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8 Big Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)

8 Big Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them) | Social Media TodaySocial media marketing is vital for business growth these days.

Social media platforms present unique opportunities to reach your target customers. Whether you’re a startup or a more established company, social media plays a vital role in today’s marketing landscape, it's crucial to growing awareness for your products and services. As such, it’s important to get off on the right foot or you risk alienating your audience entirely.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

First impressions are quick, powerful, and enduring - it’s very important to do everything you can to make a good one. Changing a first impression is doable, but it’s best to avoid making social media marketing mistakes in the first place. In line with this, here are some simple mistakes to avoid on social to help ensure you're always putting your best foot forward.

8 social media marketing mistakes to avoid

1. Not having a social media strategy

Companies without a social media strategy whatsoever can never deliver effective messages to their audiences. Communications appear disjointed and confused. You must have a distinct voice, measurable goals, a social media policy, and a publication calendar. Without these, you’ll find yourself posting blindly and diminishing your brand capital. A clear delineated social media strategy puts you on the path to offering useful, engaging content that is sticky and memorable.

2. Creating accounts on too many social media platforms

Please refrain from signing up for every social media platform out there. Yes, it’s important to be in more than one place, but not when you’re just starting out, and especially for small businesses. It’s much easier and more effective to master one platform before you branch out to the next - if you rush to create a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Google+, Slideshare, Vine, and Snapchat and begin madly posting incoherently on all of them, you'll look like you don’t know what you’re doing. And when you finally throw up your hands and abandon most of your platforms because you can’t do justice to them, it looks even worse. Would you purchase something from a company that’s projecting how inept they are? This type of activity does nothing to engender trust, which is the basis of any customer relationship.

3. Paying for followers

Quantity doesn’t trump quality. Your goal is to build genuine customer relationships rather than focusing on numbers. Earning thousands of followers - and the social proof that accompanies them - takes time and diligent effort. Buying followers can potentially create a nasty public backlash. Do you really want to risk your real fans finding out that you bought social media followers? What does that say about your honesty as a company? It damages your brand and, likely, negatively affects your bottom line.

8 Big Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them) | Social Media Today4. Talking too much about your brand and nothing else

Social media accounts that contain an endless stream of only their own, promotional content are off-putting for the most part. Sure, you’re trying to promote your products and services, but you also need to share content that's relevant to your niche but not authored by you. A good place to start is with the 5-3-2 Model for Social Sharing, which will keep your fans engaged and help you build a larger following. So if you publish 10 social media posts per week.

  • 5 should be relative content from others
  • 3 should be content by you that is relevant to your audience but not sales-y
  • 2 should consist of fun, personal content that helps humanize your brand

5. Not using hashtags correctly

The use of hashtags in social media marketing can help immensely when it comes to creating visibility for your brand and what it has to offer.#But #using #them #too #much #is #annoying. Combat this by limiting their usage and make sure that they’re relevant to what you’re trying to communicate to your followers.

6. Sharing too much in a short period of time

Publishing one post after the other within minutes can alienate your followers and prospects. Your goal should be to share posts consistently and spread them out so you avoid overwhelming and spamming your followers. Otherwise they may unfollow you and never return.

7. Neglecting to proofread

Ever noticed a Facebook post with misspelled words? How about a tweet with missing punctuation? Sloppy spelling and grammar can undo all the progress you’ve made and diminish your credibility. Lots of people are turned off when they see “it’s” instead of “its” or “their” instead of “they’re”. Proofreading your own work can be challenging, but it’s an important component of creating a positive impression on your audience.

8. Not being “social” on social media

People who use social media expect companies to be responsive. They also want to feel like they’re dealing with a human being instead of a corporate robot. Responding to comments builds trust and intimacy between you and your customers. It’s also helpful to use a voice that’s interesting and witty vs. monotone and off-putting.

This post originally appeared on Pam Dyer's blog

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