Whether you’re building a personal or corporate brand on social media, there’s no denying you won’t get very far by winging it, especially if you’re on a tight budget. If you want to make waves in your industry, you must set concrete short, mid, and long-term goals. Also, you must have a concrete social media strategy that’s well-researched and organized.
Unfortunately, there are many other mistakes business leaders and inexperienced social media marketers make. One of these mistakes involves scheduling. Scheduling is absolutely crucial for a winning social strategy. Especially when managing influencer connections, various partners, and numerous accounts and platforms.
That’s why today we put all of this into perspective.
Let’s dive into 7 common mistakes you should avoid in favor of tried-and-true best practices.
1. Validate your goals
The first mistake people make when it comes to social media scheduling is that they start scheduling posts. Also, live events, and other content without first validating their goals and OKRs (objectives and key variables).
Do you know what you’re trying to achieve with your posts in a given timeframe, say a month-worth of scheduled posts? Do you know whom you’re speaking to, and are your posts aligned with the needs and wants of your audience? Are your posts scheduled to appear when your audience is usually online and if so, are your posts in line with your other marketing strategies?
These questions are crucial to answer before you finalize your social media calendar; it all starts with a goal and OKR validation.
Make sure to validate the goals that your schedule is supposed to help you achieve. You can do this by:
- Creating clear goals for different platforms and posting timeframes
- Noting the key milestones and KPIs for a scheduling period
- Researching your audience and trends on different platforms to validate the approach
- Validating your content schedule and ideas with creatives, analysts, and marketing leads
- Making sure that your schedule aligns with marketing, sales, customer success, and business goals
2. Automate scheduling and related processes
The second mistake business leaders make is not investing in automation. This mistake hurts not only your social strategy but also your employees. Automation is key when maximizing the potential of any marketing strategy, not just a social one.
Automation not only allows social media managers to stay on top of their game by freeing them up to focus on more important tasks but also allows you to create a fully-automated schedule and eliminate the need for manual management. It is therefore crucial to employ a robust social media scheduling tool with plenty of automation features.
There are many reasons why automation is essential for social media marketing; not only can you automate scheduling, but you can also trigger numerous actions like thank-you DMs, likes and follows, and even comments and tags. Trying to schedule and publish posts manually costs time, money, and worst of all, a lot of marketing potential.
3. Align scheduling between local accounts
The modern, tech-driven age has allowed the smallest local brand to become a global phenomenon with enough marketing resources. With the right mixture of SEO, advertising, and social media localization, you have the opportunity to expand into different markets locally, nationally, and internationally. To accomplish this goal, you must manage your local accounts carefully.
This is a mistake that business leaders often make when expanding into different regions on social media, one that can quickly jeopardize their brand’s reputation. According to a recent global social media marketing guide, one of the most important tactics for global expansion is social account localization.
Not only do you need to localize your accounts in terms of language, culture, and customs, but you also need to align their posting schedules to create a unified brand experience. Choose to schedule posts with the same content focus for big brand announcements like product launches and events. For regular posts, schedule location-specific posts and talk about relevant local topics.
4. Coordinate with your influencers
Speaking of aligning and syncing your different accounts, it’s also important to achieve alignment with your influencers and their individual posting schedules. Coordination between you and your influencers and collaborators is the key to launching successful promotions and announcements, and maximizing the potential of new landing pages and offers.
This practice also allows you to align your posts and your influencers’ posts with your social ads, further maximizing CTR and the whole brand experience. Needless to say, influencers are essential for word-of-mouth marketing on social media and for improving brand visibility. However, if your posts and announcements clash with theirs, or if their brand shout-outs are not aligned with what you’re posting, you can lose a lot of conversion potential.
The key to brand-influencer alignment is knowing each other’s schedules and communicating openly about your posting needs. Align your schedules to deliver the right brand message at the right time, to the right people.
5. Create a schedule for each platform
The next mistake on our list involves schedule diversification. Businesses often make the mistake of copy-pasting the exact same posting schedule for different social platforms. It is vital to align your content and messaging for each unique platform and its audience.
Every SM platform needs a unique posting schedule and unique content focus, an essential part of successful social media marketing in a world where cookie-cutter solutions produce dire consequences. The foundation of every platform-specific schedule is research.
Research your audiences on every platform to uncover the type of content they enjoy the most, when they’re active, and how they interact with brands. The more information you have about a platform’s specific audience pool and their preferences, the better equipped you’ll be to personalize not just your content, but your entire schedule.
6. Less talking, more showing
Avoid forcing written social media content on an increasingly visual audience. Visual content is dominating the social media world nowadays, and even on platforms where written content is still important, like Facebook or LinkedIn, it’s always a good idea to include engaging visuals with every post to capture people’s attention.
Social media management thrives on compelling visuals; you must ensure you manage your visual assets properly between platforms. Hire a graphic designer to create these assets and make sure they’re able to optimize and scale them for each platform and its preferred formats for images and videos.
This practice creates the best possible viewing experience for your audience and will complement your written posts perfectly. On the scheduling side, don’t forget to assign the right assets to the right content and the right platform in your scheduling tool.
7. Support the customer journey with your schedules
Remember that social media marketing serves an overarching purpose: to help guide people on their journey to become loyal brand customers and advocates. There are many other goals like building better brand visibility and trust or boosting WOM, but all of these serve the larger purpose of acquiring and retaining customers.
Therefore, your entire social media schedule for all your relevant platforms should support your digital touchpoints and the customer’s journey. The posts you schedule need to have a unique purpose and messaging that are aligned with the different stages of that journey.
Scheduling is not about simply getting posts out there. It’s about supporting your business goals and aligning the posts with other sales and marketing strategies. Use your social media posts to guide people toward conversion and retention.
Over to you
There are a lot of mistakes you can make when creating and managing a social media strategy, but failing at scheduling will be particularly detrimental to your brand. Social media scheduling encompasses numerous tactics, tools, and processes that all need to work in unison to help you achieve your SM goals. Avoiding these simple mistakes will play a crucial role in your long-term success strategy.
Avoid the mistakes we talked about today, and more importantly, start implementing these best practices right away to take your business forward in 2023.