Social media

7 ways to avoid the most common social media mistakes

7 ways to avoid the most common social media mistakes

You’ve successfully mastered a great number of free online marketing courses. You’ve attended each and every one of the webinars and workshops that contained social media in their title. You’ve duly noted all that’s been said and presented on social media best practices. You’ve started advertising your business, services, and products on social media. You’ve invested your time, money, and effort in it, yet results are nowhere to be seen or found.

Frustrated as you might be, you might find some comfort in the fact that your failure is not that unique after all. If you come to think about it, most businesses tried the same way before you did. Still, few of them actually succeeded at using social media marketing the right way.

As it turns out, playing by the book and social media marketing guides doesn’t always show great results. Why? Because no matter how hard you try to tick all the boxes, mistakes are bound to happen. So, to help you prevent them, we have put together a list of the most common social media mistakes you need to avoid if you want to get the best results from your efforts.

How to avoid most common social media marketing mistakes

Source: https://datareportal.com/social-media-users

Given that there are approximately 4.48 billion active social media users, there’s hardly a more effective way to market your business, services, and products than on social media. Really, if you come to think about it, there’s no better way to expose your business to a vast audience. And millions of brands that are present on social media already know that. Considering the competition, it’s easy to see why it’s crucial to be at the top of your game once you decide to take the plunge and start building your social media presence. So let’s waste no more time, and let’s have a look at what you need to pay attention to in order to get to the A-team.

Create a social media content strategy

Whatever you do, don’t base your strategy on spur-of-the-moment decisions. As the proverb says – well begun is half done! So make sure you are on the right track when starting your social media marketing. The best way to do it is by creating a content strategy that will pave your way towards success by helping you set and reach your goals.

Be hardcore specific. Think of your content strategy as a blueprint that will help you build a strong social media presence. A sound content strategy should include all there is to know about your business’s objectives. That means it should provide all the answers that will help you produce content that converts. To get to that point, first, you need to ask yourself questions such as:

Planning your work, staying goal-driven, keeping track of your progress, and discovering new opportunities are just some of the reasons why you should create a content strategy. Keep in mind that a good social media presence has nothing to do with luck. The not-so-secret formula to success is the quality of a content strategy.

Know thyself. And your audience, too.

This kind of brings us to the chicken or the egg situation. What comes first – creating content strategy or identifying your audience? Well, actually, they come together. Knowing your audience will prove to be crucial when figuring out what content to produce. So basically, you need to identify whom you’re talking to in order to know what to say. But deciding what to say will also greatly depend on your business’s goals and objectives. After all, as we’ve already said, you do want to produce content that converts. 

Bit mind-boggling, right? Ok, let’s try it again—this time in layman’s terms.

Why is it important to know your audience? (Take 2 🎬 ) Because your audience is what ultimately influences your social media content strategy. Knowing your audience will help you better understand what messages people care about and what type of content resonates with them. Once you know what to say, your audience insight will dictate the right tone and voice of your content and your message.

Be all ears – listen to what your audience is saying

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when running social media is playing a deaf ear to what your audience has to say. Social media allows you direct contact with your customers, so be sure to use it to your advantage. Find that sweet spot and promote your brand by sharing information that is relevant to your social media followers. Invest your time in understanding their interest and pain points. By doing so, you won’t annoy them; instead, you’ll make them look for more. Simply put, you’ll be able to produce first-rate content that attracts and offers solutions to whatever problems your customers might have.

Also, don’t forget to add a human touch. Engage your audience in meaningful conversations to find out more about them. Don’t just listen; offer answers and aim for two-way communication. Remember – if your audience is the one who has to do all the talking, then it’s not communication. It’s frustration.

Track, measure, and analyze

Not measuring information that lies behind your social media activities might be one reason that keeps you away from achieving your marketing goals. That’s why you need to track, measure, and analyze available audience insights regularly.  

Numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they tell you all you need to know, so be sure to make the most out of them. Use this info to determine what time of the day you should post. Find out where your audience is, i.e., on which social media platform and be there. Don’t talk in vain. What’s the point of having great content if no one will see it? Check the stats regularly to find out what type of content gets the most engagement. Don’t just force your ideas on your audience and take into account how your audience responds to them. Do they find your content valuable enough to share with their friends and family? Do they just scroll over it or react to it? There’s no need to second guess. Analyze the numbers and know for sure.

