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7 Common Mistakes Business Make on Social Media and How to Avoid Them

7 Common Mistakes Business Make on Social Media and How to Avoid Them

In this day and age, social media is an important part of any business’s marketing plan. But the popularity of social media marketing also makes it difficult to stand out from the crowd. To get the best results and generate more traffic through your business’s social media accounts, watch out for these seven all-too-common mistakes.

1. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

You have no shortage of options when it comes to social media networks where you can market your business. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn and many smaller sites. It’s tempting to try to do it all, but even if you automate your social media marketing, it still takes time to set that up across different social networks. Then you’re either spending too much valuable time on social media, or putting out quick, low-quality posts everywhere.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s better to market your business very well on one social network than doing an average job across four or five of them. Start with one network and then expand from there as you have more resources and people available to help manage profiles.

2. No Long-Term Commitment

It takes time to build a high-quality following on social media. You can’t expect to generate huge traffic increases within your first few weeks using social media marketing. Many businesses get excited to start their social media marketing, developing solid profiles and spending those first weeks making connections and posting frequently. Then they slow down or quit when they aren’t getting the results they want.

The businesses that are successful with social media marketing are consistent with it. That means you need to set aside a certain amount of time every day for it. Focus on long-term results instead of chasing overnight success.

3. Too Many Posts

Don’t overload people’s feeds with your posts. If a follower logs in to their account and keeps seeing your posts over and over, it may annoy them enough that they decide to simply unfollow you.

How often you post depends on the social network. On Facebook, aim for between one and five posts per day, and stay on the lower end of that until your posts are getting solid engagement in the form of likes and comments. You can post more on networks like Twitter and Instagram, where between five and 15 posts per day are fine due to the number of posts and how quickly they cycle through people’s feeds.

Make sure you space your posts out, as well. Five tweets in a five to 10-hour time period is fine, but five tweets for the same content within 30 minutes is not. If you’re using a social media automation tool, which can be very useful, be careful about posting frequencies. Set it up so it doesn’t blast all your posts out in a short amount of time.

4. Too Few Posts

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the mistake of making too few posts. There are two primary problems with this. The most significant issue is that if someone checks out your business’s social media and it doesn’t have any recent posts, they’ll have no reason to come back. The other problem is that once you stop posting consistently, it’s easy to get into that habit. You start posting less and less, and your business’s social media account becomes devoid of activity.

Having a set amount of time dedicated to social media every day will help you stay on track. Have a plan regarding how you spend that time and what you’ll post so you know exactly what you need to do from the moment you log on.

5. No Target Market

Many businesses spend their time trying to accumulate as many followers as possible, believing that a large following will generate an equally large increase in traffic. But having thousands of followers doesn’t mean anything if many of them aren’t interested in your business, or are inactive or are just spam accounts.

Define the target market that you’re trying to reach through social media, and then focus on making quality connections. It will take longer and you won’t have as many followers as you would if you just targeted everyone, but your posts will have better engagement and your business will benefit more as a result.

6. No Interaction

Social media is about connecting with people. Your followers want to feel like you’re communicating with them, not just pushing your business onto them. If all you do is post your own content, people will quickly start to tune out your posts or unfollow you.

Spend at least as much time interacting with others as you do posting your own content, if not more. Comment on and like other people’s posts. Respond to people who comment on your posts or send you messages.

7. Boring and Generic

If you want to get people interested in your business’s social media account, then you need to be different and take risks. Too many businesses follow a formula with all their social media marketing. They post a link to their site with a short blurb about it and occasionally write generic comments to other people’s posts.

When you post links to your business, make sure it has a headline that grabs the reader’s attention and a featured image or another form of media. And don’t be afraid to break the mold. Post the occasional joke or meme to differentiate your business. The fast food chain Wendy’s got quite a bit of attention by making sarcastic comments on Twitter, because that was so different than what other businesses do. Being unique is crucial for social media success.

Social media can be an excellent marketing tool, or it can be a complete waste of time. Avoid those seven mistakes so your social media marketing gets real results.