social media mistakes

7 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

I lived in Nicaragua with Peace Corps for more than two years, and I had to quickly settle into the culture of the village to be effective as an agricultural and food security volunteer. For starters, “Type A” women like me don’t really have a place in San Juan de Dios. I had to let go of my usual practice of demanding that everything run on a specific schedule, for example. Had I held to that, I never would have made progress or endeared my new friends to me.

It’s not a stretch to say that the world of social media has its own culture. There’s a delicate mix of proven best practices and subjective opinions that guide participants as we tweet, post and engage. Having managed social media for several influential brands, I’ve seen some common social media mistakes in my streams and news feeds that are the result of a lack of cultural literacy. Here are just a few:

  1. Posting too frequently  When you see twenty posts from the same page filling up your Facebook feed every day, it can get annoying. Fast. Make sure you aren’t too noisy on social media.
  2.  Ignoring your analytics  If you aren’t looking at your analytics, you aren’t going to know how successful your social media efforts are. You need to be aware of how many click-throughs you’re getting, how many likes, favorites, reposts you’re inspiring, and which post topics aren’t generating engagement. That way, you can tweak your strategy and justify the time you are putting into it.
  3.  Never promoting original content  Re-posting, commenting and liking are important aspects social media engagement, but a full third of your interactions should be posting original content. That way, you’re expressing your brand’s expertise, ideas and thought leadership.
  4.  Leaving people hanging  If someone communicates with your brand on social media in the form of a message or comment, respond within a twenty-four hour period. You are here to engage, so you don’t want to annoy your connections by being rude and ignoring them.
  5. Ignoring your clients’ profiles  Who are you following on social media? Yes, you should follow experts in your field and influencers in your market, but what about your clients? You’d be amazed how many business partners aren’t following their clients online. That’s bad form.
  6.  Long engagement lapses  Ever heard the phrase “the lights are on but nobody’s home”? It’s not enough to set up all your profiles: you have to post regularly on all of them. Hootsuite is a great management tool that lets you load up posts for an extended period of time so they go live automatically at designated times.
  7.  Random posting  Make like a publishing executive and create an editorial calendar. Clearly designate which themes, topics and categories you what to emphasize in your posts rather than randomly posting about a huge range of topics. Your followers should get a sense of your voice by being exposed to a consistent set of post types.

Now that you know the most common social media mistakes, you have no excuse! Don’t do these things! Your marketing program–and your future clients–will thank you.

Brittany Standley

Brittany has 6 years of communications experience. She currently is employed as a Social Media Content Specialist with Pivot Business Consulting.