5 Ways Your Social Media Efforts Are Failing

This post was originally featured on the Creative Live Blog.

Watching that social media follower count is like fast-forwarding your favorite Netflix series just to watch the credits — ineffective, and a complete waste of time. Most businesses get the importance of being active on social media, but few know what’s really important when it come to social media marketing, or even how to actually create meaningful interaction.

Entrepreneur, photographer and social media guru Jasmine Star suggests social media is not all about that follower count — it’s about building engaged, interested followers, not passive scrollers. As Jasmine helps other entrepreneurs follow their dreams and leverage social media, she often sees businesses make the same avoidable mistakes over and over again. Often, those mistakes stem from a lack of understanding of how social media works and missing out on what’s really important when it comes to social media marketing.Ahead of her Social Media Bootcamp airing free June 24-26, Jasmine sat down to share some of the most common social media marketing mistakes, how to avoid them, and what to do instead.

1. Putting more importance on followers, rather than customers.

One of the questions Jasmine is most frequently asked is how to build that follower count. But the second question is often how to get more sales from social media. The two questions point to an often misunderstood aspect of social media marketing on just how important followers are. In response, Jasmine asks this question: Are your current followers your customers?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to take a look at who your ideal audience is and develop a plan to find them. On social media, people follow accounts for a specific reason — perhaps it’s humor, or recipes, how-tos, inspiration, or entertainment. Businesses need to determine both who their audience is and what they want to be known or followed for, then blend the two together to create posts that will encourage not just empty follower counts, but the right followers.

2. Not giving out the engagement that you want to get.

Many businesses launch a social media page and start putting content out there — but fail to interact back with their followers and potential followers. Jasmine calls social media the cocktail hour of the internet — you can’t stand in the middle of the room shouting to empty space and expect something in return. Instead, she suggests creating the type of interaction that you’d like to get on your social media page.

For example, if you would like to get one comment on your Instagram photo, comment on five other images on Instagram. And not the two and three-word emoji responses, or people will just think that you’re a bot. While the approach takes some time, creating the interaction that you want is the best way to build engagement on social media.

3. Writing boring captions or hiding the hook.

On social media, you have maybe one or two lines to stop readers from scrolling. That’s not much time to grab attention, which is why Jasmine suggests writing captions that start with a hook, something to grab attention in those first lines. Follow that hook up with insight, keeping in mind what you want your page to be known for and followed for. Finally, include a call to action, or an invitation for followers to do something like visit a website or sign up for an email newsletter.

4. Believing that great social media accounts should be perfect, with thousands of followers.

Afraid to share that post because you’ll be judged in some way, or it’s not quite perfect? Jasmine says small businesses need to let go of perfection — no one is perfect — and stop using it as an excuse not to create social media content.

In the same way, businesses shouldn’t believe thae myth that you need millions of followers to be effective on social media — because 100 engaged, interested followers are worth more than 100,000 passive followers that will most likely just scroll right on by your posts.

5. Failing to plan your content.

Are you a when-I-have-time type of sharer? One of the biggest social media marketing mistakes businesses make when it comes to social media is failing to plan. Building a strategy and planning content ahead of time will not only keep your profiles from going dark for days or even weeks at a time but will help you reach the right people, with the right messages, more often.

During Social Media Bootcamp airing on June 24, Jasmine leads entrepreneurs through identifying an audience, pinpointing a focus, building a plan, and transforming social media strategy for platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others. During the three-day boot camp,  you’ll meet two real-world businesses and see how they transformed their social media accounts in just 30 days — and learn to do the same to turn your social media efforts around.

Transform your social media marketing in 30 days with Jasmine Star’s new Social Media boot camp. RSVP for your reminder to tune in free June 24-26.