5 Mistakes You Might Be Making on Social Media

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making on Social Media

Guest post by Shanna Mallon from Straight North.

Let’s be honest: To most brands, social media is still confusing.

Use Facebook to boost business—but how? Find success on social networks—but what does that mean?

If these are questions that you’ve asked yourself, you’re not alone. The truth is, most brands are making the same mistakes on social media, and you might be one of them. To help you find out, here’s a look at five of the most common mistakes happening on social networks. Take a look and see if they describe you.

1. Ignoring Social Media Completely

Brands that don’t understand the impact of social media may overlook it completely. Calling Facebook a distraction and Twitter “empty noise,” they miss valuable opportunities to connect with fans, reinforce their brand messaging, and promote their products. While their competitors engage with audiences online, they’re nowhere to be found.

2. Thinking “Likes” = Sales

A lot of brands get on social media with the goal of “getting a million likes” or some other arbitrary number. Getting affirmation on social media is fun, but it’s not the ultimate goal. Will a certain number of likes translate to a certain number of sales? The truth is, probably not. And because likes don’t equal sales, you shouldn’t make them your end game.

Making mistakes on social media

3. Talking More Than Listening

Nobody likes a blowhard. But when all you do on social media is talk about your own products and promotions, that’s exactly what you become. Fans will get bored of listening to your constant hot air and likely run the other way. Plus, what’s even worse is that you miss the chance to learn about your audience. Make social media a conversation instead of a monologue. Rather than only talking, try listening to what your readers and customers have to say. When you learn to listen and engage, you learn to build meaningful community—and that usually translates to more sales over time.

4. Being Inconsistent

This week, you’re on Facebook every day; next week, you forget all about it. Today, your Twitter voice is helpful and professional; tomorrow, you’re cracking casual jokes about your customers. Who are you? What is your brand all about? If you don’t make the answers to these questions consistent, your audience will notice—and they probably won’t stick around to watch your changing tides. It’s important on social media to be consistent, both in terms of voice and content, in order to make the most of your influence.

5. Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

With so many social networks available today—from Pinterest to Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram—and more developing all the time (Vine, anybody?), it’s easy for brands to bite off more with social media than they can chew. Rather than taking on every social network, brands do well to strategically choose a few to which they may devote more time. Take time to figure out which networks mean the most to your audience, and stick to those.

Your Thoughts

Is your company guilty of any of the above social media blunders? If so, take heart: You’re not alone. What’s more, it’s never too late to start making changes.

Photo credits: Nettsu

  • Sue | CandlesOffMain.com

    So well said!!!!!! Dead on.

  • This is so true! I am with you all the way.

    Thank you for sharing this article 🙂

    Look forward to reading more.

  • Filip Simonovski

    Well said, so many companies do some of this mistakes. Myself have done some of them :

  • After reading the topic I asked myself, if I made any silly mistakes on social media? And the answer that came to my mind was no. But then my curiosity arose and I decided to give it a read with an intent of laughing at the silly mistakes that others made while engaging via social media.

    To my shock I learnt that just like the apple doesn’t fall far away from the tree, even I just like many others was making a lot of the mistakes.

    This was a good eye-opener and I totally recommend this article.

  • Erika Wilmore- Social Media Ge

    Shanna, bravo! I see this a lot with solopreneurs, #1 being the biggest most popular mistake. I’m definitely going to share this article. TY!

  • Finally I found a blog that really makes sense about social media. Yes, consistency and professionalism really matters in social media industry however, people still want you to look like a ‘real’ person, typing and engaging with them. Not a mere robot that just spray contents in all the social media network. The result you’ll get unfollowed or worst block by your possible prospects.

  • Love it.
    I see a lot of people making mistake no 3. I feel social media is primarily about finding and listening to your potential customers. Not just pushing your sales messages out.

  • dkzody

    The consistency factor is a big one. I can tell when an organization has brought in an intern to do social media. The message is pretty much the same across platforms (which is very boring) and there is a lot of it (which is annoying). Then, after the intern leaves….

  • Rathi Gupta at Heyo

    I agree with making sure you use a consistent voice! Do you have any recommendations for when different people are in charge of a Twitter account on different days? Do you recommend signing each tweet with the person’s name who is writing at that time?

  • Great post, simple mistakes that many people make.

  • Jamie Bates

    Shanna, thank you for your post. I would fully agree with everything that you have said. I think that your 5th point is the best. We need to target our comments and what social media applications are consumers are using.

  • Hi..

    the definitions for facebook and twitter are superb..
    Facebook – a distraction
    Twitter – empty noise


  • Michael Bian

    In social media industry its all about people, most obvious platform to share marketing material and other massive information about the company. I’d agree with you Shanna, CONSISTENCY really matters. http://www.sixelevencenter.com

  • Ann Smarty

    It s a short list, but a highly relevant list. I especially like the one about consistency.

  • Really nice Information and its great to read this article
    i was searching for it for a long time but i found it on your blog thanks for this

  • Ania-Lee Swanepoel

    This is a great article and as a Marketing and International Business student at the University of Georgia, I have noticed all of these blunders when studying very well-known companies. One of the biggest flaws that I have noticed in social media is that businesses focus too much on posting content and not in engaging with the audience. I find this to be an incredible opportunity for businesses to easily change consumers’ perceptions of the brand and even turn a bad customer service experience into a good one. If a brand follows or engages with someone, that person feels so great and special and it’s so easy to do. Cadence is also important and this is where your consistency point comes in. You should establish a schedule and ensure that you are posting at times when your audience begins to expect content. This is a great article and I wish that all companies would learn from these mistakes and begin to utilize social media to its full potential.

  • Adma Maharjan

    These are really a helping step for preventing any mistakes that you might face on social media. But what if the problem does arise even after applying your every possible strategies. I guess learning from others experiences is the best solution. To know more what are do’s and don’t during social media crisis, please click on http://s360.us/12cVFZk. Thanks!

    Adma Maharjan, Community Manager at Simplify360(www.simplify360.com)

  • sonia0654

    It’s true that most of the bloggers run behind the social media likes and forget about the quality of content. I think a blogger must concentrate more about his content’s quality and also about his reader and I think his post will get unbelievable number of likes and comments. It’s a good post. Keep it up.

  • Delpy Julia, Tulane

    This is a great article, social media is a very complicated universe and you have
    succeed in making it easier and very simple. My dad has a company and he
    understand nothing about social media and how to manage it, so thank you, your article
    is the key of success on social media for him !

  • This is a great article, social media is a very complicated universe and you have
    succeed in making it easier and very simple. .this is my blog social media expert