The digital fix

 The digital fix

How social media can be hurting your brand, and what to do about it.

In an increasingly digital world, brands come with an incredible opportunity
to leverage social media in order to share their message and attract a worldwide
audience more than ever before. And as smaller businesses, this could mean
greater exposure, revenue and growth. But what we should don't see behind the shiny
lights and hope of going viral is the fact that this very thing could be
hurting our very own brands.

I know this, because I've seen it happen countless times which
common social mistakes can be holding your brand back from achieving true
online success. The truth is, social media is meant to work for you, not
against you. Yet we're noticing many business owners fall short when it comes
to their social game, which is preventing them from leveraging their accounts.

There are five common errors you could be making when it comes to
social networking and I'm going to show you how you can fix them.

Platform overwhelm

Just because there are multiple social media platforms doesn't mean you need to be active on every single one. Each platform will provide your audience with something different, whether that's video content, long form captions or simple static photos. It's essential that you identify who your audience is, which platforms they're most likely to use and how they like to receive content. Focusing on too many platforms at once can cause platform overwhelm as well as your message becomes diluted. It's easier to focus on quality content around the platforms that work best for your company, than a large quantity of content on each and every social media account.

“Now is the time to ensure your brand is leveraging social media to make it work for you, not against you.”

Try this instead: Choose one or two platforms where you can frequently engage online and forget about everything else. There's a pretty good chance these platforms are the ones you're already using. Once you have determined where your efforts can be best received, stick to it. Again, you don't need to be on every social networking platform, only the ones where you can benefit from most.

Vague messaging

While social media was designed to bring people together and become, well,
social, there's something to be said for how you communicate on these
platforms. A big faux pas as a business owner is using social media to share
every single waking moment throughout the day. We're big on letting your brand
personality shine, however when you have the ability to reach an already engaged
audience, you don't want to waste their time without a penny of value.

The thing is, being vague together with your messaging is confusing, provides no
clear call to action and doesn't give your audience much to interact with. If
you're turning up online with no real plan, it's harder to talk with
potential customers and this doesn't lend itself towards the brand you've created.

Try this instead: Produce a solid communications strategy to help support your business' goals and objectives. Break this down into a regular monthly plan, and get clear on any offers, promotions or events that may bring in potential customers and attention. This then becomes your guiding light for that type of content you share online. It's quicker to communicate with your audience when you have a method and plan in place to maximise your exposure.


Most social media platforms derive from an algorithm – as much as you
can play into it, you can't control it. Your success is not defined by the
quantity of likes you get on a photo or even the amount of re-shares your article has
received. Equally, it is not defined by the number of followers you've. It's
more important to have a low quantity of highly engaged followers, than a high
number of low engaged followers. But it is easy to forget about the logistics
and concentrate on the comparison game that occurs with social media – it's
inevitable. The trouble with comparing your business with others on the internet
is that it takes you from what your audience needs and wants from you.

Try this instead: One of your biggest assets as a brand and business owner is that no one is going to do things like you do them. Your brand personality is unique and instinctively going to be not the same as everyone else, so try injecting more of that into your business. It's essential to stay in your own lane and laser focused on objectives and milestones that are directly tied to your business, not anyone else's.


What often prevents businesses from engaging on social media is the fear
of it not perfect. They question everything from the caption to the image
or lighting, which often results in them not posting anything at all. One of
the biggest social media mistakes has been silent and unseen, when your
audience is sitting there waiting for you. This is a missed opportunity,
because perfectionism doesn't appear in the social media world.

Try this instead: Gone are the days of a perfectly curated feed or social account. Audiences expect entertaining or educational content from businesses, not just perfect looking pictures. Take a look at showing up consistently and mixing in the type of content you're sharing, so that you're equally as inspired as your audiences will be.

Too trendy

It seems like nearly every week there's something new trending online,
that's been inspired by a global event or public figure. The one thing with trends
is that they almost always have nothing to do with your business or content
strategy and, quite frankly, should be avoided. Not only that, they come and
go, making any content you share dated and irrelevant for your business.

Try this instead: Be relevant with the type of content you share and become clear on if it's providing value or if it's something that should be kept offline instead. It goes back to the content strategy and communications plan you've put in place. Make the most out of your social media platforms by remaining on-brand and in line with your brand messaging.

With the rise of social media over the last decade, audiences are
searching for more from their favourite brands, celebrities and business. The
social landscape is different dramatically and I can only suspect it'll
continue to innovate and unleash new ways for businesses to gain exposure on a
larger scale.

Now is the time to ensure your brand is leveraging social networking to make it work for you, not against you. The opportunities that are presenting themselves haven't existed within this capacity before, so what are you awaiting?

This story first appeared in issue 30 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine

Related post