Planning and scheduling social media content offers tons of benefits—except when it doesn’t. These are 10 major social media planning mistakes that you can fix with the right scheduling tool.
Social media planning is indispensable to all social media marketers. It reflects all the critical dates that matter to your business, helps you stay organized and consistent, streamlines team effort, and much more. These are just a few reasons why content planning is such an essential step for most social media professionals.
At the same time, it is so easy to get lost in all the routine that planning social media content inevitably involves, and forget about your strategic goals.
To err is human, and behind every great business social media presence is a human (or several). We all make mistakes, and the same is true with social media planning. However, while a hashtag typo or an incorrect link can (and likely will) happen as you market your brand, they are certain social media mistakes you can avoid.
Although, Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest said, “If you’re not making some notable mistakes along the way, you’re certainly not taking enough business and career chances.”
Mistake 1: Focusing on quantity over quality
By reducing the number of times you post each day, you can focus on the quality of the posts rather than the quantity of posts when doing social media planning.
Some social networks require a high volume of content to make them worthwhile. Twitter is one that immediately comes to mind. Pinterest may be up there, too. But, always emphasize quality over quantity. Avoid posting anything simply for the sake of it, and make sure every post is connected to a broader goal or objective.
So many brands post too often, which is a quick way to get blocked or unfollowed. Or companies try to be present on several networks and struggle to keep up.
Smaller businesses attempt to compete on large platforms like Instagram and can’t find their niche audience, then get buried by national companies with huge budgets. It’s a common tale, and the importance of quality cannot be stressed enough.
Remember, followers care more about quality and consistency than volume and scale.
Mistake 2: Being on all social media platforms
Every additional platform your business is active on means additional time and effort required to create great tailored content for that platform and engage with your fans on that platform.
Good social media planning requires that you take stock of your social media profiles and consider which channels are performing for your business and which are not. By moving away from social media platforms that might not suit your business or not be performing well, you can double down on those that are.
Focus on the correct platforms. It’s better to have a strong presence on two channels than do a mediocre job with five. With your goals and strategy in mind (remember realistic and achievable), focus on creating high-quality content that will resonate with the right audience.
Your goals help you stay on track. If you have one clear objective, like “increase product sales by 10%,” it’s easier to ignore potential distractions that pop up—such as “maybe I should be on TikTok”—that don’t align with your brand and strategy.
Mistake 3: Posting the same content across platforms
Share unique content for each of the social media platforms because the platforms are set up differently and people have different expectations for the content they want to see on each platform.
If you rush through scheduling your social media posts, you could end up publishing the same post on each platform. Your followers are likely to see—and scroll past—the same text on each platform.
You also miss out on taking advantage of each platform’s functionality.
Rather than scheduling the same post on all your brand’s social media profiles, tailor the text for each platform. Write captions that appeal to the audience you’ve built on each channel.
Create calls-to-action for each platform to generate the best possible results.
Mistake 4: Publishing Content Just Once
Why publish social media content one time when you can schedule it to repeat regularly?
Sure in social media planning, you may want to publish some timely social content once only. But you’ll want to repeat evergreen posts periodically, so they reach more followers and make a greater impact on your audience.
When you schedule social media content in advance, you can easily set each post to republish regularly.
Choose the frequency and the number of times you want to republish, and recycle your best-performing posts regularly.
When done correctly, you can repurpose content when scheduling posts on social media.
You work hard on content. Items like blog posts or instructional videos can take hours. Many companies then promote them with one social post and call it a day.
This is a mistake.
You can creatively repurpose your hard work to get more mileage out of it, without seeming like a broken record.
There is so much information from your company, customers and team members (not just marketing staff) that will curate engaging social media content.
The marketers who aren’t using all their resources and squeezing every last ounce out of their existing content are working harder, not smarter.
Repurpose content as much as you can. If you create a blog post, infographic or educational guide, promote it on social media a few times.
To avoid being repetitive, simply space out the posts by a few days, and pick a unique angle. For high-performing content, make note of it and revisit it again in a few months.
Use these social media planning tactics to repurpose your content into multiple social media posts:
- Switch up the captions.
- Pull out an interesting quote or statistic to highlight.
- Use an image or graphic as an individual post.
- Suggest actionable tips or takeaways.
- Use sales tools or assets to promote product or service features. Hint: You can crop specific sections of one-sheets to make them social-friendly.