Follow social media rules

Being the new kid on the block is never easy. Especially when the block is a social media platform you aren’t familiar with and everyone is looking at you. But that’s ok. These things take time and a lot of research on social media etiquette. Sure, you might want to experiment in the beginning to find out what works and what doesn’t, and that’s perfectly understandable. Trial and error are more than welcome. In fact, there’s a hardly better way to find out how to reach your social media marketing goals. However, you need to remember that intuition is not necessarily your friend when it comes to social media surroundings. Bear in mind that each social media platform has its own set of rules and best practices you need to understand.

To better illustrate this point, let’s have a look at the giveaway trend for a second. If you are a regular Instagram and Facebook user, chances are you’ll come across at least one each time you check your social media feed. Now try to remember when was the last time you saw one on LinkedIn?

Remember, social media faux pas instantly go viral, so make sure to avoid them. We’ll all agree that there are much better ways to promote your brand. 😃

Mix and match different types of content

Remember what’s already been said: don’t annoy your audience; make them look for more. 

Don’t bore them to death with the same old monotonous content. If you want to produce top-ranking and engagement-provoking content, text-based updates are simply not enough; no matter how relevant and valuable they are. Why? Because no one will notice them among all other eye-catching content social media users are constantly exposed to.

As a matter of fact, statistics show that video has overthrown blogs and infographics from being the most commonly used format in content marketing. So if you haven’t yet, make sure to include promotional videos and brand storytelling in your content strategy. Of course, this doesn’t mean promo videos are the only content you should use. Again, you don’t want to be monotonous. Mix and match. Organize Q&A sessions, conduct polls, prepare slide decks and presentations, re-post/re-share/re-tweet. Whatever you decide to do in the end, just make sure you give your audience what they want – engaging and compelling content. Because if you won’t, well, your competitors will.

Ask for help

You know, it’s ok not to be able to do it all by yourself. After all, it’d be irrational to expect everything from a single person. Once you realize you need to have specific people for specific tasks, a lot of troubles and mistakes will gradually disappear. So this might be the right time to start considering hiring a social media team. Besides allowing you to focus on running your business, hiring a dedicated team of social media experts will also take a lot of responsibility off your shoulders. Working with experts will ensure you reach your marketing goals and get your brand in front of the targeted audience while staying relevant to your industry. Last but not least, employing such a team ultimately means there’ll always be someone standing by to help, looking after your reputation on social media.

Keep going

Whatever you decide to do in the end, don’t let the fear of making mistakes prevent you from taking advantage of social media marketing. Remember, social media mistakes are not that rare and can happen to anyone, even global brands and major corporations. Take comfort in the fact that being familiar with the most common mistakes can help you avoid them and keep going. After all, you could be just a few posts away from your next great business success.

How to create a social media content calendar in Google Sheets [templates included]

How to create a social media content calendar in Google Sheets [templates included]

If you’re part of your company’s marketing team, you already know planning ahead can make or break your social media strategy. Simply put, without organization, you risk missing deadlines and pushing out subpar content. What’s more, missing the mark makes your entire team feel discouraged and stressed.

The thing is, contrary to popular belief, there’s more to a social media post than simply publishing it. And those weeks or months you spent on planning, strategizing, and coordination? They can all boil down to nothing if you don’t have a structured way of keeping the whole team on the same page.

Why you need a social media content calendar

Working with the help of Post-its, loose pieces of paper, and a gazillion open tabs might be a system you’re used to. Not everyone is an organization whiz. More importantly, not everyone needs a set system to feel on top of things. And while organized chaos is a perfectly valid working style for one person, it won’t do a team of people any favors.

Since everyone in your team has a different working style, you need to come up with a system that works for everyone. In the case of planning and scheduling outbound content, a calendar is your best bet. And while keeping your team on the same page is the most obvious benefit, a good content calendar also:

  • helps you stick to deadlines
  • holds you accountable for your part of the work
  • lets you visualize the workflow
  • allows for company-wide transparency
  • makes it easier to track performance

Now, it’s important to note that there is no universal social media content calendar template that will work for any team. That’s why you have to consider what your needs are and just how much structure your team needs. Let’s help you figure out what your ideal Google Sheets content calendar looks like.

1) How often do you post?

This might be an obvious statement, but the less frequent the posts, the less structure you need. In terms of content calendars, this means that you will need fewer columns and less color coding. You could also create a yearly calendar instead of breaking it down.

On the other hand, if you post every day, a good strategy would be having a monthly calendar. That way you minimize the effects of your team being overwhelmed or confused because of the amount of data.

