Small Business Brief


13 Social Media Mistakes Your Company is Probably Making

Social media marketing is a tool all businesses need. But many companies make the same 13 social media mistakes. Click here and avoid these common errors.

It’s impossible to overstate how important social media is for your business. And make no mistake, that importance isn’t going to shrink anytime soon.

In fact, quite the opposite! Statista reports that by 2021, over three billion people will use at least one social media website.

Take a moment to let that sink in. For reference, the world’s population is a little over seven billion people. That means that nearly half of the world will have some sort of social media presence!

In short, you can’t neglect your social media efforts anymore.

Of course, if you’re unaccustomed to using social media for your business, you’ll need to make sure your efforts aren’t in vain. Make the most of your social marketing by avoiding these 13 common social media mistakes.

1. Failing To Come Up With A Strategy

We think Benjamin Franklin put it best when he said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Chances are you wouldn’t open a business without first coming up with a great business plan. And if you did, your brand probably wouldn’t last too long.

Your business’ social media efforts are much the same way, so why invest time and money without coming up with a great plan beforehand?

Even if you’re unsure whether you or your team can handle your social marketing in-house, there are plenty of great firms, like Optimise and Grow Online, that aim to help you find the best social media strategy for your brand.

2. Not Updating Your Page On A Regular Basis

Make no mistake, you can’t create social pages and leave them be. Simply having a page isn’t enough. It’d be like designing a website that’s just a blank page.

Take at least a few hours each week to maintain your social pages. Here’s a quick checklist if you’re unsure how to maintain your pages:

  • Check that your business’ information is up to date (this is especially important for SEO reasons).
  • Clear out spam comments.
  • Reset passwords once every few months.
  • Update your profile and cover photos.
  • Export your analytics information.
  • Update your social ads.

It may seem like a lot, but we recommend tackling a few of these each day instead of all at once.

3. Ignoring Your Followers

Running a small business takes a staggering amount of time. But there isn’t an excuse for ignoring your customers. Without your customers, your brand may cease to exist.

So be sure to jump into the comments section every now and then. After all, the entire reason people love social media is because it connects us and allows us to interact.

Respond to comments, questions, and messages. You’ll be surprised at how much it means to your audience.

It’s understandable that you’re busy. But if you flat-out ignore your followers, you’re essentially telling them that they don’t matter and you have more important things to do.

Responses don’t have to be lengthy, either. Sometimes a quick “Like” or thank you is all it takes to make a customer feel heard.

4. Dealing With Upset Customers Poorly

A shocking number of businesses avoid social media because they fear the negative backlash. On one hand, that’s quite understandable. No one wants to be the brunt of criticism.

But it’s only a matter of time until you receive a message or comment from an unhappy customer. How you and your team react will ultimately have a huge bearing on your brand’s reputation.

Take a deep breath and address the customer’s needs. Let the customer know that you hear them and want to make the situation right.

Then, do your best to follow through and make good on your word. You may just retain a customer and turn an angry user into a brand advocate.

5. Failing To Further Your Brand

If you’re not using your social media to further your branding, you’re making a huge marketing mistake. While your social channels are significant to your digital marketing efforts, keep in mind that it’s a component of a much larger strategy.

Make sure your social presence fits the type of branding you’re using across other channels, as well. Your marketing efforts should be cohesive.

6. Appearing Too Corporate

Many social media marketing mistakes surface as the result of a misunderstanding of how today’s audiences prefer brands to communicate.

Do your best to avoid sounding too corporate. Use a light, conversational tone on social media. After all, many people get on Facebook and Twitter to unwind and catch up with their friends.

If you appear too cold or corporate, you’re going to run the risk of alienating your audience.

That doesn’t mean you can’t post about your business or encourage people to check out your website. That’s a good chunk of the reason why you need social pages, after all!

But try not to come across as overly sales-y. Make your sales approach more natural whenever you have the chance.

7. Posting Too Much

Most of us have that one friend who constantly posts on social media. You know the one. You’ll read their post and refresh your feed only to see they’ve posted a brand new status or tweet.

It can get to be a little much. So much so that a lot of what they post comes across as spam at a certain point.

This is a cardinal sin that all brands need to avoid on social media, as most social users are practically looking for excuses to unfollow your page.

A few posts spaced throughout the day is fine! A few in the span of an hour? Not so much.

8. Posting Too Little

…But the inverse is true, as well!

One or two posts per week aren’t sufficient. If a user visits your page and sees that you don’t post often enough, they may think you’ve abandoned the page altogether.

Try and strike a good balance with your posts. The goal is to remind audiences that your brand is out there without harassing them.

9. Sticking To One Social Channel

If you’re a social media marketing novice, it’s all too easy to get in the habit of only posting to one channel.

Facebook and Twitter are great, don’t get us wrong, but you’re missing out on so many opportunities to connect with your audience on other channels.

As you and your team begin to establish your social media strategy, look at your customer demographics. Then, find out what social channels your demo uses the most so you can maximize your potential.

10. Not Cross-Posting To Your Website

Remember, social media is important for your marketing, but it isn’t the be-all-end-all. It’s another component of your overall marketing strategies.

But one of the great things about having a large web presence is that it allows you to share your content across as a variety of platforms.

If you’re struggling to get eyes on your site, using your social channels to cross-post a link to your latest blog post can attract the attention you’re after.

If you can’t bring customers to do your website, bring your website to your customers.

11. Ignoring Paid Advertising Opportunities

If you’ve never seen the power of ad platforms like Facebook Ads or watched your audience grow through a pre-roll ad on YouTube, you’re missing out on quite the rush.

Social media is great for interacting with your customers, but don’t forget to take advantage of its massively popular advertising opportunities, too.

Use of these platforms often don’t cost much money but net huge results.

12. Failing To Motivate Your Audience To “Like” Or Follow Your Pages

The world of advertising is far more of a democracy than it used to be. If customers don’t see an incentive in following their favorite brand, they’re more than happy to unsubscribe and move on with their lives.

Your posts should serve your customers’ needs in some capacity, so always post with intention.

Whether that means offering a discount code, teaching them about a new subject, or giving them an opportunity to enroll in sweepstakes, you should always strive to provide value through your content.

13. Posting Without Establishing Company-Wide Social Media Policies

Of all the social media mistakes we’ve discussed so far, this could perhaps be the most disastrous. Always make sure that your team has a clear understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable to post on company pages.

Gather your team and set clear social media guidelines. These rules can do more than get you out of sticky situations, too — although that certainly helps.

Having a company handbook at the ready can help you refine your branding so your messaging remains consistent across each social feed.

Maximize Your Brand’s Potential By Avoiding These Social Media Mistakes

Social media mistakes are easy to make if we’re being honest. But if you follow this guide, you should be able to navigate around some of the most common pitfalls.

Don’t forget to check out our marketing archives for more fantastic information to help you grow your brand. Whether you’re an established business or you’re just starting out, you’re sure to find something helpful.