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5 Social Media ‘Conventions’ That Are Completely Wrong

Why some of the things that people generally accept as true about social media might be preventing your pages from unlocking their true potential.

Like clockwork, companies are churning out fresh content through social media, inspiring engagement, feedback and, ultimately, more purchases.

But there are some things that a lot of those content distributors have generally accepted as nonissues that are, in fact, huge issues.

Here are just a few social media conventions that, while seemingly negligent, can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your social media channels in the long-run.

You Don’t Have to Post on the Weekends

People like to relax on the weekends – grab dinner with friends, catch up on shows that they’ve recorded on their DVR, maybe even watch football . And that’s all fine and dandy, because it’s good to relax on the weekends. You do enough during the week, right?

The problem is, that’s one of the worst times to ‘relax’ in the world of social media. The weekends, on average, are the best days to post as far as engagement rates are concerned. According to a recent study by Buddy Media, engagement rates on the weekend are as much as 69% and 17% higher on Facebook and Twitter, yet less than 10% and 19% of brands post then, respectively.

Why? Simply because users are always looking to consume content, particularly on the weekends. The problem is, most brands don’t take the time to develop content for the weekend and post it then. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to save your best content for the weekend, then?

And wait, what’s that? You can schedule your posts on Facebook and Twitter (using Hootsuite, Sproutsocial, or Buffer)? **Head explodes.**

Not Being a Morningperson/Nightowl is OK

You don’t want anyone to talk to you before you’ve had your 4th cup of coffee, I completely understand. And you also don’t want to receive any emails past 5 p.m. That’s fine, I won’t send you this great cat video I found online. Your loss.

But again, in the world of social media, not being a morning person or a night owl can be bad. Very bad. Why? Because those are great off-peak hours (for Facebook). According to that same study by Buddy Media, those off-peak hours received as much as 19% higher interaction rates.

Twitter posts, on the other hand, actually fared better in that regard, garnering generally higher engagement rates during the on-peak hours.

 

Still, pay close attention to analytics and find out what times are best for you. You might find out that 11 a.m. in the middle of the week works wayyy better than 9 p.m. on a Sunday.

Consumers Don’t Expect You to Respond to Them

Do you know what percentage of social media users’ posts are responded to? Roughly 5%. Now, what percentage of users expect to receive a response when they post something on a brands social media page? 3 out of 5.

That’s a huge discrepancy, and a significant problem for brands that are trying to tout their openness and willingness to communicate freely with their consumers.

Consumers don’t only expect you to respond to them, they want you to respond to them. Engagement is key to social media, and convincing users that your social media channels aren’t simply another way to advertise to users – that you value feedback and communication with those users – is important in maintaining those relationships with your consumers.

The More Social Media Channels You're On, The Better

Between blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels and Google+ accounts, GM has over 50 social media accounts that are maintained on a regular basis. It's impressive.

But GM also spends over $30 million a year creating content for those pages. Gulp.

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you or your friend’s business doesn’t have access to those sorts of resources, nor do they have the time. The solution? Focus on just one or two social media channels to begin with.

If you’re a fashion company, focus on Pinterest and perhaps Twitter or Instagram. If you’re a bakery, Facebook and maybe Twitter.

Focus on one to two networks to begin with, then once you’ve familiarized yourself with those and become successful in generating some sort of engagement on those networks, then you can work on getting onto other social media channels.

Simply put, most small companies don’t have the resources to put content onto 4 or 5 different social media channels without seeing a huge overlap, or taking up a significant amount of their own internal resources.

Keep it simple. Don't spread yourself too thin.

Nobody Wants to Hear About Our Company

This one is just plain wrong. Chances are, if somebody has decided to follow your company through social media, they want to hear everything that you have to say, even if it’s a little self-indulgent. (Or, in the case of some, very self-indulgent.)

So don’t hesitate to post pictures about employees having fun, or making something amazing, or doing something cool. And don’t be shy about drumming up support for awards you’ve recently received, and things that you’ve done in and around the community that might be special to you, but that you automatically assume people won’t care about.

People probably will care about it. And if they don’t, who cares? There’s always tomorrow, and the next day. And the day after that.

Despite still being in its relative infancy, companies (and people alike) have quickly learned the ins-and-outs of how the various social media channels work, and what practices will drive engagement, versus what practices will drive people away.

Those ‘conventions’ that you might have assumed were correct? They may have been keeping you away from unlocking the real potential of your social media presences.

 

Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc.

Mario Mirabella is the Founder and Creative Director of MSM DesignZ, Inc., a full service advertising and marketing agency located in Westchester County, NY that specializes in web design and development, social media branding and management, search engine optimization, mobile applications and marketing. Since 1999, MSM DesignZ has been providing businesses with a comprehensive solution to increase their online presence and overall brand awareness.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gail Farrelly October 24, 2012 at 07:27 AM
I learned a lot from this post. Thank you, Mario.
Mario Mirabella October 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM
That's great to hear! Thank you for reading!

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