2) How many different types of content do you create?

Another factor in how compartmentalized your social media calendar needs to be is the number of networks you’re active on. For example, if you have a blog on your website and also use different social media channels, you’ll need to note it in the calendar.

The types of content you create for those networks will determine how much time in advance your calendar needs to be filled. For example, it will take your team more time to conceptualize and create a YouTube video than an infographic. As every designer knows, the more time there is to perfect that visual, the better.

3) How big is your team?

Think about how many people will need access to your calendar. A less detailed one will do if you have a small team, but if you have multiple copywriters, you need to note who is doing which post. The same goes for the designers, the idea masters, and anyone in between.

Keep in mind that your team needs to be in the loop at all times. When it comes to collaboration, it doesn’t matter whether it’s three people or 30. What matters is creating a process that enables all of you to work together efficiently.

4) What is your process like?

Do you have a dedicated space to write down all the ideas or will it be another sheet in the same document? How complicated is the process from the idea stage to the realization stage? For example, if your content ideas need to be approved before they go live, you will want to give yourself enough time to go through the process.

When your idea is approved, you might have a review process in place that ensures your content is the best it can be. All of these will prolong the time it takes you to get from an idea to a post, blog, or video. Make sure that everyone in your team knows at what stage the content is and that they have enough time to do their part right.

Does a content calendar in Google Sheets actually work?

I know, I know – when you think about Google Sheets, you think about math, numbers, reports, and formulas. In other words, all that less-than-exciting stuff for a marketer. But there are a lot of benefits of using Sheets to create a content calendar:

  1. Everyone knows how to use Sheets (or at least I like to hope so)
  2. It’s free – all you need is a Google account and you’re good to go
  3. Seeing your content organized into rows and columns is oddly satisfying…
  4. …And so is all the color coding through conditional formatting
  5. You can use data validation to create simple checkboxes and drop down menus

If it isn’t clear from the list you just read, I love to play around in Google Sheets more than I’d like to admit. But before you embrace the spreadsheet approach to creating a calendar, it’s only fair to put all the cards on the table. What I mean is, there are some disadvantages to using Sheets to create a content calendar:

  1. Image preview ruins your formatting. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend adding images to cells. As an alternative, you can store your visuals on Google Drive and simply paste a link into your calendar.
  2. Last-minute changes are manual. There’s no fancy click-of-the-mouse automation here, only dragging the rows up and down.

And that’s it, two drawbacks that are easy to solve. Since you’ve come here to see how to create your own content calendar (or download the templates), let’s get into it! Roll up your sleeves and prepare to be blown away.

Creating a social media content calendar in Google Sheets

Step 1: Open a new Spreadsheet.

Once you’re in, name your document and rename the Sheet at the bottom by right-clicking on the tab. What you’ll rename it to depends on the type of content calendar you’re creating. Here, I’ve chosen to go with one tab per month.

Step 2: Begin the formatting process

Here I’ve selected the first row in columns A-P, merged them, and then typed in the name of the month. Depending on your preferences, you can align the name left or center, choose the text size, and set another background color. Don’t need the month on top of your calendar? No problem, you can simply skip this step and leave it out.

Step 3: Name your columns

The number of columns you use depends on the amount of information your team needs. I’ve added the following:

  1. Due date is the deadline for all graphics, copy, and revisions. It means that, at this point, the only thing left to do is post.
  2. Publish date is the day when the post needs to be live on social media.
  3. The Topic column should contain the name of the post. It doesn’t matter what you name it as long as everyone knows what it’s about.
  4. After the topic comes the Type of the post. In this case, you’ll want to put in whether it’s a blog, photo, infographic, video, etc.
  5. Next, I added as many social media columns as the Assist-o team uses. Your company may be active on other social media, so you’ll need to adjust this part according to your needs.
  6. The Caption copy, Graphic copy, and Designer columns are there for practical purposes. They’re meant for you to put in the names of team members who are in charge of getting it done on time. If you have a small team, you can skip this step as needed.
  7. Remember when I said image previews ruin your formatting? That’s where the Link to assets column comes in. Whether you store your copy and graphics on Google Drive, Dropbox or somewhere else, a simple link to the correct folder will make your life easier.
  8. The next two columns are Notes for the designer and the copywriter. These come in handy if you have multiple people coming up with the ideas. You can go without them, but they help us at Assist-o to cut the read-my-mind factor out from the equation.

