Social media marketing is only getting more important, but it seems like many marketers are still taking a shotgun approach to figuring out what works.  While there are plenty of analytical tools out there to help you improve your efficacy and teach you new, good habits, it can be just as beneficial to weed out your mistakes as well. That is why we have compiled this list of common social media marketing mistakes. Knock these out and watch your social media marketing results improve effortlessly. So, in no particular order… Here are ten of the most common, but most easily avoided social media mistakes that you can stop making today.

1. Not planning far enough ahead

Planning is absolutely critical when you want to make the most of your social media campaigns.
There are two varieties of this mistake:

The first is not laying out your campaigns ahead of time. What are you trying to accomplish this week, this month, this quarter? How do you plan to get from point A to point B? (With point B hopefully being an increase in conversions!) Taking some time to actually plan your strategy in advance can make all the difference in your success.

The second is having a game plan but not being thoughtful or realistic about how long it will take to generate your content. It is almost always a good idea to plan at least the basic content for your campaign out ahead of time, and even produce the bulk of it prior to blasting off. Otherwise, you are constantly playing catch up, which can lead to a drop in quality.

2. Being too active

There is a constant demand for new content, yes. But it should be new quality content. Spamming your followers with content that is not going to grab their interest is just as bad (if not worse) than not posting enough. If you are not posting enough, you are probably not living up to your social media potential, but your followers are also not actively unfollowing you — and that is what spamming gets you.

3. Spreading yourself too thin

Automation platforms make it easier than ever to run multiple social media accounts at one time, which has unfortunately resulted in far too many companies trying to run more social media accounts than they can keep up with. Not only is this not effective marketing, but it can actually damage your brand.

4. Lack of engagement

Another problem with automation is that it has made some marketers forget that what is special about social media is socialising. Engaging with your followers is necessary to have a thriving social media presence — and that means not using your account like it it nothing but a megaphone. It is not just a way to announce things without ever interacting with your fans… if that is your plan, social media is not the right tool to do it.

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5. Thinking numbers equal success

Do not fall for the idea that having thousands of followers means you are necessarily succeeding. Obviously, having high numbers of followers is one measure of success, but it is not the only — or even necessarily the most important – measure. This is also the unfortunate mentality that results in marketers buying followers. Do not do that. It is unethical and it does not work! Sheer numbers do not magically turn into conversions, especially when you are gaining followers through less than savoury means.

6. Not automating intelligently

We are not saying automation is a bad thing, mind you. Automation is great! But you do need to use it wisely. Automation is good for helping your followers connect to your content on other platforms, like announcing new blog entries. It it not good for trying to bot your way through social media interactions. Automation is a great way to make simple, straightforward, necessary posts across platforms more efficient, though — and you should be using it!

7. Being “too professional”

This might seem like a weird mistake — but we see it all the time. If your profile pictures are exclusively brand logos, if you have no identifiable social media personalities, you are probably not using your social media presence to its fullest potential. Remember, while social media might be a channel for customer service, it is also a channel to socialise with your fans. Do not be too impersonal.

8. Being too sales focused

In the same vein, yes, your ultimate goal when it comes to social media is brand recognition and eventual conversions. But if you approach it as a sales channel exclusively, you are really missing the point. Social media is your best tool for building relationships with customers and potential customers online, and great relationships are not built by relentlessly pushing sales. Remember, one of the main reasons followers keep up with social media accounts is the fact that they are a value add — a way to get more information, more entertainment

9. Over #hashtagging

Tagging is important, and hashtagging helps to fulfil that need, but overdoing it is almost as bad as not tagging enough. First, make sure all of your tags are relevant. Not just tangentially related, but actually relevant. Second, choose an upper limit for the number of tags you’re going to use, relevant or not. Using a dozen or more tags just looks sloppy, and desperate.

10. Not proofreading

In the rush to get content out there, do not forget that it is not just the quality of your topic choices and your images… proofreading even small posts matters. Just as it can be a risk trying to be “too professional”, being too casual to the point of allowing typos and misspellings to go unnoticed is just as bad. It undermines your image as a reliable, reputable company. After all, even government agencies get a lot of backlash for avoidable mistakes… how much more do you think followers judge smaller organisations? It is important to have good quality control in every customer-facing interaction.

Remember, you can always up your social media game! Avoid these common social media marketing mistakes, and you will be on the path to doing just that.

social media marketing, we like you, social media agency, WLY, community management, storytellers, SoMe, strategy