Everybody and their mama uses social media so it’s a no-brainer why it's the leading space for brands to connect with their target audience on, market their products, and for brand awareness.

Social media is essential to your biz strategy, but you can’t just post whatever and expect success.

It’s the consistency and strategy for me.

When you’re trying to leverage social media, you have to use the right methods and then on top of that, review your data frequently to see what’s working (because you’re a busy founder so you don’t have time to waste, right?).

In a research report by Social Fresh, they found that the number one goal for companies using social media was to grow awareness, and this rings true especially for early-stage businesses.

When you’re new to the game, no one knows you.

With billions of people on social media everyday, it's the obvious place to turn to in order to get people connected with your company.

The more consistent and strategic you are promoting your business on social media, the more exposure you’ll get, and typically this brand exposure will lead to customer acquisition (and then money in your bank account).

But before you’re getting those payment notifications from sales, there are four common social media mistakes that you should avoid:

😩 Lacking clarity

😩 Ignoring your audience

😩 Posting the wrong things

😩 Lacking patience

Recently, we sat down with entrepreneur Nadirah Simmons to discuss those four mistakes.

Nadirah is the founder of The Gumbo, which is a media platform and a hip hop social club for and by Black women.

Outside of that, sis does all the things and is #goals in her own way.

When she’s not running The Gumbo, she spends her time as a writer, social media manager, editor, graphic designer, and even does social media management on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Keep reading to get the takeaways from Nadirah and snag all of the gems.

Mistake #1: Too many companies send unclear messages

When you’re branding your company on social media, you have to be very clear about the message you want to sell or convey to others.

The advice I always give people is that if I'm going to your page, your account, or whatever it is you're on, I should easily get a very clear idea of what you're about, what you're into, and what you're offering within the first few seconds of being on your page.

I think one of the reasons why people have a hard time being clear is because they haven’t figured out what it is about their company that makes them unique (and it shows when they post on social).

For example let’s say you have this food brand that’s out there and then another one pops up that’s similar making the same kind of food. Even though what they offer is similar, the newer company may not appeal to me, not because their food isn’t good, but because simply there's already someone out here that's doing what they are trying to do.

Ultimately, you gotta figure out what about your brand makes it stand out, and would make someone say ‘hey I can support this thing, but I can also support this other thing that does something similar, but they do it differently enough so I want to also give them my time, attention, and money.’

Mistake #2: Brands fail to listen to their target audience

When I'm doing social media for The Late Show or for The Gumbo, I’ll put myself in the perspective of the consumer. I know sometimes it's hard especially when you are the one who is creating the content and you're trying to figure out what people will like.

But at the end of the day, you built your brand for people so you have to listen to them. For me, I always try to imagine myself when I'm making a post, and I’ll ask myself if I'm scrolling down my Instagram feed and see what I’m making, would I be encouraged to click on it or follow the brand. Sometimes this results in me having those tough conversations with myself, because even if it's something that I really really like, it may not make sense to post it because it has to ultimately resonate with my audience.  

Related: Don't be scared of the algorithm. Use these social media tips by Cookie Society to grow your brand today.

Mistake #3: Companies don’t post the right things

When you’re a new brand, you should spend those first few days introducing yourself on social media. You should talk about who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re offering.

Too often, brands don't do this.

The next thing you should do is get a posting schedule. For me, I’ll look at what’s happening on different days of the week or the month to help figure out my posting schedule. I have a content calendar that I pay close attention to and update when needed. At The Gumbo we have themes on the site so I make sure everything we post on social is tailored to what we're talking about that month on the site and what our editorial pieces are going to be about.

No matter what, you have to make sure you have a plan in place so you’re not posting just whatever.

Mistake #4: Brands lack patience

As a business owner, you have to be patient. Right now we live in a time where there’s this pressure to create and then we’re also in this microwave society where people expect things fast.

You gotta be patient no matter what.

When you create something on social media and it doesn't get as many likes or as many views as you thought it would, it can deter you from ever wanting to try again but you can’t do that.

You have to remain consistent and keep going anyway because things take time, and also if you're telling your followers that you’re going to do a certain thing and you don’t do it, then you’re going to lose the trust with your followers and they won’t support you.

You have to know that as long as you're patient and consistent things will pay off eventually with your social media and with your brand.