Social Media Marketing: Top 20 Mistakes to Avoid [Updated 2020]

Since the advent of social media, a lot of brands and businesses have been investing in social media marketing; flocking over to get a piece of the proverbial cake. We have heard legendary tales of entrepreneurs who took the plunge and became an instant hit overnight (or so it seemed).

A business that was running on zero grew into an entity worth millions of dollars and all credit was given to social media marketing.

Thus, with much enthusiasm (and not much thinking), a lot of us came on different social media platforms with the goal of replicating the tremendous result. Only this time, the result was static and social media marketing wasn’t working much (or so it seemed).

I listed my experiences, looked hard at those business models I considered success stories and then I made a few critical changes. The results didn’t show up overnight. However, they showed up.

So, I created a list of those early mistakes I made, and I am sharing them with you. Study them, implement them and soon you will realize that social media marketing done right could be everything your brand needs right now.

 

1) Not Having A Brand Identity

Saying that social media platforms are oversaturated is an understatement. With over 50 million businesses registered and active on Facebook alone in 2015, your first challenge is standing out from everyone else.

Having a clearly defined brand identity is a crucial factor in building up your business and getting it noticed on social media. It’ll allow your customers to make a connection with the company, building trust and loyalty.

brand-identity-prism-plexxie

Your logo, your name, and even your company culture are some of the things that make up your brand. However, it is vital that you remain unique but consistent across the board.

A strong brand identity will not only allow you to stand out from your competition but also build your reputation and convey your values to attract your ideal customers.Click To Tweet

 

2) Walking In Without A Plan

Would you build a house without having a blueprint? Well, you can. However, it’ll be loosely constructed and might fall over. So why risk it?

You have an article (8-Steps to Creating your social media strategy) on our blog that shows actionable steps in crafting your social media marketing strategy.

One common mistake people make with social media marketing is underestimating the volume of work that goes into it.

social-media-marketing-plan-12-steps-plexxie

There is a general assumption that you open an account, put up a few posts and then you live happily ever after.

An effective social media marketing strategy requires careful planning, consistency in execution and adapting your approach to suit your market.Click To Tweet

In my experience, something as simple as writing down your goals could go a long way.

 

3) Setting Unachievable KPIs

When you set out to do something, you set out with a goal/objective in mind.  You chart a course to your goal and then break it down into tasks.

To stay on track, you need the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPIs are to businesses what a compass is to a traveler.Click To Tweet

Setting unachievable KPIs could have you going around in circles on social media and always falling short of your goals. You need smart KPIs to reach your marketing goals on social media. Yes, we can be optimistic, but be realistic!

You also have to measure the right KPIs, which brings us to our next point.

 

4) Focusing On Vanity Metrics

When you have the wrong KPIs, you end up with vanity metrics which essentially does next to nothing for your business growth on social media.

Since every business is set up differently, anything could be a vanity metric.

What is a vanity metric for a marketer looking at social media marketing?

Let’s say you’re looking for an influencer to promote your product. Judging purely based on the number of followers they have – you’re looking at a vanity metric. You should probably look more into their engagement rate instead.

social-media-vanity-metrics-plexxie

You can read my previous article on influencer marketing trends in Singapore.

If you let these vanity metrics influence your business decisions on social media, you are setting up your business to fail.Click To Tweet

 

5) Not Knowing Where Your Target Market Is

When it comes to marketing, it is instinctive to want to go to where the crowd is.

Facebook has well over 2 billion users. Instagram is inching closer to the billion-user mark, and Twitter is hot on their heels. All of these numbers don’t matter if you are taking your business to where your target market doesn’t exist.

Sure, you could get some conversions here and there especially if you have fantastic content. However, it would be better to concentrate your efforts where you are bound to get the most results.

Research more in-depth on your target audience, and find out where they’re hanging out at. You might even find out that they’re spending more time on platforms like Pinterest, Quora or Reddit.

