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3 Social Media Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

Social media isn't easy.

There's always a new platform you should sign up for, or a new feature you need to learn about. And everyday you're reminded of just how far behind you are.

But here's the good news.

By simply addressing a few mistakes with your social media strategy, you can improve your results and finally catch your breath.

Here are 3 social media mistakes you don't know you're making.

Social Media Cartoon Comic - Social Media Overload Image courtesy of seanrnicholson


1. Not Asking the Right Questions

People always want to know "how many Tweets per day should they send" or "what day should I schedule my blog posts?

But these questions are usually pointless. Social media can't save your brand.

Today, your product and service is your marketing. That means:

  • If you're providing a product, then make it the most innovative, unique and easy-to-use product in your space.
  • If you're providing a service, then make go above and beyond expectations to deliver the best possible customer experience.
  • If you're writing a blog post, then make it the best, most actionable or information-packed post possible.

Instead of worrying about your Klout score, start thinking about your Net Promoter Score.

How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague?Customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale and are categorized as follows:
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.
To calculate your company's Net Promoter Score (NPS), take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.

Red Bull and Oprah both have a huge social media presence because they're the best in their business... not because they Tweet 15x per day or started using Pinterset last month.


2. Lacking Focus

When the late (great) Steve Jobs first came back to Apple in 1997, he had a lot of work to do. The following excerpt is from MSNBC:

One of Jobs' first goals as CEO was to review the company's sprawling product line. What he found out was that Apple had been producing multiple versions of the same product to satisfy requests from retailers.
For instance, the company was selling a dozen varied versions of the Macintosh computer. Unable to explain why so many products were necessary, Jobs asked his team of top managers, "Which ones do I tell my friends to buy?"
When he didn't get a simple answer, Jobs got to work reducing the number of Apple products by 70 percent. Among the casualties was the Newton digital personal assistant. Unfortunately, the cut-backs also resulted, in part, in a workforce reduction of about 3,000 employees.
"Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do," Jobs says in the book. "It's true for companies, and it's true for products.

People and companies are struggling with the same problems today when it comes to social media.

There's too many opportunities, too many new features, and too many new shiny tactics to try.

But here's the problem. Unless you're in the Fortune 500, you're probably short of (1) time, (2) energy, or (3) money.

If you want to stand out, then you need to be exceptional. So instead of spreading yourself too thin, focus everything on one major platform or social network. How do you decide?

  • Where are your customers predominately?
  • What activities will give you the highest marketing ROI?

Maybe that means you hire a blog writer and focus mainly on content creation and email marketing.

Or perhaps Pinterest for your business is a waste of time, so you can ignore it.

Or there's the possibility that Google Plus is essential for your business because you rely on SEO heavily.

Either way, the point is that if you can answer these two questions and act accordingly, then your marketing results will double in no time.


3. Having Realistic Expectations

Marketing guru Seth Godin says that one of the biggest mistakes marketers (and companies) make, is being "impatient".

But what does that mean? Who can be patient when there's bills to pay and competition coming after you?

When Seth said marketers need to be patient, he meant that if you want to make a sale next week, you can't start marketing today. You should have started three years ago.

You can't throw a Hail Mary pass in the last minute of the game and expect to win the game. Social media marketing and sales only work if people trust you. And that process takes time. In the simplest terms possible, there are two ways to market online.

  1. Use advertising to "rent" attention.
  2. Use inbound marketing to "earn" attention.

But guess what? Both are going to cost you something.

If you don't have the time or energy, then you need to spend money on advertising.

If you don't have money to invest, then you need to spend time and energy in creating content, building relationships, and learning a basic SEO strategy.

You won't have hundreds of visits each day when you launch a new website. Traffic won't just fall out of the sky.

You need to You need to understand how to get traffic that will convert into loyal subscribers. And you then need to pick the right online marketing channels for your unique business, and work them consistently, every single day.

Because mastering these techniques is what separates the amateurs from the pros.

And at the end of the day, you'll feel more relaxed and have results to show from it.

Join The Conversation

  • Aug 29 Posted 4 years ago Leah36

    Wow, massive amounts of great advice, but one wrong word and you're out the door?? I can imagine what it must be like to be married to you!

  • Aug 28 Posted 4 years ago Murali

    Thanks for the valuable post and i agree too that due to lack of  focus and realistic expectations mistakes are been done. For every person if u r started a business instant results are not possible unless  u r focused.

