. Once you’ve identified who your regular followers are, look for opportunities to reward them in small ways, even if it’s just a thank-you note saying that you appreciate their support. On Instagram, simply follow them back.
4. Get Your Sound Frequency & Mix Right
Post too often and you’ll get unfollowed fast for spamming their feeds. Post too little and you won’t show up at all, even when you do post. What’s an agency to do?
Act as a DJ. That’s our best advice. For instance, mix it up! In terms of content, between sales, sprinkle in travel inspiration memes such as those we released for Destination: Anywhere on ALGV360⁰, and fun videos, like our Schoolcation series for kids. Respond to the crowd! Seeing a lot of buzz about a particular post, like a promotion? Put up a follow-up with more sales details or examples of where they can go … or ask where your followers would go if they were to book now. Tailor your frequency of posts to your engagement. If you’re on a hot streak, post away. If you have something new to say, do it online. But if you don’t have anything that would interest you personally, maybe you give it a few days to see if inspiration will hit you. You don’t want to post just for the sake of posting.
Pro-tip: This may take some trial and error and flying by the seat of your pants, but trust us—you’ll figure it out! Instagram and Facebook both have admin tools built right in that can tell you when your audience is tuning in (so you can better decide when to post your content), how long they’re looking at your stories or if they’re clicking to fast-forward (to gauge their interest level in your topic), and other useful details. Pay attention to these cues and adapt your strategy to them to fine-tune the playlist that will get their hands—and rears!—in the air(plane) sooner.
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