 

6) Not Using Images To Grab Attention

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Photos are essential for social media platforms and using high-quality images are critical for running a successful social media marketing campaign.

Think of it this way: Each post you put up on your page is your 20-seconds elevator pitch. The words you put up may not be able to say much in 20-seconds, but with a high-quality (and possibly entertaining) image, you might interest your audience enough to read what you wrote in the caption.

 

7) Creating too many accounts in different social media platforms

In business, the phrase “the more, the merrier” gets tossed around a lot. In social media marketing, applying that philosophy could lead to an epic fail.

Not only is there a problem of biting off more than you can chew, but you will also be unable to direct your marketing efforts to where they are most valuable to your business.

This is especially true if you are handling the tasks yourself.

Handling one social media account is difficult enough as social media channels are getting much more complicated as time goes by.

Oh, and trying to understand their ever-changing algorithms so that your post can be seen by many is a whole lot more time consuming than you think.

 

8) Not Making Use Of  Post Insights/Analytics

Nearly every social media channel has a tool that provides insights into your page performance. You’re presented with a breakdown of each post and how people interacted with it.

instagram-post-insights-plexxie

This helps you assess how well your posts are doing in each target demography and build your marketing plan on the information obtained.

Always use post analytics or post insights to improve your next post or campaign. Study the data to understand what works and what doesn’t. Repeat the things that worked.

 

9) #Using #Too #Many #Hashtags #On #A #Post

Hashtags are a handy tool on most social media sites. They get people who are talking about things relevant to your business to notice you.

A carefully worded hashtag could bring the right people to your page.

Overcrowding your post with hashtags is setting yourself up to be that guy at the bar who says too much of all the wrong things to the ladies…he is either ignored, ridiculed or thrown out. Don’t be that guy.

From our experience, 20 to 30 relatable hashtags on a post max.

Hootsuite has a great article here on making your hashtags work for you.

 

10) Ignoring Your Audience

In the virtual world, a comment on your page is the equivalent of a customer or client walking through the doors of your shop or office saying “Hello.”

They may not make a purchase right away, but courtesy demands that you respond to them.

blog-social-media-customer-service-plexxie

This applies to social media channels as well. Setting up automated responses is tempting. Try not to as it takes away the human element of your brand making you seem robotic and impersonal (unless you’re an AI tech company showing off your latest chatbot).

As much as we love the new age technology, some human interaction will forever be preferred by many.Click To Tweet

 

11) Posting Poor Content

In social media marketing, content is king.Click To Tweet

What you put out on your platform determines what you get back.

If you post poor substandard content, you can be sure that the results you get would be poor.  It is tempting to put popular but controversial content on your page to get some attention. However, if it is not relevant to your brand, you end up looking desperate at best.

 

12) The Absence Of A Code Of Conduct

Have you ever noticed the like buttons on your favorite YouTube videos? No matter how amazing the content is, there is just this person or a group of people who seem to have made it their life’s mission to dislike every video.

On social media, this is typical. There are going to be people who may not be content with what you have to offer. It is essential to lay out an action plan that helps you deal with situations like this before it evolves into a major crisis.

Everyone in your team should be aware of how to conduct themselves when dealing with social media especially if they’re reflecting your company.

Social media should be a platform to react to a crisis and not a place to start one.

 

13) Running A One-Size Fits All Campaign

Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media platform may have similar features on them such as publishing content, interacting with the content and sharing the content. However, if you dive deeper, there’s tons of difference between them.

Each social media platform is unique. They cater to the different target audience who absorbs information in different formats and have varying interests.Click To Tweet

To successfully run a social media marketing strategy, it is essential to understand these differences and create content that accommodates its uniqueness.

 

14) Inconsistency

Random posts with no specific pattern or direction may appeal to your eclectic soul.

However, in business, people want someone they can rely on and is consistent in their work.

