6 Social Media Mistakes by Startups

Justin Wong

Your startup is ready to world. Your marketing is rolling out as planned. Your social media page is created. So far so good.

If you're not careful, you can succumb to costly mistakes. More often than not, startups do not have a large marketing budget the way large companies do. Which means that making such mistakes on social media hurts even more as the money spent on it goes to waste.

Here are the mistakes I see often enough to point out.

Mistake 1: Posting frequently for no reason

If you want to post 3-4 times a week, then my question is: why? What are your goals?

Posting frequently does not mean you're reaching more people (see mistake 2). And it definitely does mean better engagement.

If you post lots of low-effort content on Facebook, the less engagement you have, and the less visible you will be for your audiences. Because the algorithm will decide that the users don't value your content.

I get it. You want your page to look 'alive'. But the law of diminshing returns apply here.

Imagine this scenario: you visit a Facebook page of another startup for the very first time.

If the latest post is a year ago, then something went wrong. They probably folded. It leaves a bad impression.

If the latest post is last week, then they will appear active.

Which means that posting once a week is enough to for your page to be alive and well.

Trust me, if you want to post 3-4 times a week for the sake of it, it becomes little more than just a quota to fill.

Mistake 2: Posting without boosting

When you're a startup, your Facebook page will be fresh and have a low like count. That's okay, you just started out.

But if you start posting stuff expecting to attract new likes and follows, it's not going to work. How are the people outside your page going to see your posts?

This is where boosting / ads come in. I know I know, you're giving money to Facebook. But look at the facts: if you post without boosting as a startup, then only a small number of people will see it.

Whether or not you spend money on boosting your posts, have a plan for them and set your expectations accordingly.

Mistake 3: Posting office stuff

You hired two new interns. They are excited to start work. You take a photo of them and their enthusiasm, and post it on Facebook or Instagram.

I'm so sorry, but I have to say it: nobody outside your workforce will care. No, seriously. Okay, maybe the intern's friends. But that's it.

Most of the time, no one will care that you're shifted to a new office, or that you had a fun company trip. So posting these sort of things on social media won't amount to anything.

If your goal is to make your startup look like a great place to work, then put in a little more effort than just a photo of your smiling interns.

In fact, to truly attract talent, your startup must be something they will believe in.

Mistake 4: Linking to third-party websites too much

You find an article from publications and new sources and share it on your startup page because it is relevant to your industry / audience.

You can do that every once in a while, but don't do it too much. Why? Because you are effectively generating traffic to someone else's website. Shouldn't you try to get traffic for yours?

That's why many startups who are serious about traffic generation and SEO has a website that includes a blog / articles section. So that people can find you through Facebook and/or Google Search.

If there's a third-party article about your startup specifically, then that's okay to post on your page. For PR and pride.

Mistake 5: Investing too heavily on social media when your audiences are elsewhere

Nowadays, having a Facebook page is no-brainer when it comes to marketing your business on the internet.

Yes, creating a page is a no-brainer. But a proper strategy is a yes-brainer.

You have you ask yourself: why are you investing on Facebook and Instagram?

Dig deep into your marketing plan. If it turns out that your target audiences are not on social media, then you'll have to look to other platforms.

Where are your audiences spending their time? Which channels are they paying attention to? Where do they seek out a product / service like yours?

Mistake 6: For videos, using views as the only metric of success

This is a classic mistake for businesses big and small. I would assume that savvy startup founders would know this by now, but just in case you don't:

The number views your video has does not tell you the whole story.

Because it's possible to have 1,000,000 views but only 10 comments, 10 likes, and 10 shares. What's the point of having lots of views when people are not engaged?

Remember: views can be bought. But engagement has to be earned.

Your video only counts as viral if most of your views came from human beings sharing it.

If your video is low-effort and low-quality, you would have wasted your startup funds producing it and boosting it.

Wrapping up

I'll leave you with this.

Just because it's common practice, doesn't mean it's effective.

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