- Ask your customer service team about common questions they receive, then answer those with an FAQ social media series.
- If you have a lot of great reviews, message customers to ask if you can post them on your social media account. Then thank them while also highlighting your win.
Mistake 5: Sharing/Scheduling only your own content
This is a common mistake in social media planning.
However, sharing content of bigger names helps the brand grow faster. There should always be a healthy ratio between your own product content and external content that you post. Whether you want it to be 70:30 or 50:50, it should depend on the community you are targeting: the more diverse the community, the more external content you should be posting.
So a good idea is to start by analyzing your followers’ preferences and interests.
Analyze Your Followers’ Interests
Having competitors who target the same people is great because you can always check what worked for them and what didn’t, and use this knowledge for your own strategy.
You should identify your own and your competitors’ top-performing content so you can stay aware of your target audience’s preferences.
When you get an idea of what kind of social content your audience is looking for, you can find interesting articles from your favorite RSS feeds and share them with your audience.
Mistake 6: Forget to Leave Room for Timely Content
Once you get the hang of scheduling your social media content, you can easily fill up your calendar. But when you add too much to your preplanned schedule, you won’t have space for timely content like breaking news.
In social media planning, publishing your regularly scheduled content during an unexpected turn of events can make your brand seem out of touch or even cause offense.
Instead of packing your social media calendar with scheduled posts, leave space weekly, monthly, or at a frequency that works best for your industry.
Alternatively, you can use a social media tool to add all your content to a scheduling queue then pause the queue when news breaks. Resume the queue when you’re ready to return to your normal publishing schedule.
Mistake 7: Focus on Automation and Neglect Engagement
Scheduling more social media content in advance can cause you to step back from live posting. That can mean you aren’t online quite as often, which can lead to a decline in live engagement.
Since active engagement is one of the keys to beating some algorithms such as the Facebook algorithm, neglecting this aspect can have a serious impact on your social media metrics.
Rather than risking a decrease in reach, work with your team to develop a plan that prioritizes engagement.
Create a schedule for monitoring engagement, and assign response times to ensure that your team will address questions and issues quickly.
Use a social media scheduling tool to assign different types of messages to the appropriate team member, and save time by setting up automated rules that automatically send inbox items to the right person.
Mistake 8: Schedule Each Post Individually
In social media planning, scheduling your social media posts in advance can save you tons of time and free up your days for more high-level strategy. But if you schedule each post individually, you might not save as many hours as you’d like over the course of the month.
Rather than scheduling posts one at a time, bulk publish social content instead.
This method allows you to upload dozens of posts at once so you can have a month of content (or more!) scheduled in minutes.
Just export your social media calendar as a spreadsheet, and upload it directly to your scheduling tool.
Mistake 9: Disregard Your Social Media Metrics
The more you schedule content, the more you’re likely to embrace the time savings that social media automation offers. But going all in on automation can be a big mistake in social media planning, especially if you forget to check your social media metrics regularly.
Instead of setting and forgetting your social media schedule, review your results as frequently as you always have.
Prepare social media reports regularly to confirm that you’re on track toward meeting your objectives. If you’ve fallen short of your goals, test new ideas, review your results, and modify your social media strategy accordingly.
Mistake 10: Overdo Social Media Automation
If your social media planning team is big on productivity, incorporating social media scheduling into your workflow can cause a serious spike in your output.
When you automate social media publishing, you can post more social media content than ever before without taking more time out of your day or adding more members to your team. But if you aren’t careful, you can easily overdo your social media automation efforts.
Remember that just because you can post more often on social media doesn’t mean that you should.
Instead of overwhelming your audience with dozens of additional posts each day, increase your posting frequency slowly, and experiment with different timing.
Review your social media metrics to find what works best for your audience—and start taking your results to the next level.
Social media planning is a very important component of a digital marketing campaign and it is a must for every marketer who wants to compete online.
When social media planning mistakes are bound to happen. However, you can avoid the common pitfalls many marketers make by preparing your strategy and planning ahead. Scheduling social media content is a great way to plan ahead. Double checking that everything was posted correctly and on time can help you avoid potentially negative reactions.
Need help managing your social media schedule?
HipSocial has you covered. HipSocial is a scheduling tool that has all you need to succeed on social media and easily avoid the mistakes mentioned above. You can learn more here.