Social media marketers take different approaches to crafting their posts. Many writers draw inspiration from the proverbial page and create their posts spontaneously. These messages often result in interesting, timely and innovative posts. In other instances, those who write social media posts prepare their text well in advance of the intended deploy date. I have written tweets and posts several months and up to a year in advance of a meeting. On the other hand, I can also confess to jumping on a trending topic or a hashtag bandwagon by crafting a spur-of-the-moment announcement that relates to a product or event that I am promoting. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to planned and extemporaneous methods of writing.
Mistakes happen whether you plan your posts in advance of your meeting, or during a moment of creative inspiration. Regrettably, even the simplest and silliest of errors still leaves an unfavorable impression on your reader. Nearly all social media errors are entirely avoidable! Here’s a review of some common social media guffaws and tips to help you steer clear of these pitfalls:
Insufficient hashtag research: Social media marketers use hashtags to engage current and prospective audiences by directing attention to a phrase, keyword or topic. Nowadays, most conference and convention marketers develop hashtags for their meetings. Event-specific hashtags are very effective, but a missing character or an incorrect keystroke results in a lost opportunity. If you select #event18 to promote your meeting, and your hashtag includes a typographical error, the post will not attract as much attention.
TIP: Before employing hashtags in your posts, double-check their accuracy. Simple searches on your social media platforms of choice or on Google are quick and easy ways to ensure that you’re using an appropriate hashtag.
Another resource that I utilize regularly is hashtags.org (https://www.hashtags.org), a website offering in-depth analytics on hashtags and their usage. While fee-for-service accounts are available, the free website services suit many social media marketers’ and my own needs. Simply put, hashtags.org provides important analytics on current, trending and even your own unique hashtag. Enter your event hashtag in the search bar located on the homepage, and you’ll soon learn if it’s currently in use. Additional and useful tools included with this search feature are sample recent posts where the hashtag is employed. Hashtag definitions are frequently available as well. Handy trending and popular hashtags also appear right on the website’s homepage.
TIP #2: If your organization employs event-specific hashtags, ensure that you’ve selected a unique hashtag to avoid diluting conversations. No one wants to find themselves in the unfortunate position of sharing a hashtag – and conversations – with another event!