Are You Making These Social Media Marketing Mistakes? | Social Joey
Whether you’re just getting your business up and running or your brand has been in the marketplace for years, all businesses have one thing in common—they all make marketing mistakes.
There’s no way around it. Much of marketing is an experiment, and sometimes that experiment goes awry. The trick is to effectively manage your mistakes. You want to limit the number of mishaps you make, and you want to learn from the ones you do make.
Here at Social Joey, our business is marketing. Not only do we market our own social media gurus, but we also stay up-to-date on the ins and outs of marketing well done to help our customers market their own businesses.
In our daily work, we see a lot of areas for improvement. Read on for a deep dive into some common mistakes—and how your brand can avoid them.
8 Common Social Media Marketing Mishaps
Every franchise or small business has a distinct audience. And because those audiences are distinct, every business’ marketing needs are unique.
But with that said, there are a few social media strategies (or maybe we should more appropriately call them “tendencies”) that should be considered no-nos:
1. Promoting Your Business Too Much
We get it: It’s your social media page, so naturally, you want to promote your brand on that page. But if you’re trying to capture an audience’s attention and not send them running in the opposite direction, it’s a good idea to tone down your promotional content.
At its root, social media for businesses should be more about engaging with your customers and prospective customers and less about bombarding them with brand messaging.
To keep customers from clicking the “hide this post” or “unfollow” buttons, post a variety of content that’s interesting, engaging, relevant, and helpful. Mix things up with content types, too; include links to articles, videos, photos, and audio recordings.
2. Being on Every Platform, All the Time
Ready to jump on the bandwagon every time a new social media platform makes waves? Reconsider that plan!
When you try to promote your brand on every platform that emerges, odds are that you aren’t effectively marketing on any platform. Your resources and bandwidth are stretched too thin.
Instead, nail down your audience personas. Once you have a true understanding of your ideal customers, do some extra research on where those people spend their time online. Focus your attention there—sticking with one or two platforms in most cases.
3. Posting Grammatically & Stylistically Incorrect Content
As self-aware members of the Grammar Police, we know that there are many other members of the force out there. Many people pay attention to—and are put off by—errors in grammar, spelling, and style.
Even those who don’t consider themselves particularly adept at grammar may still see an occasional post and cringe. So, make sure that your content is put through a quality control process before anything is published.
That usually means that two sets of eyes need to see the content. One set creates it, and another set reviews it.
4. Linking to Non-Reputable Websites
When you’re marketing your business on social media, linking to articles of interest is an important part of the strategy. Your aim is to establish your brand as the expert in a particular field so that when your customers are in need of the product or service you provide, they’ll turn to your business.
But before you post links to external content, be sure you vet those websites carefully. Some social media algorithms will penalize businesses for posting to questionable websites, especially if those websites share inaccurate or misleading information.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to link to websites that end in .org or .gov. When linking to .com websites, stick to websites belonging to national or regional publications—those with name-brand recognition and a clean reputation.
5. Dipping Your Toes Into Controversy
Whew, this is a big one! While it’s totally OK (and actually a positive in many cases) for your business to take a stand related to current issues, there’s a fine line when it comes to posting about controversial or “hot button” topics.
The best plan is to avoid topics that tend to lead to hot opinions and anger. That can be very challenging in today’s world, where people are vehemently angry over things that they wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at in the past.
You can avoid stepping in the hornet’s nest by sticking largely with your brand’s area of expertise. Beyond that, though, it’s probably best to follow the same rules that govern conversation at the dinner table—steer clear of “religion, politics, and money.”
6. Posting With a Negative Tone
When you’re choosing resources to share on your social media pages and creating posts, stick with a positive mindset. We see an awful lot of negative stuff in the world these days. Why would your customers want to read more negative stuff from your brand?
Choose articles and videos that present topics in a positive light. It’s OK to sometimes lead with a problem in order to show the solution—i.e. the carpet is stained, so here’s how to clean it. After all, that eventually yields a positive.
But when you’re selecting articles to highlight your community, for example, it’s best to choose positive stories. We could all use a few more stories about kindness and happiness, for sure.
7. Going Hashtag-Berserk
Let’s say a few words about hashtags. There’s a place for them, but there are a lot of places they’re showing up these days where they don’t need to be.
Consider your own use of social media. How often do you search a hashtag to find posts about a specific topic or issue? Where do you do that? (If you answered Twitter, you’re not alone!)
Use hashtags strategically, on platforms where people are actually looking for them. And when you use hashtags, limit how many you’re using—and choose them carefully. Hashtags should be something people would be searching for.
8. Not Reading the Room
Anytime a natural disaster or tragedy occurs, some brand ends up in the news for callously posting something that’s not relevant or appropriate in light of the event.
The reality is most of the time, brands are not choosing to be inappropriate or callous about a tragedy that has unfolded. Instead, it’s much more likely that posts are scheduled in advance—and no one thinks to replace those posts or reschedule them.
As part of your social media marketing plans, you need to have a plan in place for what happens when a tragedy occurs, whether nationally or regionally. Know what needs to happen and who’s in charge, so that tone-deaf posts don’t show up on your brand’s newsfeed.
Looking for a partner to help you avoid social media marketing mistakes? Oooh, oooh, pick us! Get in touch today to learn how we can help.