When you use social media marketing to its best advantage, it can be a boon to your business. If handled incorrectly or inconsistently, it can be a waste of time and a missed opportunity. Errors can even make it look like you and your company "just don’t get it." Avoid these nine common social media mistakes and you'll be on your way to social media success.
(1.) Posting everywhere the same way: Not only should you vary message length and format to fit the specific social network you’re posting on, but you may also need to vary the topic as well. When on Twitter, of course, you must be succinct and on Pinterest, post visual content with a bit of description. Keep in mind that subject matter on LinkedIn (business-oriented content for colleagues or future employees) may require a different angle then it would on Facebook (casual sharing with friends).
(2.) Posting randomly: To avoid wasting time and tarnishing your brand image, you need a social media strategy. Cultivate followers with consistent posting on topics pre-planned and on your editorial calendar. Build in some flexibility to deal with current events. Work all of your social networks into the plan, since reaching clients in a variety of ways keeps things interesting and increases the chance that they won’t miss your post.
(3.) Constant broadcasting: It's "social media," after all. You must interact with fans and followers on each network. Ask and answer questions, make comments, share others’ relevant content, thank people for their comments and follow them back.
(4.) Focusing on self-promotion: This is a social media turn-off. Concentrate on creating value for the community, sparking discussions, sharing and posting eminently sharable content. Present your firm as a friendly resource and, almost incidentally, you'll become the company to hire when your expertise is needed.
(5.) Posting too much information: If you want to stand out among your competitors, you will need to share your brand’s unique character. However, sharing your personality on your profiles does not mean giving too much information. Try to avoid engaging in a negative exchange and/or approaching taboo subject matter like religion or politics. Engaging in this sort of messaging will damage your brand and leave a sour note with your audiences.
(6.) Posting unoriginal content: Mix it up with original content as well as content generated by others. All content should resonate with your target audiences. Think about how each message will increase traffic, reach new audiences and continue to build your reputation.
(7.) Buying your community: Do not try to cheat the system by paying for your fan base and “likes.” Taking this approach will result in creating a false community who will inevitably not be interested in engagement. Learning how to grow a real fan base who enjoys the exchange will be much more rewarding in the long run.
(8.) Posting too often: Regularly staying in front of your audiences by posting content is an essential part of social media marketing. However, posting too often can be overkill. Followers may become tired of your presence flooding their social media accounts. Your posting frequency should be based upon the size of your following and level of follower engagement.
(9.) Ignoring social media metrics: If you are investing time and resources toward social media marketing, you need to evaluate your effectiveness. Are you reaching the right people? Are your audiences driving more traffic to your other content channels? What messages seem to be resonating? If you do not regularly check on the activity, how will you know what your audiences really want?