7 big social media mistakes start-ups often make

According to research from 123reg, January is THE month to start a new venture.

In 2022, there was a spike in the number of web addresses being registered, leading the domain provider to estimate that at least 10,000 new companies will have been launched by the end of that month.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly see this trend continuing now in 2023. Times are tough, with people having to find more creative ways to make ends meet – and for many, that means starting a side hustle, or perhaps even leaving their full-time position entirely to start a more exciting or fulfilling career on their own terms. 

Most of these budding business owners will turn to social media to start shouting about their products or services. And while social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok can definitely help raise the profile of any new brand, they need to be used in the right way if they are going to help grow a business, not hinder its progress.

You’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs make crucial mistakes when it comes to managing their social media campaigns. Here are 7 of the worst things you can do when you’re just starting out (or at any point in your business’s lifecycle, really). 

1. Trying to target everything and everyone

I wrote a blog post on this very topic a long time ago – and everything I said then, still stands now. There are certain social media platforms that will bring value to your business, and others that are just not worth spending your time on. The key is to focus your energies on the sites where your target audience actually hangs out.

Going after established business professionals? You’ll probably see greater engagement on LinkedIn. Want to attract a GenZ audience? TikTok is where you need to be. Don’t worry about spreading yourself too thin; spend your time creating a strong presence in the communities that matter.

2. Not having clear goals

Not got a plan? You’ll struggle to gain any real traction. Whether it’s growing your followers, developing fun collabs with influencers in your space, or simply driving more traffic to your website, you need to work out exactly what you want to achieve from your social media strategy, then decide what you need to do to get there.

3. Failing to be consistent

Sadly, posting randomly every few weeks won’t get you anywhere. If you want to grab the attention of your audience and actually grow your account(s), you should be publishing new content as often as you can.

According to the Sprout Social Index™, most consumers believe that brands should be posting between 1-2 times per day – but the frequency that works for you will depend on who you’re talking to, which platforms you’ve chosen to use, and what your objectives are for your campaign. If you need any help deciding on post frequency, let me know – I’d be happy to help!

4. Not giving anything back

There’s no point posting all this brilliant content, then leaving it to wither away from people’s feeds. To keep your content front of mind, be sure to interact with the people that are liking, sharing and commenting on your posts. This is the only way you’ll nurture genuine relationships via social media and, just as importantly, find your brand voice. 

5. Not responding to negativity

If you stumble across some negative feedback on one of your posts, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. We hope you never need to use it – but you can follow the steps in this recent blog post to help you navigate any bad press.

6. Not keeping an eye on how the account is performing

Whether it’s because you need to present results to directors and investors, or you’re just curious as to whether all your hard work has been worth it, it’s always important to review your progress and learn from the data. Most platforms have built-in reporting suites, but there are plenty of third-party tools you can try, too. Check out this list of recommendations from Buffer.

7. Not seeing social media marketing as a long-term investment

I know. Coming up with content ideas gives you brain-ache. Scheduling posts eats into your day. Experimenting with paid ads, or even getting a professional social media onboard, costs you money. But don’t ever think you’re wasting your time or your resources – even if you’re not yet seeing any tangible results from your efforts. Social media marketing is all about playing the long game; showing up, being consistent, and adjusting your strategy as time goes on.

If you ever need help crafting a winning social media plan for your start-up business – or just need a bit of inspiration to keep you on track – you know where I am


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