You are on social media. You are posting updates. You may have even built a respectable following but you are getting no engagement or growth in your profiles. And, more importantly, you are not seeing increased sales from your efforts. What’s the problem?

I see the following mistakes most often when I review a business’ social media presence through my social media audit. Surprisingly, the worst offenses happen when a business is actually paying an outside firm to handle its social media.

Review this list and look at your organization’s social media. I hope it helps you tweak your existing efforts for better results.

  • No consistency. There is no consistency in your profiles. Can an outsider tell that your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, and your website are the same business? Do you use the same handles for all profiles? For instance, I am @laurabcreative everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, Snapchat, Blab, and Vine. This doesn’t mean that you need to be on every platform, but you need to have consistent handles across all platforms as well as consistent imagery and completed profiles.

To help you review this for yourself, I’ve created a Social Media Profile Checklist which you can download below. This is where my social media audit starts and I always find a few places for improvement when reviewing a business. It is well worth your time to follow the checklist and review each platform.

  • No direction. The next biggest mistake I see is posting with no direction or what I call “posting just to post”. This is where you may have a social media plan and may even be paying an outside agency to post for you and that is what they are doing — just posting.

In fact, I don’t see a compelling reason why you should post every day. I’d rather you post a few times a week with really engaging posts than just putting something up there.

Social media is about engagement and connection with your audience. Posting just to post or taking a “set it and forget it” approach is counterintuitive to the entire opportunity that is social media marketing.

Many businesses continue to post the same type of content over weeks and months and wonder why they have nothing to show for their efforts. Here’s an example: do you post motivation quotes that are completely unrelated to your business? Do you actually have comments, likes, and shares on those posts? Even if you do, are they moving your clients or prospects any closer to buying your product or service? How about related articles? No likes and shares? Then why are you still posting them?

Please have a goal for your social media and make sure all your content stays on message. That doesn’t mean that all your content should be your own but it should certainly be on message.

As a caveat to this posting with no direction, we see the same posts across all platforms. Again, you are ignoring the different cultures and norms of each platform and just blasting your message. Please read Friends Don’t Let Friends Autopost.

  • No variety. Along the same lines, even with businesses who are posting and getting engagement, is a lack of variety in your posts. This means you are always posting a link or a photo but it’s the same photo — even if it’s a happy customer in your store, it’s basically the same photo. I look for variety in types of content: photos, videos, links, text updates along with variety within those posts. Have you ever gone to an Instagram account and all the posts are different motivational quotes with the exact same design? Guess which posts will just get glanced over in the news feed? The boring ones. Shake it up a little bit. Vary your posts and watch which ones your audience reacts to.
  • No plan. Posting sporadically. I see this a lot in marketing in general. You ignore your audience until you have a big event or promotion coming up and then you post about it everywhere and too much. You want a consistent drumbeat of valuable content to your audience. You need to earn the right to promote to them. If you need a deeper dive on this point along with fantastic examples, I recommend Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • No one is listening. This comes from posting where your audience is not. You can be posting great content all day long but if your audience is not there, you are speaking to an empty room. Not sure where your audience is online or if they even are? You need to ask them where they are and where they would like to receive updates about your offering. Not sure who your ideal customer is? Define your ideal client here.
  • No response. Not responding to your audience is a huge no-no. This is why you want to limit the number of platforms you are on so you can manage the engagement and interactions. Be sure to assign someone to monitor the comments and messages on all platforms and empower them to respond quickly. Some platforms, like Facebook, show how quickly a page responds to messages.

I applaud your efforts to integrate social media into your marketing plans. It’s important to realize that there is no magic bullet and that social media is a conversation with your audience. I hope you will review these 6 mistakes and they will help you improve your social media marketing resulting in better engagement and, of course, increased sales.

And for goodness sake, have fun. Social media is supposed to be social so inject some fun into your posts.

If you want some ideas to increase engagement and growth, please schedule your customized social media audit today.