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5 Bad Social Media Habits to Kick in 2014

5 Bad Social Media Habits to Kick in 2014 Blog Feature

December 18th, 2013 min read

5-Social-Media-Bad-HabitsWith each new year comes a slew of new years resolutions.

Fueled by the opportunity to start fresh, all of our bad habits from the year prior don't stand a chance to these annual promises we make to ourselves.

We take personal vows to get organized, spend more time with family and friends, and hit the gym a little harder.

Unfortunately after a month or two, a lot of the new year motivation starts to fizzle out, and we find ourselves right back where we started.

We've come up with a few social media bad habits that you can commit to kicking this year.

Trust us, while saying no to that doughnut for breakfast may sting a bit, these social media bad habits are much easier to sink.

Sharing the Same Content Across the Board

Simply pushing your tweet over to Facebook may seem harmless, however there is something about this type of overlap that just doesn't sit well with us.

In doing so you may feel like you are saving yourself valuable time, but at what cost to your followers? 

Imagine the feeling people get when their birthday falls on Christmas and they receive one gift intended to cover both occasions. While that may sound a bit materialistic, your followers are in fact tuning into each of your channels for a variety of valuable content resources, not a broken record.

It's not so much about posting the same content to each platform, but rather serving it up in the same way regardless of the social landscape. LinkedIn and Twitter, for example, are two very different social situations. While you may pepper your short-tail tweet with a couple hashtags, this type of structure won't resonate well on a professional platform like LinkedIn.  

Ignoring the 80/20 Rule

What's the 80/20 rule? 

When applied to social media, the 80/20 rule refers to the ratio at which you should be divvying up the type of content you publish. While 80% of the time your content should be geared toward non-promotional material, the other 20% of the time you have the freedom to promote as you please. 

Sound fair? This rule of thumb serves as a healthy scale for a number of reasons. 

By rationing the amount of time you spend dishing out content thats all about you, you, you the greater the opportunity you create for yourself to learn more about them, them, them. Them being your audience; the expanse of social media users who you are creating your content for.

By sharing other user's content, you are able to expand your community involvement, while providing your audience with information and resources that you may not have thought to discuss otherwise. A well-rounded stream of content is what will keep your followers coming back for me.

Refusing to Adopt New Platforms

With new social platforms making there way onto the map it's becoming increasingly difficult to keep pace with what's hot, and what's not. However, sometimes the deciding factor should not simply be based on what's hot, but rather what works.

It seems that many businesses have cast aside valuable social media marketing tools like Snapchat simply because they haven't seen other businesses jump on them right away. 

My advice to you is: to each their own.

Don't write off new, applicable social platforms simply because people in other industry have yet to see the value in them. More often than not, businesses become distracted by likes, comments, and page views to the point where they cannot wrap their head around the value of not only receiving attention, but rather making a strong connection.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an excellent advocate when it comes to jumping on new, sometimes controversial, social platforms. Back in July when Snapchat was receiving a bad rap for what people were concluding to be an "sexting-friendly" design, Gary V was ready and willing to look past the hype.

In in article posted to his LinkedIn, Gary explained:

"See, what I think most people are missing with Snapchat is the limitations. I love restrictions. I love the 140 character limit of Twitter. It forces creativity. I love the 6 seconds of Vine. It forces creativity. What Snapchat does is even more interesting. The fact that the picture disappears forever after 3-10 seconds (I know I know it doesn't but it's how the user uses it and that's what matters) fascinates me because it forces the person consuming the content to actually give it the 5 seconds of attention it deserves."

Take Gary's word for it. There are a number of underutilized platforms out there waiting for your business to take advantage of. 

Sit down and make a list of the platforms that you're not on. Why aren't you on them? How might your business benefit from them?

Discounting Social Media Updates

Social media platforms are constantly making little tweaks and improvements in an attempt to create the best possible user experience.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a marketer is to fall behind on social media updates, as more than often they have the ability to enhance your marketing efforts.

For example, back in 2012 Twitter introduced the header image, a new design feature similar to the Facebook cover photo, that allowed users to upload a photo of their choice to accompany their avatar and bio section.

To this day, there are still businesses out there in the Twittersphere waltzing around with no header image! Twitter handed them tiny bit of visual real estate to express their creativity, and they've carried on about their business without it. Shame on them.

Perhaps a more relevant example of this would be businesses ability to adopt the new Instagram Direct feature released by Instagram just last week. With Instagram Direct, users are now able to share private photos and videos with an individual or group.

This update opens up the floor for marketers to communicate with their followers one-on-one, and carry out innovative contests and giveaways through the exchange of private visuals. 

Simply put, if you haven't updated, you're missing out.

Monitoring the Wrong Social Media Metrics

Marketers love metrics. Some call it nerdy, others call it necessary. 

While many businesses confuse a large expanse of followers are a good indicator that their social media marketing efforts are working, this is not always the case.

While a healthy amount of fans and followers reflects the reach of the content you post to your social media platforms, you should not base your entire social media strategy off of gaining more followers.

The number one thing you want to avoid is following accounts for the sole purpose of getting followed back. This approach to social media marketing will leave you with nothing more than a list of empty followers, and a fruitless Twitter feed in terms of content.

Stop focusing on the number of followers you have and start focusing on the things that matter most. We suggest that you consider some of the following suggestions when it comes to social media metrics:

  • How often are people interacting/engaging with your brand on social media?
  • What types of keywords, or hashtags are driving the best results?
  • Where is your social media traffic stemming from?
  • Are your social media efforts driving traffic back to your website?
  • What type of device is your audience using to access your social media content?

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