Common Social Media Mistakes

Social media phone use
Social media phone use

Creating and maintaining a social media presence without a clear plan or budget could result in a social media fail. This post outlines other common social media mistakes that can stymy your brand. Once you're ready to build a robust social program, download our ebook, Social to Scale.

Social media is a big opportunity for most organizations, whether they are B2B or B2C, or whether they operate online or from a physical location. And while the theory of social media is simple (i.e. if I write great content, people will be able to engage with it), execution is not quite as straightforward. Here are some common mistakes that are made on social media that you should do your best to avoid:

No Plan: If you don’t know what you want to achieve with social media, how can you possibly hope to achieve it? Do you want your account to drive traffic, entertain, be a customer service channel, be a PR platform, or something else?

Always Selling: Social media is all about engaging the end user–and nothing disengages people more than selling all the time. That’s not to say that you can never sell, you just need to earn the right by posting other non-sales content. And make sure you pick your moment carefully, unlike these guys.

Buy Followers: It never works. Ever. And it completely defeats the whole point of social media. You should be focused on your reach rather than your audience size. Just because they are following you, doesn’t mean they are listening. And if you buy followers, they are not listening and most likely, not real people.

Inconsistency: You should consider your audience when you are posting. Would they be interested in what you are saying? If you are using one platform to talk about your business, your sports team, your family, and your politics, you are getting it wrong. You should focus on posting about one topic and do it brilliantly.

Frequency: The number of times that you post per day should differ by social network: the lifespan of a tweet is far smaller than the lifespan of a Facebook post, for example. So, spend some time working out what frequency you can commit to and dig into your analytics to find out when your audience is most likely to be online – this will maximize your reach.

Don’t Learn Lessons: Analytics packages for the 3 ‘old’ social networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are pretty good. You should invest time looking at analytics to see where you could improve your social media offerings. And if your social media accounts drive traffic to your website, then it makes sense to continue posting. Checking your web analytics will also give you insight into which social channel converts to page views.

Over Use Hashtags: Hashtags are a powerful tool. And with great power comes great responsibility (thanks, Spiderman). Use hashtags in moderation and don’t overload your post with them. It makes reading the actual message very difficult, especially if it is long #longhashtagssimplydontworksodontdoit.

Typos: Typos and grammar will happen on social media, but when they do it distracts the user from the message which you are trying to communicate. So avoiding them will help your message resonate.

Spread Yourself Thin: Rather than creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, you should focus your efforts on one network to start with – the one where you are most likely to engage your audience. Also, is your audience interested in your content across all the social networks? Are you sure? All of them?!

When you’re ready to plan a social media program that avoids these common social media mistakes and will work for your brand, download our ebook to get started.