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Don’t be BASIC: 4 Pitfalls To Avoid When Running a Brand’s Social Media

Don’t be BASIC: 4 Pitfalls To Avoid When Running a Brand’s Social Media

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

I waste utilize lot of my time looking at what big brands and little brands alike are doing to cut above the noise, engage their audience and guide their followers towards purchase on social media.

This job is NOT easy. So I analyze. Overanalyze. Admire. And at times shake my freakin’ head.

And there are certain brands who absolutely can tell a story, engage their fans and build a brand worth following (Swell, Redbull, Ragnar, Etsy, Backcountry and Blizzard Skis to name a few.)

But there are some brands who have fallen into the trap of a basic bitch social media strategy. They are the Becky of the bar who drinks rose and takes bathroom selfies. Predictable. Boring. Shallow. Just like everyone else.

Don’t become Becky. Don’t fall into these 4 traps:

Pitfall #1: Not owning a consistent voice
Find your voice and own it. Be different. Be you. Stop copying the mediocre social copy that your competitors use and except to rise above the noise of all the other noise out there. Here’s three ideas to help find your voice and rally the masses.

  1. Interview your CEO. What’s the fiber in which the company was founded? Hopefully, it’s a unique problem you wanted to solve or an improvement on everything else out there. Tell that story.
  2. Interview your Top 3 Customers. Why do people even use your product or service? What’s one odd thing they enjoy about it?
  3. Stalk your followers. How do your followers speak about your product or service? Copy their copy, not your competitors.

Pitfall #2: Not building a community

Social media. Two words: the first is social. The second is media. Social means interactions between two or more people. Media means content. You can’t have one without the other.

Don’t just be the media part of social media. Talk to your customers, ask them questions, get them to help you build your brand. Get their input. Answer their questions, and promptly. Be social.

Don’t look at your social media strategy as simply a platform to post your media. That’s selfish. That’s shallow. That’s basic.

Pitfall #3: Same Old Boring Shit

The same silhouette sunset photo that worked 3 years ago isn’t cutting it anymore.

Things have evolved. The social space is crowded AF with 1,000,0000 silhouette sunset photos, just like yours. Stop posting the same crap you did 3 years ago. It’s boring, predictable and basic.

Four things to strive for so you don’t fall into this pitfall;

1. Tell a story. Backcountry does a wonderful job of marrying product and story throughout their Instagram content, if you need a little inspo.

2. Inspire. Crossfit does a pretty amazing job here with their brand. They could easily have fallen into the trap of only posting hot sweaty bods on their account, but the story they tell goes more than skin deep.

3. Add value. If you’re a B2B company, here’s where you can really establish yourself as a thought leader. Please don’t post an entire blog post in you IG caption though.

4. Make someone laugh: If your social media should strive to do anything, it’s this.

5. Create relatable content: Make someone think of their BF, BFF or old college roommate by nailing feeling, emotion and that “Ohmygosh – that’s me,” moment.

6. Stand up for what you believe in. Have an opinion. Inject yourself in timely conversations. Know what you stand for.



Know what you stand for.




Be social and inspire conversation.


Pitfall #4: Not Knowing Your Audience

Knowing your audience is social media 101. And yet, so many brands struggle to speak directly to those they want to engage. They’re all over the place. Targeting certain pockets of the country on their global social media accounts. Utilizing “influencers” no one has heard of for take-overs. Posting winter photos in the dead heat of summer.

Like all smart marketing campaigns, building out your buyer personas is important. When it comes to creating social media personas here are some things I think about;

Life experiences: What life experiences do your followers have in common? What brings them together?

How your brand helps them define themselves: It’s a backwards way of thinking. Instead of thinking about your brand first, think about your fans and how your brand helps them define who they are to the world.

Why they follow you: Why do your fans follow you? Is it because they are looking for expert content? Are they looking to be entertained or laugh? Do they just love ya, and want to subscribe to the lifestyle you preach?

It’s easy to get into a rhythm when you manage a brand’s social media. And in many ways that can be a good thing; you know what works and what doesn’t, and you’re duplicating the success of your previous efforts. But before you achieve that perfect euphoric state of social media management, it’s going to take a lot of testing, overthinking, obsessing and double checking your work to make sure you’re in accord with building your audience.