This November will mark 4 years since I’ve launched Texturedtalk.com. Seriously, where has the time gone? I would be totally lying if I said social media has not contributed to 90% of my success. But, there are a lot of social media mistakes I’ve made along the way.
In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. Sometimes I would simply copy what others were doing because I thought, hey if it worked for them it will work for me. Wrong! Sure enough, I figured it out with a few bumps and bruises over time.
In 4 years I’ve gained over 20,000 followers & fans across all of my social media platforms and TexturedTalk.com gets over 25,000 unique site visitors a month. It wasn’t always this way of course. Here are social media mistakes I made and how you can avoid them for your own success.
5 Social Media Mistakes To Avoid
1. Thinking Social Media Was JUST Instagram
Because I launched my blog on Instagram and that’s where most of the natural hair content was in 2014 outside of Youtube, I put heavy emphasis on just IG. The mistake is that I never took a step back to analyze how people were finding the website and where they went for information.
While my Instagram page continued to grow numbers wise, I eventually found out Instagram was the LOWEST converting platform of TexturedTalk.com – the actual blog site. Most of my blog readers found my website through Pinterest, and SEO optimization. The other readers found me and navigated through Facebook and Facebook ads.
Although I still love Instagram, I had to redirect where I was spending my time and focus on the platforms that brought in results. I started to put more attention into organizing my Pinterest boards to make it easier for people to find content. I also reached out to get more people to Like my Facebook page so I could also retarget them with Facebook ads.
Tip For Success: Set up your Google Analytics on your business website or blog to track the sources of your site traffic. Whatever area is the highest for traffic, focus on those areas to reach more people.
2. I Didn’t Stay Up To Date On the Latest Algorithm Changes
You might have been living under a rock if you have not heard people gripe about Instagram and Facebook’s algorithm changes. To win the game of social media you simply can not ignore these things. When updates are released don’t just tap the “update” button. Take some time to read what’s happening on your favorite social media apps so you can use those things to your advantage.
In the beginning, I didn’t take these things seriously. I was posting at random times during the day and didn’t realize I should be posting when my followers are the most engaged for Instagram. For Facebook too, I didn’t realize more engagement means more people will see my posts and it will be pushed to the top of the newsfeed.
Tip for Success: Keep track of when people are the most engaged with your post by creating your own google doc of times or simply keep track of it within the notes section of your phone.
3. My Content & Photos Didn’t Tell A Story
Social media for businesses is a marketing tool. If you have accounts just for personal pleasure, worrying about telling a story and branding yourself is not as big of a deal. But, if you want to have influence and convince people to buy your product or service you have to remember the #1 great aspect of marketing: TELL THE STORY!
Why is this so important? Because people want to feel connected to you as the face of your business, if that is the case, and they want to feel connected to your brand. People love storytelling. We love movies with a great storyline, a show series that keeps our attention from week to week and a good album that takes us on a journey from track 1 to track 10.
Social media marketing is no exception to this rule. At one point, I was just posting to post. You know, that happens when you feel like you “need” to post something because you haven’t posted in a while. Although I was a blogger at the time my vision for where I wanted my blog to go was not clear. I was tired of talking about natural hair and knew I wanted to talk about so much more.
As a result, my content and posts were all over the place and people couldn’t tell exactly what I was doing. Once I became clear on my goals and vision, my social media content improved and became 10 times better over the past 4 months than what it has been over the past 4 years.
Tip for Success: If you don’t know what type of content you should be posting on your social media people will not know why they should follow you. Get clear on your brand message and tell a story through your content.
4. Never Engaged With My Social Media Posts and Followers
As social media mistakes continued this one was a huge learning lesson for me! There was seriously a moment where I thought I was “too cool” to reply to comments. I foolishly thought if all these people were commenting on my social media posts and I didn’t reply it would make me look better and busier. I was so so soooooo wrong.
Engagement is KING. Social media content is ranked based on how you can get someone to take action versus just liking and following your posts. Ask yourself this. Are people taking time out of their day to comment or share my social media posts? Or, is my content just a thumb scroll? Does my content make someone want to stop and know more? Responding to comments, especially for small businesses, let’s people know you care and there are real people running the business. It humanizes your brand and makes people feel more connected.
Higher engagement equals higher priority within the algorithm on Instagram and Facebook, which also means more people will see your posts. Increased pins and board follows on Pinterest means more people are likely to interact with your page that hopefully leads back to your website. Someone liking your tweet or retweeting it increases your visibility for more followers.
TIP For Success: I think you get the point….engage people! Reply to comments, DMs, like the comment on your posts, encourage people to click links you share, encourage people to interact with your video content, ETC.
5. My Social Media Didn’t Visually Intrigue People
If your most important social media platforms are Instagram and Pinterest visuals are everything! People are not highly engaged with photos that are not visually intriguing as our eyes are naturally drawn to “pretty” things.
What does this mean? My photos were all over the place from a cohesive branding aspect. One look at my page and you couldn’t tell what industry or niche I was trying to appeal towards which was a major problem. At the time of the photo below in 2016, my blog was all about promoting healthy natural hair but there were only three to four photos out of the 15 that relayed that message.
Now my revised mission for Textured Talk is empowering women through beauty, business and self-care. For me I want women to feel empowered, beautiful and inspire women to live their best lives, which I think clearly shows in the right photo from in 2018.
Tip for Success: Think about how you want people to feel when they interact with your social media and curate your content for those emotions.
Social media mistakes are common and yes you will make them. Mistakes are part of the learning process. When it comes to businesses, people are just as likely to check out your social media page before they even get to your website. If your social media is the first interaction you have with a potential customer you better make it count! The key to great social media is figuring out what works for you and your audience.