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marketing professionals sitting around a table discussing social media
February 9, 2016
Marketing  |  6 min read

11 Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

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Dhariana Lozano

There are general social media mistakes we all know to avoid (like buying followers). But there are many other social media blunders to steer clear of. I’ve composed this list of the most common slips I’ve seen in my experience as a social media marketer. Are you making any of the following social media mistakes?

1. Overly promotional posts

Let’s say you go on a date and the person only speaks about themselves—quite the turn off no? Same applies to your social media audience. Social media equals building relationships, and successful relationships are rarely one sided. Your audience wants to know you have more to offer than pushy sales messaging or a product. Modern social media is about adding value to your follower’s lives.

2. Not using visual content

Visual content is a big deal. A study by Zabisco notes that 40 percent of people are more likely to react to visuals than to plain text. Another part to this mistake: using low-quality images. Try incorporating different kinds of visual content such as photos, videos, and GIF’s into your social media marketing and messaging.

3. Not analyzing anything

Analytics in my opinion, is one of the most important parts of social media marketing. Analyzing your audience, what type content is working, what time works best etc. are very important in making changes to boost your social media success. Use built in tools like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, third party tools like Cyfe, and measure social traffic with Google Analytics.

4. No strategy or content plan

“Victory loves preparation.” Keep this phrase in mind when it comes to your social media marketing. Just because you throw something up on social media doesn’t mean you’ll get sales, traffic, or any interaction. A general strategy and a good content plan will help you stay on track with posts. Having a plan allows you to build buzz and maximize results around campaigns, or events, keeps your audience interested, and attracts new eyes to your account. Having a strategy and content plan will also help with the next mistake.

5. Posting too often/not enough

Believe it or not, it is possible to post way too often on your social media channels. This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to all industries (as you expect to get frequent updates from profiles that have to do with news or publications). The key here is to find a post frequency that works for your audience. I suggest posting at least three times a week to keep engagement and growth going.

6. Incomplete social media profiles

This is a big missed opportunity. Your profile allows you to convey what you do and who you are in the few precious moments you have to capture a visitor’s attention. Make sure as much of your biography or about sections are filled in (remember to hashtag keywords in your Twitter bio). Don’t be afraid to have a little fun or really show your brand’s “personality” here either (check out Huge’s profile below). Since social profiles and content now rank in search filling these in is important. Use high quality header and profile images.

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7. Too many/not enough hashtags

Avoid getting hashtag happy! Engagement gets dragged down if you put too many hashtags in your captions. On the other hand, not using hashtags on networks that allow them is keeping your posts from the eyes of users searching for content. Rule of thumb—keep to one to three hashtags per post.

DhariLo - Hashtags dos and donts

8. Using the wrong post format per social network

Learn how people interact on each network and use those elements in your captions. For example, on Twitter hashtags are searchable and clickable, where on LinkedIn hashtags do nothing—so I make sure to adjust my captions when posting a message to LinkedIn. Ignoring the communication rules of a network could make your messages look automated, and seem non-authentic— turning off some potential followers.

9. Off brand posts

This breaks down into three things: Posting irrelevant content, hoping onto trending topics that have nothing to do with your brand, and using a trending hashtag without researching it first. Irrelevant content (posting a cute kitty for the sake of getting likes) will only hurt your brand in the end. You run the risk of building a following that is not at all interested in your product or service so keep content relevant to your brand. As for hashtags and trending topics—research them and find out as much as you can about the conversations happening around the topic or hashtag to avoid any sticky situations with sensitive subjects.

10. Participating in irrelevant networks

The last social media mistake I want to point out is participating in social media networks that aren’t converting or your audience isn’t on. It’s good to have all bases covered—but eliminating networks that aren’t working will allow you to funnel energy into other tasks, or smaller networks that convert at a higher rate for your audience.

11. Not responding to comments/complaints

Getting into arguments with trolls is not a good thing, but don’t ignore legitimate complaints. Take the opportunity to show customers you care, just swiftly take it offline by asking them to email you and take it from there.

OK, so here’s a bonus social media mistake to avoid: Being afraid to test, experiment, and have a little fun. Social media and your audience is fluid and in a constant state of change. Don’t be afraid to test different methods, show your brand’s personality and have fun—social media was made for entertainment!

This article was written by Dhariana Lozano from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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