We’re all human and we all make mistakes.
It’s no different on social media.
But when it comes to making mistakes in life it’s good to learn from your own and to learn from those of others. The following is a list of mistakes e-commerce companies have made on social media.
You can learn from their mistakes as you build your social media efforts. And even if you’ve been doing social media for a while you can adjust based on the tips in this post.
1. No Defined Responsibilities
You can have the best social media strategy out there, but if you don’t have the roles and responsibilities defined with people to manage it you’re not going to have success.
You can break down the responsibilities in a couple ways. One person could be in charge of everything. We’ll talk about that in the next point.
But it’s also common for one person to handle one social channel. You could also break it down into one person handling research, image design, etc. and another person to post the updates.
And with images, which are important for engagement, it’s necessary to define making those images part of a designer’s responsibility.
2. Too Few Managers
It’s a really big job for one person to handle social media for a company especially for a larger e-commerce company.
What I’ve seen is that the social media manager also has other roles as well like PPC management, display management and other responsibilities.
Social media really is a full-time job. And there has to be commitment from management to the position and the strategy. People in the business will look down on social media because it can be difficult to track ROI.
But there are some good correlations between social metrics and sales.
If you’re really going to go for social media it might be worthwhile to have more than one person on the social team. It’s a lot of work to keep up with the effort. It’s more than just publishing updates. There is research, design, planning and more.
3. Too Many Channels
On the flipside, the challenge for many businesses and especially big brands is getting spread too thin across too many channels.
If hiring multiple social media managers isn’t in the budget or if you don’t want to do that for your e-commerce business then the better option might be to focus on a single channel.
You can lock down all the profiles for your brand. But then focus on one. For many e-commerce businesses the best one is probably Facebook. It’s the most populated social channel.
But there are other variables including who your target customer is and what channel you or your social media manager are comfortable with.
Focusing on one channel can allow you to make some good headway there. You’ll get more out of the social media effort that way than doing just okay on all the channels.
4. No Guidelines, Goals, Vision For Managers
It’s hard for anyone to do a job without a vision. It’s the CEO’s job to make sure there is a vision for the company. And in the case of social media it’s a good idea to set goals that align with that vision. And from that you can also set guidelines.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. The ultimate goal with social media can be built around a number of followers, but there could be guidelines like limiting the advertising to get followers or limiting the type of content published.
Restrictions are a balancing act, but it’s good to have some restrictions like not discussing politics or not getting into fights with trolls.
The guidelines can also help with hiring the right person for the job. Having someone with a good cultural fit will make for a better outcome.
5. No Content Schedule
One of the tricky things with social media is sitting in front of the computer wondering what to share. The best way to get around social media block is to create a schedule and to fill it out separate from publishing.
This could mean coming up with ideas once a month for the next month.
You can plan out one update per day, for example, and then supplement those planned updates with other updates throughout the day.
The guideline could be to schedule two updates per day and then add 3-5 other updates throughout the day based on what is going on, etc.
6. Not Enough Updates
In general, I would say that most companies don’t post enough updates. It’s not a direct correlation or causation, but I think that the more you update the more engagement you’ll get on social media.
You can send off one update each day and that’s good. But most of your followers probably won’t see that update especially if they follow other brands and have other friends on the channel.
You increase your odds by updating more. I would say it’s better to go a little too far to the annoying side and then back down than to post too little for too long. You’ll struggle to build a following with too few updates.
7. No Interaction With Audience
This mistake is as old as social media.
It’s okay to promote your products on social media and to publish other content. But your followers know that someone or multiple people are working behind the brand on social media.
It’s fun for them when there is interaction. It could be re-sharing what they share. Favoriting or liking a few of their updates or even replying to a few of the updates.
That interaction is what followers love and you can get more by doing at least a little interaction instead of just sending out your updates and reading the interaction from followers.
8. Lack Of Personality
This goes back to hiring a social media manager with the right personality and the right culture fit for your brand. It’s good to have some natural personality on social media.
It doesn’t have to go over the top, but it’s good to show some emotion. You don’t want it to go too far especially with hot button topics like politics and religion.
But most other things are okay for a little emotion. It’s a way to share interests with your followers, which is a big reason many people use social media in the first place.
9. No Interaction/Partnerships With Other Brands
The interaction item extends to other brands as well.
Other brands have audiences and if that audience is an audience you like then interaction with that brand can work to grow your audience.
It could be something simple like re-sharing something great that another brand shared. It could be setting up a partnership of some kind like co-hosting an event or something.
Let’s say you’re an e-commerce store that sells car parts. You could re-share or reply to something that happens with a Nascar team.
Or maybe you sell jewelry on your e-commerce site. You could comment about the styles you see on popular TV shows.
10. Too Much Promotion
Finally we get to the biggest mistake. Again, it’s okay to promote your products, but that shouldn’t be the only thing you do.
We mentioned a few of the other types of content you can share above like the interaction and images. You can share articles. You can share tips. Look at the questions your audience has and answer those questions.
It’s okay to make mistakes with social media. It’s a new medium, but the mistakes above have been repeated over and over and there’s no reason to keep doing them.
Follow the tips above and you’ll be setting your e-commerce site up for success with social media.