  • Aug 17 Posted 4 years ago Hughes withal

    browser troubleshooting is now the thing that is annoying me. ireally wanna make my browser search the net even more faster but things doesn't seem to work good.

  • Jul 3 Posted 5 years ago ecorreia

    I agree with these, and personally I believe that the biggest mistake a company can make is not using social media to the greatest extent. It seems like a lot of people do not use their social media channels at all.  http://bit.ly/KR4z5M We blogged about this issue here.

  • Jul 3 Posted 5 years ago NikhilK204

    thatguy has a very valid point. I can't help my hunch that he's a friend or acquaintance of yours, Brad :P

    Seriously, however, a post on social media mistakes cannot have content mistakes in it. 

    You have sound advice on offer, and I do personally prefer looking at such advice from varying angles, so the repetition's fine with me. 

    What's your line for the writer who wants to promote a book? Do you think Amazon would be a good place to market it? If not, where else? Facebookers are busy painting, drawing and sketching their own daily lives. Twitterers are never once bothered about a two-way conversation. The more sincere participants seem to amble over elsewhere, don't they?

    Your title itself is so full of viral potential.

    I'd like to read more on social media mistakes, rather than do this and do that on social media. Those mistakes are pretty enlightening.

    Thanks a million!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Lol - you're on to me! 

    (SEO off page = highly relevant links + from authoritative sites + and incorporating anchor text)

    Thanks for the compliments - and T Street is nice this time of year! 



  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thanks for the detailed post Brian - completely agree with all of your points!

  • FeldmanCreative's picture
    Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago FeldmanCreative

    I want to applaud your effort here in creating a great article crammed with useful advice. But also, I want to give you a big blue thumbs up for your linking prowess. Wow. Though the article touches on SEO ever-so-slightly, it provides a major league "how to" lesson on using backlinks in posts to generate traffic (of the highly relevant variety) to your site. Nice Brad, from San Clemente. (Spent large chunks of my HS years at T-Street.) 

    Just noticed. SMT gives you the opportunity to creae backlinks in its blog comments. I suppose I should plug my free eBook/brochure, "21 Pointers to Sharpen Your Website." 

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the compliments.

    What are you trying to do?

    You probably have different experiences and insights that can help you carve a niche for yourself.  And "experience" itself is overrated. So don't get down on that. Times change and things evolve. Most "experienced" marketers know much more about mass-media brand advertising than I do, but they don't even understand the fundamentals of SEO, CRO, etc. etc.

  • Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago BrianKaplan

    Great article and it should give us all a base point - I am very glad you mentioned Seth Godin - he is my backbone of what I do with Social Media - when I am unsure of how many hours one should spend and in and establishing realistic expectations and what the results should be he is a great source. It is still amazing how some people think that your SEO produces - customer loyalty.

    That is the furthest from the truth - in today's digital media marketing world according to the Big Guys that even when you have people finding you digitally to the tune of 65% for getting new customers the loyalty rate is running about 5%.

    For ROI shouldn't we be answering the question how to I increase my customer loyalty as opposed to the volume of attention I do or don't get? How do I make an occasional customer a "Client" one who tells everyone about my "Widget" - You mentioned Steve Jobs...he understood that concept and produced that desired result. (Tribes) Which has nothing to do with your How or What. It has to do with your "Why" (Simon Sinek) Start with Why...

    People do not buy what you do - they buy why you do it. (Sinek)

    Seth Godin tells us how to take that concept and Build Tribes and how to be Remarkable in Sliced Bread.

    He also tells us that people want MeMail not Email.

    So take your email, and digital marketing to the next level - Get Back to the Future. Snail Mail is not dead...face to face meetings will never be replace in building relationships....

    spell social media with a capital SOC - take the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and after 30 days you will find that this tool will build your relationship finding from the digital world.

    www.IamGratitudeCards.com or SOCGratitude.com/BrianTerri

    If you are unsure watch the three talks above that I mentioned at Ted.com

    You will be enlightened if nothing else.

    Brian Kaplan - Marketing that Builds Relationships.


  • Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago thatguy

    Thank you for allowing the my attempt at levity. Yes; instructive but not groundbreaking. More of a "Social Media 101" than something an established plan can take advantage of. However, I will say; lots of companies are NOT doing much of what is in this post and they don't realize it. They just assume; "well we have all the "right" social media accounts; so where are the sales." Social media is a necessary part of the plan not THE plan.


  • sarah.driver's picture
    Jun 27 Posted 5 years ago sarah.driver

    That was extremely useful, especially for my entry level knowledge in this field. Your first point about delivering the best you can possibly provide goes without saying but it's all easier said than done when my competitors certainly have more money, time, and experience than I do. I'm a novice racing driver and quite frankly it's difficult to make a name for myself amongst families who start their kids off in karts when they're barely 5 years old.

    -- Sarah B.

  • Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago lambertnagle

    When you have an emotional investment in what you are marketing ie. your own creative product it can sometimes feel like you are pimping! But you are so right – chip away at it day by day.  And taking stock to see what works and what doesn't.

  • PaulSimon's picture
    Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago PaulSimon

    LOL! In my former life I was a journalist, so maybe that explains it. Hey, doesn't a mistake here and there denote human frailty?  Seriously, though, don't you find at least some of the information in this post instructive?

  • Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago thatguy

    Ahhh, hubris. Good for you both.

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thanks - agreed!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    That sounds interseting! I'm glad I could be of help.  It takes time, but if you keep at it then you'll start to see momentum. It helps to get in the habit of doing something for promotion every day (even if it's outside of your comfort zone), and to always continue learning what people like / are interested in about what you do.

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Lol - thanks Paul. I guess you can't please everyone...

  • PaulSimon's picture
    Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago PaulSimon

    Congrats on the eagle eye, thatguy. Clearly, you are a discriminating reader, particularly so if an editing glitch overshadows sound guidance for you.

  • Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago thatguy

    Does making social media mistakes include not thoroughly checking your post on social media mistakes before you post them? Check your second bullet point.


    "If you're providing a service, then make go above and beyond expectations to deliver the best possible customer experience."


    I'll be heading elsewhere for advice.

  • Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago lambertnagle

    I am but a minnow in this vast sea of social media - marketing one creative product, a novel and am still trying to find and engage my readers.  I am on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and one readers and writers site.  I am still trying to figure out which works best.  So your post was very useful. 

  • Jun 26 Posted 5 years ago tarun_310

    Thanks for your post.It is very important to strategise well before starting on any social media marketing.There are always things to keep in mind & this post will surely give some insight into the same.One more important thing is that same message should be communicated well if you are handling multiple platforms.Or else it could all go pretty haywire!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thanks - and definately agree. I've seen the same scenario myself. Companies make great strides and start to grow, then divert their attention & resouces, and lose all momentum. 

    Now I think it makes more sense to focus your energy, efforts and money on fewer things so you're able to work them more effectively. 

    Thanks for the comment!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Glad I could help!

  • Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago JosephM1234

    "And you then need to pick the right online marketing channels for your unique business, and work them consistently, every single day."

    Most important piece you highlighted. This is also one reason that you should rely on someone who knows what they are doing, will have the time to dedicate, and will be at the company long enough to makean impact. I have seen our social presence expand significantly, but it takes me paying attention daily and posting new content daily.

    After I left my previous gig, the growth stopped all together, they're falling further behind with every day and I almost feel bad. Almost.

  • Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago Referral Queen

    Thank you for providing simple suggestions and basics for using Social Media for my business. There are way too many choices and deciding on which one is the best to use my time and resources has been confusing. Getting back to basics has always been my coaching with clients - now I need to apply it to myself and where I am spending time in Social Media.


  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thanks Maria!  I actually have a lot more about SEO on my site. Here's a quick SEO tutorial to give you some more information. Hope that helps!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thank you - and agreed!

  • FixCourse's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago FixCourse

    Thanks - and definately agree. Everyone needs to start somewhere. But I just wanted to give people a realistic view.

  • Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago Maria Benel

    Great post! thank you, please could you post a little more about SEO,


  • Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago eberger

    Great guidance on maintaining in the emotional intelligence of the social component of your marketing plan.  Nobody appreciates someone who wants to be "liked" ahead of everything else!

  • gilcarlson's picture
    Jun 25 Posted 5 years ago gilcarlson

    Great info, but hopefully this won't slow down begiinners to social media marketing. Sometimes you just need to get out there and see what works.

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