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“Hey, Your Links Aren’t Working!” – How to Avoid This and Other Social Media Pitfalls

There is nothing worse than being called out by your target audience for a broken link, mis-spelling or grammatical mistake on one of your social media updates or profiles.  The obvious way to avoid this would be to proof-read and double check all of the links and content before you post.

But what happens when some of the changes are out of your control?

This is commonplace in the ever changing world of social media marketing.  Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are constantly evolving and enhancing their onsite offerings.  To stay competitive, each of these sites is in a constant state of change and improvement.  While this is good news to users, if you are a passive social media marketer (like many businesses out there), you can put yourself at risk of looking out of date and unprofessional.

In order to keep your branding and content looking top-notch, at LEAST once a month, run the following check on all of your social media profiles.  Depending on your content it could take a little while, but it is very much worth it.  Just think of how many business pages on Facebook that you have seen without a cover image.  This is because these companies STILL don’t know that Facebook has changed into the “Timeline” layout.  Even more embarrassing?  Some of these companies are multi-million dollar juggernauts!

Here are my top suggestions for places to check when auditing your social media accounts each month/week:

1.  Layout:  Each of these sites has gone through major layout overhauls during the past year.  So if you are reading this, have profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, AND haven’t logged in during the past year…log in immediately!  Look at how your public profile appears to your target market.  Remember, having a profile is more than just creating it and waiting for people to come.  You need to keep it current.  If you are not updating it, that doesn’t mean that people are not going to find your inactive page when searching.  Make sure that your branding is on point, as well as your pictures, video and other branded elements.  Ensure the logo and images you are using are aligned with what your company is currently utilizing for promotion.

2.  Links:  This is a big one as well.  Many sites have been switching up how they use links, and this can result in links being broken.  So painstakingly go through each of the hyperlinks in your profile, click on them, and ensure they are going to the correct corresponding location.  If not, update, remove or replace.  Also, perhaps you have added a landing page or another online profile since your last update.  Add these while you are checking through your profiles.

3.  Content Display:  This is another important one.  So many people are trying their hand at using third party posting tools, but never check to see how these tools actually posted to their profile(s).  Sometimes these tools have an issue with site permissions and NEVER post your content.  We have seen prospective clients complain about not getting any traction on social media, when in the past 30 days nothing they sent out via their Hootsuite account was posted.  So go through your profiles to see if the content was posted, if the links work, if the right picture or video was shown and if the description was accurate.  Then you can refine your postings going forward.

4.  Spelling/Grammar:  This is a no-brainer, but you should do a quick run-through of your description.  While you may have already done this before, writing your description once and never changing it doesn’t make sense.  What if you win awards, get press coverage, add products, add services, change your operating basis, etc?  All of these need to be updated when you do your audits.  If you make sure to look at these at least once a month, you can constantly tweak them so that they are 100% current and reflective of where your company currently is. Also, if you have a few people posting comments and replies, make sure that they have mastered that art of spelling and grammar.

5. Comments/Likes/Shares:  Many busy marketers use email updates to let them know that someone interacted with their social media profiles.  The only problem?  These emails don’t always cover everything.  Go into your profile and look through your updates, discussions and tweets to see if you have missed any interaction points.  After all, this is why you are doing social media marketing in the first place!  These interaction points are gold.

6.  Inbox:  One of the forgotten aspects of Facebook and LinkedIn is checking your inbox (and with Twitter, your Direct Messages or DMs).  This is another case of waiting for a message that never comes.  Sometimes setting the message settings on your social media accounts (like above) can be tricky.  So double check your inboxes (and DM inbox) to make sure that you haven’t missed any communications. If you have, consult the email settings on the corresponding social media site to ensure you are able to get all of the communications you want to follow.  I’ve seen people miss opportunities due to the lack of focus on keeping current with their inboxes.

These 6 ports of call are helpful in not only keeping you current and your branding on-point, but also in helping you see where you need to spend a bit more time going forward.  One glaring point is where the email updates are concerned, and this is something that you need to keep track of.

This process is much simpler when you have a consistent social media marketing schedule, and more difficult if you don’t even have time to login to Facebook even twice a week.  If you want to be effective on social media and do not have the time, consider outsourcing this work to a professional firm or agency that specializes in social media marketing for businesses.  Your reputation is too important to risk, and if you take your eye off of the ball – the only thing to get tarnished is your valuable professional reputation.

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