All social media channels are crowded. Every brand has its own social page on every social media channel possible--Facebook, Instagram, and even professional channels like LinkedIn. But no matter how crowded these channels are, every marketer hopes to get their brand in front of every person's eye on social media.
And why not? Everyone is on social media. About 4.48 billion people are using social media, and an average social media user averages 6.6 social media platforms. The numbers continue to grow at an average of 12.5% per year. Given these statistics, it's really a no-brainer. If you want to market your product, you have to be on every social channel possible.
In an attempt to stand out, and with the ever-changing dynamics of social media users, it's common for marketers to commit social media mistakes. Some of these mistakes aren't as glaring, but some just really need to be taken down immediately.
If you're here because you're a marketer, read on to learn the different social media mistakes so you can learn what NOT to do.
10 Social Media Marketing Mistakes
There are a lot of guides out there for social media marketers. If you try to follow the guide, it doesn't give great results. There are a lot of brand pages that only have a hundred or so followers. They may be doing everything right, but they can be also committing social media mistakes and are not being aware of it.
Very few of these guides also mention social media marketing mistakes, which is very important. Let's try to enumerate those social media mistakes here:
1. Working without a plan.
This is the first social media mistake that you'll ever commit. A social media marketing strategy should always start with a plan, and creating one is the most obvious first thing to do to avoid social media mistakes. However, not every company has one and plans to create one. Most fall into the trap of experimenting with social media posts and if there aren't enough engagement, move on to the next strategy that they can think of.
Create a plan if you're a serious marketer and don't want to commit any social media marketing mistakes. You start by listing specific objectives you want to achieve, come up with a budget, and then outline an easy-to-follow action plan.
Obviously, after you develop a plan of action, you have to list down how you will measure success. What will be your success metrics or KPI? This part is also crucial.
Do not make this mistake. Always come up with a plan before going to any battle.
2. Don't be too post happy!
Oversharing doesn't really help. However, there's quite a challenging balance between posting too little and too much--and that line in between determines social media mistakes.
How much is posting too little, and how much is posting too much? That depends on the platform that you're using. As a general rule, you can follow these:
- Post once a day on LinkedIn
- Post 3-6 times a day on Twitter
- Post 1-2 times a day on Facebook
- Post 2-3 times a week on Instagram
Each channel should have unique content because some social media platforms have different audiences. Some brands tend to use one post for all social media platforms and that's a huge social media marketing mistake.
For example, you can post your business card on LinkedIn, but not Twitter. Or you can use an image with 1600 x 900 dimension on Facebook, but not on Instagram.
3. Posting for all types of audiences.
This is another grave social media marketing mistake. You should always define your target audience and not assume that everyone is your audience.
Understanding who your audience is or what their buyer personas are is integral in creating a successful social media campaign. For example, most people who use Instagram are 18-34 years old--the Millenial generation. They communicate through memes and shortened words. But are all millenials your target audience? If you use memes for your posts about your accounting business, would that attract more business for you? I think not.
You have to know your audience to adjust your tone and content.
4. Failing to engage with your audience.
Regardless of how many posts you add to your social media platforms, it's a total waste of time if no one is commenting on or sharing your posts. This is the exact reason why you should create only relevant content for your target audience--you need to create engagement.
If you don't get any engagement, think long and hard about your social media marketing strategy. You are committing a mistake somewhere. If you need to go back to square one, do that.
And if you do get comments, engage. Reply to comments regardless if they're good or bad. If they're bad, take it constructively. Your customers might probably be seeing loopholes that you don't.
5. It's not all about you.
Your social media channels are yours. That's true. However, the content you're sharing is not for your self-promotion and lead generation only. No customer wants to be sold at all the time. You have to offer something worthwhile for your audience, even if it means sharing content from other brands/people on your own social media channels.
Share any relatable content that's related to your brand and audience. Share it with a small caption and ask what your audience thinks. Again, create engagements.
6. Not using videos on your social media platforms.
Facebook native videos generate 530% more comments versus posts that contain only an image and text. While it's okay to share YouTube videos on Facebook, native video content does generate more engagement--and this is something you should definitely do.
