Today’s a fun change of pace as today’s article is written by my friend Jerry Potter of Five Minute Social Media.
He’s a social media expert and helps small businesses understand the nuances of social media in fun 5-minute videos via Youtube.
Trust me, he’s a great one to listen to, so here you go!
6 Social Media Strategies You’ll Want To Avoid In 2020
“You want the good news or the bad news?”
That’s what I asked my friend Lindsey when she came to me for social media help.
“I feel like I’m doing all the right things on social media but I’m not getting results,” she told me with the frustration of an airline agent whose the computers are down.
The good news is she WAS doing all the right things.
But she was also doing a lot of wrong things, and they were hurting everything she was doing right.
We are in the era of “guru overload.” There are so many people giving out advice, and when you follow it all, you sometimes end up in a worse place than you started.
So here are 5 things still being touted as “Social Media Strategies” that you should stay far away from this year.
#1 : Post a lot so you can reach as many people as possible
This piece of “advice” is based on the theory that the more times you post, the more people you’ll reach.
This theory has never been accurate.
I once worked with a brand that wanted to post on Facebook 48 times per day. That’s not a typo – every 30 minutes. That’s 17,520 posts per year!
We’ve all seen how quickly a social media post can stop showing up in feeds (the last data I saw on Twitter is that a tweet lasts about 18 minutes), so why not just keep posting?
If I ask you to come up with 3 posts, you might come up with some amazing content. If I ask you to come up with 21, the average quality is bound to diminish.
Therefore the more you post, the lower the quality of your posts.
And in 2020, if people don’t engage with your posts because they’re mediocre, they’ll stop seeing your brand in their feed altogether.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: Post the best possible content, even if it’s only three times per week.
#2 : You should never boost a Facebook post
When this advice pops up, it’s usually in one of two places:
- On a blog from 5 years ago when the Facebook Boosting tool was a fraction of what it is now
- Out of the mouth of someone that wants you to buy their Facebook Ads course
For those unfamiliar, Facebook Ads Manager is an amazing marketing tool, but can be a little overwhelming and complex at first.
Boosting is a simpler version of the tool that’s integrated into Facebook Business Pages. When it was first introduced it was very basic, but now it can be used to get great results.
Last year I worked with a client that spent $40 to boost an event on Facebook. The event reached 50,000 people – where else can you do that for 40 bucks?
On a normal Monday night this business does $3,000 in sales, but on the Monday promoted on Facebook they did $7,000 in sales!
The math: $40 spent on boosting = $4,000 in sales.
To be clear, Facebook Ads Manager is a better tool than Facebook Boosting, but before you’re ready for Ads Manager, boosting can bring great results.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: If boosting can help you grow your business, do it! Then add Ads Manager when you’re ready to learn it or can afford to hire someone else to run ads.
#3: Social Media is free so you should post to lots of platforms.
This piece of advice often comes from marketers where social media is their full-time job.
It’s also the biggest social media mistake I see most businesses make.
First of all, free doesn’t mean it’s worth your time. Standing on the side of the road with a sign is also free, but you aren’t a mattress selling mascot, right?
Second, when you try and market your business on several social media channels, you end up getting mediocre results.
Because you are giving a mediocre effort. When you spread your efforts across channels, there’s no way you can serve each audience well.
“But I use Hootsuite and just blast the same message out all over the place,” said a proud audience member at one of my recent speaking engagements.
While this used to work okay, every platform’s audience is different and it’s not effective anymore.
It comes down to one simple thing:
Will your business grow faster if you are one of the BEST on Instagram in your industry/market? Or if your brand is lost in a sea of mediocrity across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok?
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: Start with one platform (even if you’re on multiple channels now) and become amazing at it. Then consider adding a second social media channel for your business.
#4 Your social feed must have professional photographs if you want to be taken seriously
Images that stop the scroll on social media now are less polished.
Our brains are wired to avoid ads and sales pitches. We skip commercials on TV, we throw junk mail in the recycling without looking at it and our scrolling speed speeds up on social media if we perceive something to be an ad.
And this decision is made before we even see what the post/ad is about!
It’s because of this that images that look less polished are performing better, and specifically images that look like they may have been posted by a friend or family member.
IMPORTANT: Your social feed still needs good images that are well lit, convey emotion and represent your brand well, but that can be executed with your smartphone!
So, don’t take this as an excuse to throw up poorly lit selfies.
If you aren’t confident in your photo taking ability, consider learning from someone like Rebecca.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: Use your smartphone and take candid images for your social feeds. Learn a little about light and how to compose an image so it looks good and then run with those candid images you can create yourself!
#5 : If you’re busy, you should automate your social media
Automation in Social Media is dead.
I’m not saying you can’t automate and systematize pieces of it, but the idea of loading content into a tool and having it spit it out randomly all year only achieves one thing – getting social media off your to-do list.
For some business owners, that’s enough. If you haven’t realized the power of social media and just want to look like you’re doing something, go ahead and automate.
But if you want to grow your revenue with social media it’s important to know the real power comes from engaging with people, and you can’t automate engagement.
Posting is the “media” part, while engaging is the “social” part of social media.
I encourage you to use shortcuts and automation when it makes sense, but not in cases like this:
Instagram allows you to auto-post to Twitter with the flick of a switch! But here’s how it looks to your audience:
Are you clicking on that?
BTW, there is a workaround to share your Instagram posts as actual images to Twitter.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: Use automation when it works, and combine it with real engagement.
#6: It’s too late to grow your business on social media
This advice often comes from someone trying to convince you to use another form of marketing, but it couldn’t be more false.
Social media is an incredible platform where your ideal customers and clients are self-identifying themselves!
You can easily search groups on Facebook & LinkedIn and find people likely to become your buyers and start building those relationships.
No matter who you’re trying to reach, there’s no faster way to connect with people locally or around the world.
Remember when networking meant going to events? Now you can do it from your smartphone while sitting in your pajamas!
It’s true though. Social media isn’t what it was five years ago, and that’s a good thing!
Slimy, spammy tactics don’t work well, but if you’ve got something truly great that will help people, social media is the best tool to connect you to your perfect customers and clients.
THE RIGHT STRATEGY: Figure out how social media can help your business, then focus only on the tasks that will immediately (or eventually) drive revenue.
If your business is new or feeling stuck with social media, and you’d like 2020 to be the year to change that, Jerry has a free pop-up Facebook Group to help you do it.
Jerry Potter is the founder of Five Minute Social Media, where he helps business use the world’s simplest social media strategies to grow their revenue