Last, but not least – the Status column. Here’s where and how you track your team’s progress and stick to your strategy.

Step 4: Fill in your dates

And please, don’t do it manually. You can speed up the process by typing in the first day and clicking on the cell that contains the date. Once you do that, a small blue square will appear on the bottom right of the cell. Drag it down and the rest of the dates will appear. It really is a kind of magic.

Step 5: Add checkboxes

You already know you aren’t going to post the same content to all social media channels. For that purpose, you can add Data validation to your Sheet. Believe it or not, it’s very simple. All you need to do is mark the column under every social media channel and right-click. When you do that, there will be a menu in which you need to click on Data validation and choose Checkbox.

Step 6: Add drop-down menus

If you don’t feel like putting in names and post statuses all the time, you can create drop-down menus. The process is the same as above, only this time you will choose List of items in Data validation. This way, you need to list teammates’ names and post statuses only once, rather than typing them in every time.

Step 7: Add some color

While it may seem like an unnecessary step, color-coding your calendar will help you in the long run. Having designated visual cues not only saves everyone’s time, but also keeps you on track when you have a lot of content planned. You can use color to your advantage by marking the area you want to color-code and right-clicking. This time, you’ll choose Conditional formatting. First, I color-coded all the checkboxes because a splash of color makes it easier to see which social media channel the post is going out on. After that, I color-coded the status column so it’s easier to track which phase we’re in. Normally, I’d also do it to the columns that contain drop-downs with teammates’ names, but that’s up to you. At Assist-o, we let everyone choose their own color – it’s good that none of our favorite ones overlap!

Step 8: Duplicate and rename

Once you have your empty template, you can duplicate the Sheet for every month in the year and change the dates. Alternatively, if you don’t post frequently or want to have all the posts in the same place, you can use one Sheet for the entire year.

Extra tip: Freeze rows and columns

You can mark the rows or columns you want to always see, go to View, and click on Freeze. That way, the most important information always stays in place.

Wrapping up

Of course, there are many different ways you can reorder these columns to make them work for your own team. You might have your own set of categories, or you may not need all of them. The most important thing is that now you know how to create a social media content calendar in Google Sheets.

Don’t have time to do it from scratch or see a few minor adjustments you can make? No problem – you can download both the monthly and the yearly template right here.

Why you need to hire a social media manager

Why you need to hire a social media manager

At first, handling your own social media might seem like a piece of cake. Some might even say that social media management is nothing more than posting nice photos and funny captions. Yet, believing it’s a simple job anyone can do is a classic rookie mistake. 

The moment you get on it, a wave of hectic reality sweeps over you. As it turns out, an average day of a social media manager is anything but fun and games. Business owners who take this role upon themselves soon realize they bit off more than they can chew. And before long, they start looking for a social media manager that will come to their rescue. Let us not forget – as a social media manager, you are in charge of delivering results. And if that isn’t challenging enough, there are also deadlines breathing down your neck.

The fact is, social media management can be overwhelming. And to be honest, most of the time it is. Still, a strong social media presence will significantly impact your business results. You shouldn’t neglect it because you don’t have enough time, knowledge, or an in-house team.

To understand why you need to hire a social media manager, keep on reading as we are about to discuss it in more detail. 

The power of social media management


Social media management flourished and gained more importance in the last decade. Nowadays, it represents the cornerstone of many marketing strategies. The complete shift to digital that happened in 2020 further confirmed its dominance.

The power of social media management comes from its users and communication. Let’s start with some statistics. Research shows that 50.64 % of the world’s population is active on social media. That means 3.96 billion users worldwide! You never know who and when might come across your business’ social media. That’s why you need to be ready at all times. If you want people to take your business seriously, you need to present it professionally. Failing to follow social media best practices will create an unprofessional image. Ultimately, it will also affect your credibility. 

Another thing worth pointing out is the social aspect of social media management. Communication with the audience should be the backbone of every social media strategy. Unfortunately, businesses often neglect it. Focusing on a strictly marketing approach leaves little room for two-way communication. Successful social media management is interactive and customer-centered. After all, it would be naive to expect results without creating a meaningful relationship with the customers. But what is social media management, anyway?

What is social media management?


To put it simply, social media management is the process of managing your online presence. 