7. Using irrelevant hashtags
#hashtags are big on every social media platform. These are used for search and if you want your post to generate more audience, use the right hashtags.
For example, if a hot political hashtag is popular on Twitter, only use it if it's relevant to your business. You might be tapping in a broader audience, but if your post is about selling shoes, this huge misstep will be your brand's biggest social media mistake. And your legacy will hold on forever--the internet never forgets.
8. Do not delete negative comments.
You've probably seen brands where they engage with an angry customer on social media, and when things really heat up, they delete the entire thread or a few comments. It's a huge social media marketing mistake.
People like authentic brands. These are brands that are not afraid to show people that they make mistakes but are willing to do something about it. If people are commenting negatively about your brand, acknowledge it. If they are just being toxic, ignore them but don't delete their comment.
9. Buying followers.
Buying followers is obviously a big no on all platforms. Doing this is another hit on your long list of social media mistakes. However, some brands continue to do it. Who can resist the temptation of $5 for every 1k follower?
Social media platforms algorithm doesn't agree with followers who are bought. Let's say you're a business with 500 followers, with each follower commenting at least once a week on different posts. Compare that with a brand that bought two thousand followers who never engage with your posts. They don't like your posts, they don't comment on your posts (because they are bought).
Which one do you think will Facebook algorithm favor more? The answer is obvious.
10. Not adding social media channels on your website.
This is another great social media mistake that you'll be doing if you don't do it right away. Your website is your playground, and your audience should land if they need more information about your company and your products or services.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
Adding social media to your website creates dynamic content and a loop between all your channels. If you're using Strikingly, you can do the following to loop your customers between your website and social media channels:
- Add Social Feed section on your website. This section lets you display your social media content right on your website.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
- Add social media links on your footer or Contact Us section. Hyperlinking your social media channel URLs to your website makes it easier for your customers to be redirected to your social media page.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
Social Media Best Practices and Tips
Obviously, we also have a few social media tips for you to help you grow your following and avoid social media mistakes:
1. Don't be on every social media channels.
You don't have to be everywhere to be noticed. Choose the right platform based on your target audience and brand. For instance, if you're a B2B company, stick to Twitter and LinkedIn.
2. Experiment with square images and videos.
As previously mentioned, not all social media platforms are created equal, and each has specific requirement sizes for images and videos.
Image taken from Strikingly’s Facebook Account
3. Boost the right post.
The right post is the one that got the most engagement. This will help your post grab more eyeballs directed to your brand.
4. Create consistent brand guidelines.
Brands are memorable because of their colors and how they play with their logo, images, and text. Your personality should exude with your posts, and this should be consistent on all social media channels to increase brand recognition.
5. Always schedule your content in advance.
It's great to automate some processes like posting to ensure that you are posting at the right time of the day. Involving a human in creating posts all the time opens it to errors.
6. Social media platforms are also customer service channels.
Social media channels are mainly used for promotion but not using it to support your customers is a social media mistakes. If your user is engaging with you on social media to seek help, help them immediately instead of asking them to email you. Always go above and beyond.
7. Respond to DMs and comments ASAP.
Yes, you're busy, but if you're not responding to people on social media channels, you are a huge social media mistake (all pun intended). Social media platforms are communication platforms, and you should not keep your clients waiting.
8. Use A/B testing.
You should always experiment with which one would work best for your audience. For instance, you can run tests using a GIF instead of a static image or changing fonts between two similar images. These small changes might make a whole lot of difference for you.
9. Snag your account names on all platforms whenever you can.
You might not be using TikTok, but it's still great to Snag your username on that platform. This way, you can protect your company name from people who have illicit motives.
10. Embrace social listening.
It's a big buzzword, but it involves scanning all social media platforms for anything that mentions your name, products, competitors, or keywords. Social listening gives you a real-time scoop on what people think about your brand and what they think about your competitors.
It's easy to commit social media mistakes, but you should not let mistakes define you. You can always bounce back stronger if you follow our tips above and create a social media strategy before delving into the deep world of social media marketing.