Oh the places you'll go and the things you will see on the internet!
Welcome to the wonderful world of social media management and its crazy life.
Say what? Crazy?
I've been in social media management for over eight years and the stories I can tell… wait, as a content manager, and blogger, I am telling them. ?
In this article, you will hear some crazy stuff. It includes bad advice, bad practices,
Learn from other people's mistakes and stop spreading this bad advice as the truth;
Get ready to read the 7 things social media managers should never do!
❌ Take and Use Images Off of Google
Step away from Google images and do not download.
Seriously, it's 2019 and who still does this?
Apparently, people do. Therefore I feel the need to give this warning.
Do not take images off of Google and use them for your own marketing.
Do not use them on social media, and certainly do not use them on your blog. You and your client can get sued over copyright infringement.
There are plenty of websites offering free stock photos, or places where you can purchase stock photos for a reduced price.
Use those sites and those images – but do read the Terms of Service first so that you can comply with these terms.
❌ Implement Clients' Bad Advice
“Someone told my boss…”
If you, the social media manager need to take marketing advice from the boss who hired you, s/he's not a good leader. Instead, you should be the one to take the lead on all strategies and tactics, within their parameters and budget.
Most often the “someone told my boss…” is followed by some outdated social media tactic or myth and is hardly ever supported by a case study or research.
Therefore, our advice is to not implement your client's bad advice whatever it may be, but instead do what you know is best by implementing the latest researched tactics and strategies as you, the expert, knows them to be true..
❌ Start Work Without a Contract In Place
The best advice we can give you about contracts is to have one.
Execute a contract with all your clients. Period.
Have a contract to give to all your potential clients and do not start work until they sign it.
What should be in your contract? Among other things, your full scope of work as to not have to find a solution for scope-creep later.
Seriously, do not start work without it.
❌ Work On a Commission-Only Basis
Repeat after me.
Social media gives you leads, not sales.
Therefore, you as the social media manager are not solely responsible for sales numbers. You are not to be blamed if the hats didn't sell, the online course sales tanked or the customers didn't walk in the door of the hair salon.
Unless you are in complete control, and I mean complete control of all digital marketing including
Social media leads can not be converted to sales if the ad copy is bad, or the landing page doesn't convey the right message.
Therefore, working on
❌ Place (and Pay For) Facebook Ads with Your Personal Profile
Placing ads for clients with your ad account, and paying for them with your own credit card is a sure way to not see your money ever again. Sure, this might work for some people, but I have heard from plenty of social media managers who could not recoup money already spent
Instead of placing ads from your Facebook ad account, set up your clients' ad account properly and have them add their credit card to the account. Then all you do is set a monthly budget and boom; you can now run the ads for them and they pay for each and every one.
A secondary reason to create an ad account for each client, and an important one, is so that when your relationship ends, they still have full access to their ad account history and ads that are currently running.
❌ Join Like Ladders and Instagram Pods
‘Like Ladders' on Facebook and ‘Instagram Pods' were all the rage… years ago. In 2019, those tactics are frowned upon.
Like Ladders are posts where ‘you like my page and I will like yours' type of action takes place. However, these tactics don't work anymore with the recent changes in the Facebook algorithm. Facebook likes real engagement, not just boosted ‘like' numbers. If your page doesn't have real people interacting with your content, your content won't be served to your audience by Facebook, or at least not to all or most of them. Therefore, these Like Ladders are not only useless, they can actually hurt your efforts by inflating like numbers and at the same time deflating your engagement rates!
Instagram Pods are in a similar category. In May of 2018, Facebook (who owns Instagram) cracked down and suspended accounts of people engaged in several large Instagram Pods. Frankly, your time as a social media manager should be spent on building an audience the right way, by engaging in real conversations, with your target audience, not by being active in these pods.
If you are tempted, do not do it. Over time, you risk your clients' account being suspended and the engagement numbers will eventually drop any way.
Social media goals for your clients should go beyond vanity metrics!
❌ Give Away Services For Free
A recent ‘Hot Topic' in our Social Media Managers Facebook Group centered around bartering. Another such topic is giving away a months' worth of free services to entice someone to sign up with your agency.
In my opinion, neither are good ideas.
Bartering sounds like it might work for certain industries and for the smaller, freelance social media manager, but in the long run, bartering is not a sustainable business model.
You can not pay for your phone bill, your Hootsuite yearly subscription or your new computer with candles, haircuts or yoga classes. Not to say bartering for those every now and then to help out a friend is taboo. Just do not make it a habit.
When starting out as a social media manager, you might be tempted to give away free services to draw people in, to get that first client. What it does instead, is cheapen you and your business and you will be undervalued for a long time if you give in to this tactic.
Instead, I suggest you prepare a 3, 6 and 12-month contract for services and discount the longer contract instead of giving away a month, or more, for free. Your new client will still get a reduced rate as you have a way to entice them to sign up with you, but they are now in the habit of paying for services each month, as they should!
Want To Meet and Connect With Social Media Managers?
If this article has opened your eyes, so to speak, and you'd like to connect with, meet and learn from others in our industry, I invite you to come and join us in the Social Media Managers Facebook group I mentioned before! We are 31,000+ strong and growing.
We'd love to have you.
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.