It is a set of activities that help you:

  • attract and keep your customers
  • increase revenue
  • create a buzz around your business on your social media platforms

Paying close attention to your competition is a good starting point when building your own social media presence. Copying it blindly, though, is a recipe for disaster. As we all know, a one-size-fits-all solution never fails to fail. For example, a social media strategy that works so well for your neighbor’s hair salon won’t do the trick for your business in the IT industry. Why? Because social media management is a comprehensive process. It’s not just posting, there’s so much more that goes into it. The published content is the end result. That’s why it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking anyone can manage social media. 

Even though it can be thrilling at times, social media management is also extensive, demanding, and dynamic. Keeping up with it is time-intensive and requires marketing knowledge. Seeing only the fun part of it (photos, videos, and gifs), you may fail to recognize the hard work behind it. To better understand it, let’s have a look at what falls under social media management.

What does social media management include?


It includes research, planning, ideation, copywriting, content creation, and community engagement. If we were to break it down into simpler tasks, social media management would involve:

  • analyzing social media audiences
  • getting in-depth insights about your audiences
  • developing an effective strategy   
  • creating and distributing content on different social media platforms
  • supervising and managing many accounts
  • monitoring online conversations
  • engaging with your social media community
  • finding new opportunities
  • staying on top of trends
  • reporting on performance results

And this is only a fraction of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Going through the list, one question might come to mind: “Do I need to do all this?” While the answer is a definite yes, bear in mind, you don’t have to do it on your own. Social media management by no means has to be an exclusively in-house project. Think about other available options, such as hiring a social media manager.

Why you need to hire a social media manager


Being a social media manager is a job in itself. In the best-case scenario, refusing to accept this will bring no results. In the more likely scenario, it will harm your business efforts.

Posting visuals, articles, and other relevant content on a regular basis is mandatory. Yet, that alone is not enough. A social media manager handles brand promotion across different social media platforms. Apart from that, they are in charge of:

  • content creation
  • obtaining tangible results
  • tracking key performance indicators
  • establishing meaningful relationships with followers

Managing social media means wearing many hats. Social media managers are marketers, strategists, content producers, copywriters, and behavioral psychologists. But that’s not nearly all; they are also designers, analysts, and customer service. Ideally, all in one. While their skill sets might vary, one thing is constant for every social media manager. They should never stop learning.

Also, a social media manager is the brand’s spokesperson on all social media platforms, 24/7. As the voice of a brand, they must polish their communication skills to perfection. But the list of requirements for this role doesn’t stop here. As if this wasn’t enough, they have to be adaptable, organized, and able to connect to the audience. Trying to do it all on your own will soon prove to be futile.

Why handling your own social media is not a good solution


Because a social media manager is not a one-man-band; they need a team. The size of the team will depend on the business goals you want to achieve. For example, do you want to improve your brand awareness? Focus on lead generation? Increase website traffic? Boost conversions? The more goals you want to achieve, the more people you will need.

If you want to help your business stand out, you need to know the ins and outs of social media. Not being sure how things work is the first sign you shouldn’t be the one handling your social media. If you think to yourself, “What could possibly go wrong?” we’re just about to answer your question.

Common mistakes that happen when you manage your own social media


Social media management is not a side job. Running your social media accounts only when (and if) you get some free time won’t get you very far. If anything, it leads to these common mistakes:

  • You don’t post on a regular basis. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is being inactive. Don’t disappear once you have established your online presence. If you don’t plan to post regularly, don’t bother creating your business pages in the first place. Not being present makes you look unprofessional and not interested in your audiences.
  • You aren’t on the right platform. Posting content on the wrong platform makes your business profile look very sloppy. At times even ridiculous. So make sure you’re in the right place. Social media mistakes and gaffes don’t fade that quickly.
  • You don’t know what to communicate. Ok, now you know you need to keep your business profiles fresh and updated. And you happen to be on the right platform. But, that still doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. Next comes the content. Do you know what interests your target audience? Do you bore them with your content? Because what you should be doing is: attracting, informing, and delighting them.
  • You show a lack of care for your audience. Social media is where your customers share their opinions or find out more about your business. Publishing your posts is just the beginning. You need to show your customers you care. Don’t ignore them, interact and communicate with them. 

Effective social media management requires time, strategy, industry knowledge, dedication, and effort. Not handling it the right way could backfire and cause damage to your business.

Next steps


Don’t miss out on the marketing opportunities social media profiles offer. And take care not to ruin them with inadequate management.
Social media isn’t a current trend; it’s here to stay. So contact us and see how we can help your business get the best results.