Do you actu­al­ly have a social media mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy or are you just going with the flow and hop­ing some­thing comes from your vague efforts? Are you mak­ing the same social media mar­ket­ing mis­takes that many com­pa­nies make? Here are 12 social media mis­takes you may be mak­ing and how to avoid them.

No Plan

So many busi­ness­es start their social media mar­ket­ing efforts with no plan. They have no plan for the jour­ney or how they will get their audi­ence from point A to B. Name­ly, from fol­low­ers to pay­ing cus­tomers. It’s a bit like set­ting off on a long car jour­ney with no map or a sat nav and not even know­ing which way is north. Get­ting to the end of your road and not even know­ing if you need to turn right or left. To make your social media efforts count you need some sort of plan, even if it’s a vague strat­e­gy that you’ll post each day.

Like­wise many busi­ness­es are very incon­sis­tent with their social media post­ings. If you want your fol­low­ing and your reach to grow then you need to remain as con­sis­tent as pos­si­ble. Stick to your video and blog post­ing sched­ule. Your audi­ence will get to trust you more when they know to expect great con­tent from you.

Not Understanding Each Platform

Each social media plat­form is very dif­fer­ent. So even though you may post essen­tial­ly the same con­tent to each plat­form, they all have their own post­ing styles, images sizes, char­ac­ter counts. They also all oper­ate very dif­fer­ent­ly. Twit­ter is fast and the shelf life of a tweet is just min­utes. If you want to be seen then you need to be active. Face­book is great for tar­get­ing your exact ide­al cus­tomer. Insta­gram is all about the pret­ty not the wordy. Pin­ter­est is a search engine with eye-catch­ing images. And YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.

Learn the dif­fer­ences between them and how to for­mat your con­tent for each.

Content For Content’s Sake

Don’t just post for the sake of post­ing. Every piece of con­tent you put out must have a pur­pose to it and be of some ben­e­fit to your audi­ence.

Following Irrelevant Trends

There’s always a pass­ing band­wag­on for a social media expert to jump on. But before you go ‘all in’ and start jump­ing on those band­wag­ons, first­ly make sure it’s going in your direc­tion but also make sure that it’s rel­e­vant to your busi­ness and your audi­ence.

A few years ago when live stream­ing became a thing, there was a whole bunch of ‘experts’ that would have you believe that your busi­ness would die if you weren’t live stream­ing your every move. Guess what? Nobody’s busi­ness died because they didn’t live stream but the careers of a few so-called experts did when they failed to under­stand that this trend wasn’t for every busi­ness or every audi­ence.

Being Amateur

Please stop link­ing your Face­book to your Twit­ter. Your Twit­ter to your Face­book. Your Insta­gram to your Twit­ter and Face­book. It’s just lazy, it shows you aren’t putting any thought into the for­mat of your con­tent, and your audi­ence doesn’t like it. Post the con­tent so that it can be viewed on the plat­form you’ve post­ed it to. Don’t take me on a mag­i­cal mys­tery ride just to view an Insta­gram of your lunch.


Too Much Automation

Automa­tion is great and a huge time saver when it comes to sched­ul­ing out con­tent to post. The prob­lems with automa­tion occur when you don’t post any­thing organ­i­cal­ly and every­thing is auto­mat­ed. We all need to use automa­tion to a cer­tain extent but mix it up with some nat­ur­al, on the fly posts, rel­e­vant in the moment tweets and using things like Ins­ta Sto­ries when you’re on the go.

Not Understanding #Hashtags

Hash­tags on Twit­ter are great for join­ing in the con­ver­sa­tion. Like when you tweet along with Bake Off (#GBBO) or First Dates (#First­Dates). My own Twit­ter feed is full of them, But using irrel­e­vant hash­tags just to get traf­fic from irrel­e­vant sources won’t do you any favors. You also don’t need to use hash­tags on Face­book, they real­ly are point­less but on Insta­gram, you prob­a­bly need to use loads. Make sure you know how hash­tags work on each plat­form and don’t use things like #yauht on a post on Face­book adver­tis­ing an apart­ment for sale. total­ly point­less and just makes you look like you don’t know what you’re on about.

Doing As The Guru Says Not As The Guru Does

There are so many social media experts these days but many of them real­ly don’t know what they are talk­ing about. If you want to know who’s infor­ma­tion to lis­ten to then check out if they are tak­ing their own advice. A lot of the fake gurus are just copy­ing oth­er people’s strate­gies and dress­ing it up as their own. They’ve nev­er had a pay­ing client in their lives and they cer­tain­ly don’t prac­tice what they preach.

Not Being Authentic

The great thing about social media is that your audi­ence can get to know you like you then trust you before they decide to buy from you. If you are copy­ing some­one else in your posts or read­ing from a script in video or just mak­ing it up as you go along, then you won’t come across as authen­tic. Just be your­self and stay true to your own voice. The audi­ence aren’t fools. They will spot a fraud a mile off.

Thinking It’s All About Numbers

Whilst it’s impor­tant to be grow­ing your audi­ence, it doesn’t mat­ter if you only have 20 fol­low­ers but they all buy from you. Hav­ing 20,000 fol­low­ers that nev­er buy from you is a prob­lem. Stay on top of your num­bers and know what’s going on, but under­stand it’s not all about the num­ber of likes you get.

Not Being Social

To cre­ate engage­ment, which is what you want from your social media mar­ket­ing efforts, you have to actu­al­ly engage. This means not automat­ing all your social media con­tent and nev­er check­ing your men­tions. Take the time to per­son­al­ly (not a bot) reply to any­one that responds to any of your tweets. Thank peo­ple on Insta­gram when they say it’s a great post (even if they are a bot) and get con­ver­sa­tions going on Face­book. Say thank you when peo­ple share or retweet your con­tent. This will get more dif­fi­cult to keep up with as your audi­ence grows, but stay with it for as long as you can.

Buying Followers

I can’t believe that we are still hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion about buy­ing likes and fol­low­ers. This prac­tice has been going on for years and I still see it every day. Insta­gram seems to be the worst offend­er for it at the moment. Until it gets cleaned up this will con­tin­ue so please don’t encour­age any­one that is doing this. They are bring­ing every oth­er con­tent cre­ator down. I’ve writ­ten about this before in Fak­ing It Won’t Lead To Mak­ing It. Take a read. I also showed how you can spot the fakes in Why Are You Fak­ing Your Online Pres­ence.

Have you com­mit­ted a social media faux pas you’re will­ing to share? Let me know in the com­ments below.

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