Eight Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

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Social media is a crucial marketing strategy component for all B2C and many B2B businesses looking to seriously compete in today’s markets.

However, there are a number of basic social media marketing errors that you should steer clear of to be successful.

The introduction of social media has provided a wealth of opportunities for consumer engagement. Hubspot have revealed that 92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. This indicates that the correct and effective use of social media is a necessity for a modern business. We’ve compiled a list of the eight most common social media mistakes you should be avoiding.

One: Not having a social media strategy to follow.

In order to be effective with your social media communications, you absolutely need to have a strategy laid out beforehand. A solid social media strategy keeps your messaging and tone of voice consistent. This is important for reinforcing a positive brand image in the eyes of the consumer and maintaining an online presence. Creating a strategy involves selecting the appropriate social networks to meet the needs of your organisation and its culture, then planning how and when you are going to use these networks. Check out our article on how to create a social media marketing plan in 6 steps.

Two: Not knowing which social platforms are most appropriate, so using all of them.

Selecting the appropriate social platforms for your brand is important to help make the process more manageable; wasting time on all platforms when your target market only uses Facebook and Twitter wastes time and money. Learn which social platforms are most appropriate for you as an individual business, rather than just following the crowd. For example, a B2B business is going to find LinkedIn far more useful a tool than Bebo.

Three: Paying a website for fake social media followers.

The whole point of social media is to increase engagement and build real relationships which in turn build on ROI. Fake accounts will do nothing to help this and can, if discovered, damage the integrity of the brand in the eyes of the consumer.

Four: Focusing on talking about the brand too often.

While promoting the brand is obviously an important element of social media marketing, over-promotion can begin to annoy followers and damage the brand image. It’s far more effective to get the engagements and interactions with followers/visitors to act as promotion for the brand. This can be done by encouraging shares and likes through releasing content people find interesting, useful or entertaining, as well as encouraging interactions through comments, tweets and so on.

Five: Excessively using hashtags and/or using hashtags that are not relevant to the content or the brand.

It’s important as an organisation not to annoy your target market on social media and create an ‘irritating’ brand image. An unfocused, reckless use of hashtags can do just this. It will distract users from the core message, or even lead to being unfollowed/blocked. Another crucial rule is to not recklessly use irrelevant yet popular hashtags to try and take advantage of a current popular topic of discussion just to get noticed. One example of this is when GAP tweeted:

“All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?”.

GAP received a huge amount of backlash for trying to use a natural disaster to their advantage. Hashtags should be few and relevant to the topic of the content they’re attached to.

Six: Sharing too often or sharing too little.

Having consistent, regular content additions on your social pages is key. As part of the face of an organisation, inconsistent and/or infrequent updates will give an impression of being uninteresting or disorganised. Best practice is to prepare quality content in advance and slowly release it at a consistent rate to keep followers or visitors engaged and interested in the organisation. The best way to make sure you stick to this is to create your content well in advance and add it to a content calendar ready to be uploaded at a certain time. Platforms such as Hootsuite (B2C) and Oktopost (B2B) can help with the management of such content updates.

Seven: Not proofreading before posting.

Spelling errors and other general mistakes can undermine the perceived quality and professionalism of your work and even the organisation in the eyes of your audience. This is why it’s crucial to ensure that every piece of work you send out has been checked and double checked. To illustrate the point, disruptive-communications found in their research that 42.5% of consumers ranked poor spelling or grammar as most likely to damage their opinion of a brand on social media.

Eight: Forgetting that social media is about being social.

Perhaps the most obvious yet often overlooked aspect of social media use by organisations is the actual social element. Users want to feel as though they’re talking to real people, not a robot. Relationships with your audience should be created and nurtured to encourage a positive brand image and brand loyalty.

But be careful…

Social media opens up a line of communication both ways between you and your audience, meaning they can publicly scrutinise and comment on your company and its activities. Because of this, social platforms should be constantly monitored and queries or issues responded to in a professional and speedy manner. This will not only satisfy the user you are responding to, but will ease the minds of other users (and potential customers) who can see the interaction.

It is also worth reiterating the importance of thoroughly thinking through and proofreading everything you decide to post or upload online, as once you’ve posted something displaying one of these common social media marketing mistakes, which happens all too often, making it completely disappear is a near impossible task as these ten examples show.

For further advice on social media marketing and how to avoid common social media marketing mistakes, please feel free to contact us.

Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.