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6 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We all know that a social strategy is a key component of a brand’s overall marketing strategy. Social media platforms give brands a way to connect personally with hundreds of thousands of people in a way that can really resonate, leading to click-throughs and conversions. Even though most of us have been running social campaigns for years, there are mistakes that all of us make. These mistakes range from simple process errors to larger problems that come from not keeping up-to-date with best practices. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them.

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Not Understanding Customer Personas

Social media data can give you a lot of insight into your buyer personas – the people you’re actually trying to reach with your product or service. Ironically, marketers will use anything BUT social data to establish their customer personas. Why is that? All social channels give you access to demographic information about fans and followers, so why wouldn’t you use that data to really understand the group of people you’re trying to reach? Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and LinkedIn groups can give you fantastic insight into what people like, share, and consume. Before you can create great content and reap all the benefits of social campaigns, you have to know who’s listening and what they want to hear and see.

Not Committing to a Long-Term Social Media Strategy

If you’re exclusively a social media freelancer or in-house social media employee, odds are you will never make this mistake. After all, social’s your bread and butter, and you’re well aware of the benefits of great social media marketing. If you’re a small business owner, or even an agency that offers social, it’s easy to experience mission creep. You’ll go to the trouble of creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account, and then after a few months you’ll decide that it takes too much time with not enough immediate ROI. You’ll stop updating your social pages. That’s a no-no. Social is important, and DOES product ROI, if and only if you keep at it consistently. So, if you feel the social mission creeping away, remember why you started and carve out some time every day to keep up with your social media marketing. Still don’t have time as a small business owner? Think about engaging a freelancer to help you.

Being Overzealous About Posting

Sort of the opposite to the point above, some people think more is better when it comes to social posting. Nah, not really true. As in most marketing activities, quality is way more important than quantity. For Facebook, don’t post more than five times per day (and that’s a little excessive, in my opinion). Any more than that and you’re at risk for unfollows. And, however many Facebook posts you decide to do, make sure you space them out properly. Your Facebook Insights will tell you when your page fans are online and active, so plan your schedule around that. You can tweet a little more often, but I don’t recommend you go over 10 tweets per day, including retweets. @ people as much as you want to, because that’s conversation and engagement – something we’ll cover in a moment. For LinkedIn, every few days, one post at a time, is the best way to go. Keeping a content calendar will help you tremendously.

Failure to Create Shareable Posts

Facebook, in particular, is tricky. Only about 13% of your fans will see one of your posts in their newsfeed – if you didn’t boost it. But, when people interact with your post by liking, commenting, and (especially) sharing, it increases the amount of people who see it. Simple math, really. But what makes people interact with a post? It has to be contextual, visually appealing, and relevant to their lives. It can’t be all curated blog posts or kitten memes. You have to think about your social content as a conversation between you and your social audience, and your goal should be to surprise and delight them with your content. I’ve found that trends, events and holidays are a great way to start the conversation, and I can appeal to a greater amount of people when I make sure the visual elements in my post are gorgeous.

Failure to Create Quality Graphics

I know, I know. I mentioned this in the last bit. But I can’t stress how important it is to have exceptional graphics in your social posts. People expect it, and your brand suffers when you don’t do it. Shoddy visuals tell your social followers that you don’t have the resources to do better, and that they’re not important enough for you to spend the time and/or money to create something wonderful for them. This is a problem many social media marketers experience. But I don’t, because PromoRepublic has hundreds of professionally designed templates I can use, and the visual editor has all the elements I need to create my own visual post. No graphic designer for me!

Ignoring Social Interaction

When we do case studies about successful brands on social media, one thing that they inevitably have in common is their interaction with their social fans and followers. They respond to comments and tweets. They thoughtfully answer social media questions. They have conversations with the people who like and follow them, which makes more people like and follow them, and makes their existing audience like them a whole lot. There’s no good reason not to have those conversations, and there is never an excuse to ignore a social interaction.

These are just a few of the mistakes social media marketers make. If you can think of more, please post in the comments so we can talk.

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  • I like the comment about how most people tend to start strong then either slow down or wonder away all together. I think it’s the “fun” aspect of social media that makes us this way. It’s an important concept to keep in mind, and hard to do!

    • Alla Bogdan

      Thanks for your comment, Mike!

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