3 Social Media Mistakes You’re Making—and How to Avoid Them

While social media marketing has come a long way over the last decade, its goal remains the same: to foster interactive platforms for individuals to share, discuss, and co-create content.

When done the right way, social media has big-time potential to build your community, grow your customer reach, boost engagement, and drive traffic to your website (and conversions too!). In fact, according to Sprout Social, when consumers follow a brand on social, 87% say they’re likely to visit that brand’s site or app.

Social media is no longer just a “nice-to-have” for enhancing your online presence. After all, it’s where your existing and potential customers and buyers hang out the most. But sometimes, your social media efforts can do more harm than good if you’re not sending the right message, participating on the channels in a meaningful way, or are failing to collect and track data effectively.

Do any of these not-so-rare social media cardinal sins sound like you?

Are you:

  • … guilty of throwing content out into the universe without a clue of who you’re talking to? You might be a Community Crapshooter.
  • …employing a “more is more” strategy (or lack thereof), by posting as much as possible in an attempt to stay relevant? You might be an Over Sharer.
  • …using social channels as a soapbox for your brand and failing to truly engage your followers? You might be an Anti-Social Ghost.

If so, you may have fallen into an impersonal social media vortex that many brands find themselves in. Fortunately, we have some tips for how to break the cycle and put the “social” back in your social media.

3 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

The ultimate goal of branded social media should be to create a meaningful connection of networks, rather than simply playing the numbers game. Save your social by avoiding these three common mistakes.

The Community Crapshooter

Are you clueless (versus clued-in) when it comes knowing who your followers are and, more importantly, what they want? If you are, you’re taking shots in the dark and creating social media “noise” that no one is listening to. You’re not alone: 43% of social marketers say that identifying and understanding their target audience is a major issue.

Luckily, you can use analytics to learn more about your audience, and tailor your content accordingly. Doing this will allow you to better understand who your audience is, where they’re coming from, and what message is most valuable to them. Sharing content that sticks helps to cultivate an audience that is truly interested in your brand rather than simply collecting followers.

Not only will social analytics help you please your followers, they can help you please stakeholders within your company, too. The most commonly reported challenge social media marketers face is developing an effective social strategy that supports overall business goals.

Leverage analytics and demographic data about your targeted audiences to establish a strategy and enhance KPIs. This will ensure that you truly make the most out of your social media efforts, purposefully connect with your users, and see results.

The Over Sharer

Do you share all of your content, all of the time, and on every channel? While social media is a wonderful marketing tool, it’s not meant to be used and abused. Treat each as its own distinct channel and avoid letting it become a dumping ground.

Here are a few high-level best practices to keep in mind:

  • On your Facebook company page, include links in the copy of your posts for follow-up steps your users can take.
  • Keep ad copy short and sweet on Instagram and make sure to utilize relevant hashtags.
  • For LinkedIn, post informative content and keep your brand voice professional.

Users expect and crave different experiences on each channel. For example, while posts that feature video perform poorly compared to posts without video on LinkedIn, Facebook gets an average of over 8 billion video views daily.

Quality over quantity is essential, and so is being in the right place at the right time. Social media done well is knowing what to say, and where (and when!) to say it. You’ll find that eliminating the bulk and making informed, data-driven decisions allows you to focus your efforts on performing better on the channels that matter, with the people who matter.

The Anti-Social Ghost

Is your “set it and forget it” mentality causing your social to lack a human touch? If you’re primarily posting promotional content with no plan for next steps, chances are, your followers will quickly lose interest and ignore (or even worse, unfollow).

Your social media should bring value to your customers outside of the transaction. Focus on deepening loyalty and excitement around your brand, rather than prioritizing sales-driven messages. Above all, customers desire content that inspires, fosters interaction, and adds value. In fact, 50% of marketers say that posts that entertain are more effective than discounts and sales content in helping them reach their goals.

Highlight articles, interviews, how-to guides, lifestyle photography, videos, and more. Keep things fresh and exciting by encouraging users to share pictures of your products and re-share directly on your social profiles, or feature special contests or giveaways exclusively for your engaged followers.

Once you’ve developed top-notch content, don’t just post and hope. Go the extra mile and enhance your brand’s authenticity by taking the time to respond to your engaged audience. Reciprocate and reply to interactions: it’s worth the investment. Social Sprout found that 29% of customers will unfollow a brand that ignores posts, mentions, shares, likes, comments, and other forms of engagements.

Need help saving your social?

When it comes to your brand’s social media success, it’s essential that you don’t ignore the fundamental foundations: interaction, sharing, co-creating. Are you looking to take your social to the next level? Get in touch to talk to an expert about optimizing your ongoing social ad campaigns and reaching your goals.