Do you pour your heart and soul into social media posts that perform poorly? Don’t throw in the towel just yet. With 41% of local businesses depending on social media to drive revenue, you don’t want to miss out on your piece of the pie.

Here are five social media mistakes you could be making and how to fix them.

The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes

1. Cross-Posting the Same Content on All Channels

Not all social media platforms are created equal. For instance, your perfectly crafted photo might not go over as well on Twitter as it would on Instagram.

Plus, you don’t want your followers feeling like they’re watching “Groundhog Day” — seeing the same post over and over again.

Try your best to tailor content for each social platform based on what its users prefer to see.

Sometimes duplicating content is unavoidable. For instance, short-form videos are what drive TikTok and Instagram Reels. It’s not as if you’re going to make two different videos, right?

But you can tailor your caption to match each platform’s tone so it feels less like you posted the exact same content twice.

Plus, you don’t need to use every single platform out there. Just use the ones that make the most sense for your small business.

2. Incorrectly Using Hashtags

The two biggest offenses when using hashtags are not researching beforehand and using way too many. A little bit of digging can help you decide which hashtags are relevant and will perform better.

You don’t want to use a hashtag with little to no engagement or one that represents something completely different than what you intend.

Using too many hashtags can make a post look cluttered and compromise its overall reach. Just like keyword stuffing for websites, stuffing as many hashtags as possible into your caption will negatively affect how many users see your post.

Focus on your post’s most important points and keep hashtags between two to five, in general.

3. Lack of Human Element

Social media is all about storytelling and giving users a reason to engage. Pull back the curtain on the small business machine to show consumers you’re human, too — it’ll help them relate to you. This is especially true when you posts ads.

Research shows that 92 percent of consumers want advertising to come in story form.

Posts that are only about booking services or buying products are likely to turn off customers. If you’re not sure where to start, get the creative juices flowing with a day-in-the-life post or a behind-the-scenes post. You can also get tips from our Content Creation Guide.

4. Ignoring or Deleting Negative Feedback

Building trust is the foundation of a consumer’s relationship with a small business owner. The social media mistake you should avoid at all costs is ignoring or deleting negative feedback.

In fact, some platforms like Instagram still allow users to see feedback hidden by the social profile owner.

One of the first things consumers do when researching a business is read reviews and comments. If you’re not making an effort to resolve a conflict with a patron, a potential customer won’t trust you to do the same for them.

“Responding publicly to a negative review can be as impactful as responding to a positive one,” explains Thryv’s social media manager, Chandlor Wright. “It shows you’re honest, authentic and considerate of every customer.”Click to tweet

A little acknowledgment will go a long way. If you see a negative comment or review on your social platforms, reply to the user with an apology and offer to rectify the issue offline.

5. Focusing on Followers Instead of Engagement

Does your competitor have twice as many followers as you? Don’t sweat it. Your number of followers doesn’t automatically correlate with engagement.

Your goal on social media is to build a community of people who regularly engage with your content.

A group of 200 heavily active followers is better than 500 who don’t engage at all.

Followers who frequently share, comment and like your posts can help your brand’s social media presence grow. Plus, high engagement rates can improve your position in the platform’s algorithm, increase reach and gain more active followers.

Bonus Tip: Learn From Your Best

If you’ve read this far, it must mean you’re ready to turn over a new leaf. So here’s a bonus: You can correct all these social media mistakes until the cows come home, but it won’t mean anything if you’re not learning how to improve your followers’ experiences.

All platforms have at least a basic analytics hub to track how your posts perform. Do yourself and your followers a favor — check metrics often to spot posts with the most engagement, and replicate what makes them work.

Social media is a fickle and fluid beast. But no matter how much a trend or platform changes, avoiding these mistakes is your best chance to master the social media marketing space for the long haul.

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