10 Social Media Marketing Mistakes

It’s important for brands to note that there are some common social media marketing mistakes that you should (and easily can) avoid to successfully establish an online following, generate brand awareness and ultimately sell your products and services.

by Tina Hojevang | News | 21 October 2022

Social media marketing is on everyone’s radar these days. Whether you’re a well-established brand or a small start-up, everyone should be promoting their brand and building a community on social media. The simple reason being, that’s where the customers are; in fact, 4.70 billion people around the world now use social media and the average daily time spent using social media is a whopping 2h 29m1!

Let’s dive into 10 common social media marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. Posting without a strategy

Approaching social media growth without a strategy is like trying to dig a hole without a shovel; it’s difficult, time-consuming, and there is clearly a better way. 

Having a social media strategy in place will ensure that your social media efforts are more fruitful and are working to support your broader business goals. It will help you identify what platforms, content, formats, and tone of voice are working for your business – as well as what isn’t working.

A well-thought-out social media strategy ensure you hit your objectives for your business, whether that’s consistently growing your following, generating brand awareness or generating more sales. It allows you to leverage various social media platforms to promote your brand and sell your product or service in a way that works for you.

  1. Posting the same content across all platforms

Several social media channels, one content calendar, right? Think again! Each platform has different objectives and therefore boasts very different demographics, preferred formats, user culture and tone of voice. Getting it right in the early stage of your content planning means you will be able to ‘speak the language’ of the audience you are trying to reach on each platform and generate the engagement your content deserves.

Below we have created a simple overview of some of the social media platform differences to take into consideration when deciding where your brand should be present and what content belongs where:

  1. Not paying attention to analytics

Social analytics are there for a reason. And ignoring them could have a negative impact on results. Instead, use them to gain insights about your target audience and learn about the demographics of users interacting with your content. Discover what type of content resonates well with your customers and what drives engagement, follower growth and leads.

As you dig into your analytics, you might be surprised at the sheer amount of insight you’ll gain. Here’s some metrics we use to track content performance:

So, why guess what your customers want when you can leverage clear data to make better decisions for your social media strategy?

  1. Ignoring customer DMs and comments

Social media platforms often function as the main point of contact between a brand and its customers – in fact 67% of consumers now use social media networks to seek resolution for issues1. And when it comes to replying to DMs and comments it’s simple; the faster you’re able to respond, the more satisfied customers will be. While being responsive does take commitment and time, it can do wonders for follower sentiment, page engagement, and customer retention.

If you’re struggling to find time to sort through and respond to every single customer interaction that comes in, there are brilliant online tools which create personalised automatic interactions in a non-sleazy way that will make them feel like they’re chatting with a human.

  1. Dealing with social media negative feedback the wrong way

Speaking of responding to customers, let’s talk negative feedback. Every brand fears it will ruin their reputation, especially as social media is out in the open for everyone to see. Unfortunately, it is often a part of the package when you create an online presence for yourself.

The thing to remember is that negative feedback can be the honest opinion of your customers. Most customers don’t expect a formal apology but reassurance that the product experience will be better next time. Instead of apologising, making excuses or straight out ignoring negative comments, brands should see it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Negative feedback is not always a sign of an actual problem. Sometimes users are simply criticising or trolling the brand. Instead of censoring these users, brands should react by engaging as early as possible, constructing an appropriate, professional and calm response.

  1. Not identifying the right brand tone of voice

Although on your personal profile you can post whatever you like, brand profiles on social are subject to much stricter scrutiny. If your brand voice is too official, you risk being too boring and impersonal to your followers. Being too casual can be received as offensive and lazy. Trying too hard to be funny can also backfire – humour is individual, and you risk seeming desperate and distasteful.

So why is a brand’s online tone of voice so important? Well, voice and tone reflect brand personality, so naturally, it impacts how your entire brand is identified. It can demonstrate your core values and goals, help consumers understand your unique qualities and culture and help you stand out from the crows of digital chatter.

A great way to identify or improve your tone of voice is by listening to the way your community speaks about your brand and shares their experiences. Developing a brand voice is not a one-time effort and should be reviewed regularly as part of your marketing strategy. Without a consistent check in on your brand voice, you risk sounding dated or out of touch with current events. And don’t forget, different platforms require different tone of voices too, you probably wouldn’t want to communicate on TikTok in the same way as you would on LinkedIn, so keep that top of mind too.

  1. Targeting the wrong audience

Knowing your audience is integral to building an effective social media plan. A common mistake many brands make is to aim for quantity over quality. Reaching lots of people sounds good on paper, but if you consistently get your brand in front of people who would never be interested in your product, you are wasting your efforts.

Instead, get to know your audience. If you are targeting Millennials, you probably won’t want to target all Millennials – stay interested in the people who are buying from your brand and ask yourself, what are their core  interests, behaviours, preferred platforms and what are they interacting with on social media? This doesn’t just help you to create more precise targeting, it helps you adjust your tone and content, too.

  1. Not being reactive/over planning

There is no doubt that a solid content strategy underpins social media success. Planning ahead not only saves time, but it also allows you to tackle your content in a strategic way that is tangible and measurable.

Religiously sticking to such plans is a mistake you don’t want to make. Social media is unpredictable by its very nature. Unexpected events, new trends or even competitors initiatives can all serve to create content opportunities. If everyone is talking about it, there’s a big chance you should too – if it’s relevant to your brand.

Your approach to social media should always allow for a little flexibility. By not being reactive, you miss out on the opportunity to stay relevant to your audience and may be losing valuable engagement.

  1. Underestimating organic social

Many brands still underestimate the value of organic social media marketing. Think of it as your shop window and potentially, a user’s first impression of your brand. Organic social is a free marketing tool – it’s crucial to having a successful online presence and creates sales opportunities, without any advertising budget. You could have a huge paid advertising budget but if a potential customer searches your company’s name on a social media platform and finds a poorly thought-out page with no engagement, you immediately lose credibility.

In today’s world where social media is integrated in the daily lives of more than half of the world’s population, it’s essential to have a positive, authentic and engaging organic social media presence to succeed as a brand.

  1. Working against the algorithm 

Without even realising it, many brands and marketers are in fact working against the algorithms on social platforms, finding that their organic results are often lacking.

Understanding and working with the algorithm on each social platform you’re using is the key to success. You may have an engaging post with amazing visuals but if the algorithm deems it as irrelevant to your audience, it’ll get lost amongst the floods of other content competing against yours. Instead, investigate what the platform is looking to push to users, learn about new features and formats, and follow guidelines on things like copy length, hashtag choice and posting frequency – then watch your metrics improve.

So, now we’ve given you some top tips on common social media mistakes and how to avoid them, we’d love to tell you more about how we can help elevate your brand across social platforms to generate awareness, build a strong community and ultimately get those all-important sales.

We’d love to hear from you: social@catchafireagency.com

  1.  www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/