And this is not just about the posts you put up. There must be consistency in the way you communicate your brand essence across each platform.

Every social media platform is unique, but with proper planning, you can effectively use each space and retain your brand identity.

Quick Tip: Explore social media pages of your business’ competitors and understand what are they doing right (innovate off their posts) and what are they doing wrong (improve on their mistakes).

 

15) Neglecting Paid Social Media Advertising

It is possible that you have dotted all your I’s and crossed your t’s and you are still not pulling the traction you were hoping you would.

The fact is, great content isn’t just going to sell itself. If Picasso’s painting sat on his easel and no one got to see it, you can bet it would be worth nothing.

People need to see what you are doing. The right hashtag can open some doors, but paid advertising will blow those gates wide open.

Here’s an article on varying paid advertising options on social media by Sproutsocial.

 

16) Not Having A Social Media Team

When I first started, I thought all that qualifies a person to handle social media marketing was a quick thumb, a great eye for pictures and the occasional automated button.

It turns out; it takes a village to run a good marketing campaign. You need good writers, graphic designers, photographers, digital marketers and yes, someone with a quick thumb.

The reality is, you are going to be contending with millions of other businesses for the attention of your audience.Click To Tweet

You cannot go into a gunfight with a toothpick and expect to win. Get a team of experts.

 

17) Over Posting

Whoa, 50 posts per day? Is this you? Unless you’re a news and gossip brand (in that case, keep it up), you might be overwhelming your audience.

The attention span of the average social media user is eight seconds (shorter than that of a goldfish).

Unless your 50 posts are super fantastic (chances are they won’t be), stick to quality over quantity.

Maximum Minimum Posts for Social Media

Ensure that each post is relevant, properly scripted and more importantly engaging.

 

18) Prioritizing Sales Over Networking

I get it. Your business may be your passion, but you are hoping that your passion pays you. With dwindling funds and rising expenses, it is easy to become fixated on driving sales to accommodate costs.

However, let this be a reminder:

As a marketer, the primary goal of being on social media is to socialize, connect with your audience and build your network.Click To Tweet

Pursue this goal actively, and in time, you can leverage on your network to build your net worth. Put the people first, and sales would quickly follow.

 

19) Slow Response Time

This is the jet age people! The era of snail mails has gone and with it, the barriers of time and distance. We live and move at the speed of light.

On social media, the pace is twice as fast, and you need to keep up.

Remember the thing about short attention spans? If you get a message from a client or a potential client, your response time is critical to making a conversion.

You may not always be able to respond promptly. So, have an automated message telling your audience your response timeframe and stick to it.

 

20) Overthinking Things

I have talked about having a plan, having a team, putting out great content and so on. All of this is important.

However, you don’t have to overanalyze everything you do else you end up doing more thinking than actual “doing.” If you are trying to build a niche for yourself, you must open yourself to the possibility of learning as you grow.

Accept that you may not always get it right and when you do go wrong, you can still move past it with a plan. The critical thing is to learn what works for your brand to grow.Click To Tweet

 

Conclusion

I mentioned in point #16 that you might need a team of experts to handle social media marketing for you.

There are many benefits in hiring a social media agency that will solely focus on growing your social media presence.

If you don’t have one, Plexxie is an excellent resource to try out. What we specialize in is to provide multiple millennial creatives to complete your events and marketing projects.

We can also handle your social media accounts, curate your content, and handpick & manage our creative freelancers from various fields to create content specifically for your brand to achieve your marketing goals.

Feel free to drop me an email here, and we can discuss further!

Not sure if you need a social media agency yet? Here are 16 reasons why your business need a social media agency.

I am sure there are more mistakes to avoid that are not on this list. You can share your experience in the comments below. I would love to know what worked for you and what didn’t.

Written By Matin Wallister

Matin Wallister is the Co-founder & CEO of Plexxie. He has over 10 years of experience as a social media and digital marketer across various industries.