Digital Insights

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media Marketing


Published: February 11, 2015

Mistakes can happen to anyone regardless of training or experience. As an active social media marketer, you’re bound to make your share of mistakes and outright errors in judgment or tactical execution along the way. That’s to be expected and as long as you pick yourself back up and learn from your mistakes, you’ll do fine.

According to legendary businessman and former chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch, “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.” Learning from the mistakes of others not only educates you, it does so in a way that saves you from the penalties associated with having to discover those same mistakes on your own.

That being said, here’s a rundown on the most common social media mistakes that businesses are making. Study the lessons, learn what not to do, and leverage the experience to create a better social media presence for your business.

Spreading Your Efforts Across Too Many Social Media Channels
At last count, there were well over 200 major active social media websites across the planet, covering every imaginable field of interest. It’s simply not possible to be actively involved with every social media channel available to you. You need to focus your efforts on the two or three social channels that your customers are the most involved with. Your social media efforts will be much more effective if you concentrate on doing a good job on a few important social channels as opposed to a mediocre job with a dozen.

Failing to Create Content Unique to Each Social Channel
Every social media channel has its own unique identity and audience. Posting identical content across each of your social channels is spam, and your social campaigns are going to be the worse for it. Learn how users on various social networks use and share content, and tailor your posts to the specific needs and personalities of each of your social platforms.

Failing to Post on a Consistent Basis
An effective social media strategy is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. Success with social media takes time and requires patience. Depending on the social platforms you choose to market your brand on, you’ll need to commit to a posting schedule ranging from two to three times per day to five or six times each week. If that type of commitment is beyond your capabilities, you’re better off forgetting about social media and concentrating your marketing efforts elsewhere.

Deleting or Ignoring Negative Comments
Every business is going to attract its share of complaints and criticisms from customers. A common mistake, especially among social media newbies, is to delete or ignore negative comments posted on company social media profiles. This is a natural reaction that needs to be avoided. Responding to complaints not only provides an opportunity to turn a customer’s attitude around, it gives readers a good idea of the type of service that they can expect to receive if they become customers.

Buying Likes and Followers
There is absolutely zero benefit to buying social likes and followers. Purchased fans have no incentive to follow or share your content. These fake fans can actually hurt your social media efforts because some social platforms such as Facebook base the amount of “coverage” your posts receive on the amount of likes, shares, and comments your posts are attracting.