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Simple Mistakes on Social Media and How to Avoid Them

We can all agree that posts, tweets, updates and the like are quick fixes. They usually run under 200 characters and are a shorthand version of a detailed report, article or story. As a digital and social media marketer, you will learn that every character counts.

With that said, you truly have about a ten second frame to attract the user to your tweet, post or update. Unfortunately, social media marketers usually have to handle multiple accounts and optimizing the perfect post may take too much time. On the other hand, there are social media marketers with way too much time on their hand and they tend over stuff a post with heavy description and too many hashtags.

Let’s go over a few mistakes that social media marketers and the average user tend to make in their posts.

Hashtags

We’ve been here before on this site but hashtags can be both an annoyance and a hindrance. Hashtags are a method of classification. It is the second incarnation of blog tags -- remember those? It is not an opportunity to be clever or self-indulgent. It is a set of characters that when clicked, lead to like posts.

Any hashtag too long or resembles a sentence or is completely arbitrary will make a user turn away. Make sure your hashtags are closely related to your subject and not your undermining thoughts.

Using too many characters

On Twitter, you have 140 characters to create a post to the public. But as you broadcast your message to the world, the world is given the opportunity to respond back. And they do that through the “retweet” or as it appears on Twitter sometimes “RT”. The public can also amend what you said; They can also add in their own thoughts and even add extra hashtags.

It would smart for the social media marketer to reduce their character use by 10-20% to allow their audience to retweet, comment and add to your post. If you don’t give the public a chance to do this, you are losing highly desirable exposure to your post.

Automation errors

There are services like Twitterfeed that allow a Twitter to automatically post an RSS feed. This feed can come from many sources: articles, blog posts and photo journals. But sometimes in the automation process, formatting for social media is just not there.

When automation from an RSS feed occurs, you should the article’s title and a shortened link. But it doesn’t work like that all the time -- you may not get full title or you may get a shortened abstract of the article that takes up too many characters. Always tests your posts after implementing an automated posting service.

When opening a social media account, understand that your message is going out into the world. It can be spread, shared and reworded. You may have to take a look at your posts from the viewers’ eye and see how they can interact with it. Social media now is not about posting your message and leaving it out there, it’s about becoming proactive and responsive with how the public thinks about it.

Image credit: Maria Elena on Flickr

 

 

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