It’s a well known fact that social media has become a vital and necessary tactic for most digital marketing strategies. Social media helps to build brand awareness as well as provide a space for brands to engage with their audience. And now with every brand using social media platforms and frequent tweaks to platform algorithms, the competition to stand out in news feeds has never been more fierce with brands battling for the highest visibility and engagement.

As a result, numerous brands and marketers are looking for creative ways to boost their social media marketing efforts. But while being creative is a must it also opens up space for mistakes to happen. There are many social media marketing mistakes that are often made but the good news is that they are easy to remedy as well.

With that said, here are some common social media marketing mistakes, as well as tips for helping you avoid them.

Not having a clear social media strategy

Creating a social media marketing strategy will help you think decisively about your goals, how you’ll implement tactics and how you’ll measure success. Additionally, a clear social media strategy can also been used as a handy guide to keep you on track with posting and engaging regularly.

Get started with your social media marketing strategy by asking some of the following questions:

  • What type of content does my audience look for?
  • Which niche do I serve and what do I want my followers to know about my brand?
  • What social media platforms does my audience use?
  • What are my audience’s main points?
  • What kind of results am I looking for?
  • How will I measure results and effectiveness?

Not tailoring your message to your audience on each social media platform

You’re probably using multiple social media platforms to share your content and engage with your audience. But writing one message and cross-posting it to each platform is not going to be effective.

Instead, use insights to understand the type of content and messaging style that makes an impact with your audience on each platform. This will allow you to tailor your content and message to a make a stronger impact with your audience.

Only posting links to your website

The type of content you post has a huge impact on engagement and reach. These days, it’s very clear that people are looking for well-rounded, relevant content and discussions, so posting links to your website or blog content can’t and won’t get you the results you are looking for.

Embrace social media as a way to connect with your audience, show your value, encourage discussion and build a rapport with them. Make sure you set time aside daily, weekly or bi-monthly, to create content that is relevant and interesting to your audience.

Being too long-winded with your posts

Generally, posts that are short, sweet and creative have shown to be the most effective, especially on platforms where users are likely to be using a mobile device to read, share and interact.

Make sure you keep your character count to between 90 and 100 for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. For Pinterest and Instagram, aim to stay under 175 and 200 characters. Also use active voice to encourage action from your audience.

Inappropriate use of hashtags

Hashtags have different value and relevance on every social media platform. Therefore, under or over use of hashtags for your content can have a negative impact on your efforts.

That’s why it’s important to research hashtag best practices for each platform to understand if and how to use them. Additionally, make sure you understand what hashtags actually mean so you can use them in the correct way for each platform. Use the native search box within social platforms, as well as tools that are available to help you out.

Not tagging or mentioning others in your posts

Mentioning and tagging other pages and users in your posts is one of the best ways to amplify your posts. Not only do those who you mention get notified when you post but they will also feel compelled to engage on your post or share it with their audience.

Create a list of accounts you regularly curate content from to make it easier for you tag or mention them in your posts.

Too much of your own voice and not enough listening

The whole point of social media is to provide a space for people to engage in discussion and sharing. For brands, it’s very important to have an own voice but it’s also important to encourage others to have a voice too.

Ask your community engaging questions to get the conversation going and to tap into their insights. For Twitter and Facebook, consider posting a weekly poll on a relevant topic to inspire engagement.

Not taking advantage of native video upload on Facebook

Nowadays, all marketers understand that videos are an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing the attention of audience, encouraging engagement and showing value.

But when it comes to social media, particularly Facebook, you may just be sharing links to a YouTube video or an embedded video on your website, which calls for an extra step for your audience to watch it.

Consider uploading some of your video content natively to Facebook. Native video can remove a barrier to that interaction, keep users engaged with your brand and make your video easy to share.

Overlooking the power of images

We humans are highly visual creatures and research has showed us that an estimated 90% of the information that comes to our brain is visual. So if you’re not using images in your social media marketing strategy, you’re losing out on so much scope for your brand.

Research image sizing best practices for each platform to ensure that the images you use are correctly sized. You can also use professional tools to create compelling and professional images.

Having too many profiles on one platform

This is a mistake many large companies may struggle with. But even small to mid-size companies think that it’s a necessity to have multiple pages on a single social media platform. Doing so would only confuse your audience to see multiple brand accounts for one company.

For LinkedIn, particularly, take advantage of Showcase pages to emphasize special divisions or companies under your parent umbrella. For other platforms, take time to improve your on-page content to make it straightforward for your users to understand who you are.

Unsuccessful or non-existing ad spending

With so many brands and marketers out there on social media and reduced organic reach thanks to algorithm tweaks, the competition for your audience’s attention is extreme. And because of that, social media advertising is becoming increasingly necessary for brands.

When starting a social advertising campaign, consider the following questions:

  • How much do you plan on investing?
  • What are you looking to accomplish with your campaign?
  • What is the content, service, product, promotion or offer you are looking to advertise?

As with any type of marketing, the best results can be achieved from campaigns with one definite goal and/or action to be taken.

Neglecting analytics

Once your social media strategy is launched, it can be easy to fall back into a routine of only executing that strategy. But if you don’t take the time to understand what is and isn’t working, all your efforts will be for nothing.

Use your preferred analytic tools to find out how much referral traffic each platform is sending to your website, top pages, average number of pages visited, conversions, etc. This will give more contexts to the traffic you’re getting and help you come to conclusions about whether or not your efforts are giving you the results you’re looking for.

Consider using the analytics and insights available on each platform to get more insights into the type of content that is making an impact with your audience as well as how they are engaging with that content.

Not testing new ideas and strategies

In social media marketing, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving success. Moreover, a strategy that is working great now may not give you the same results in a few months. This is why it’s important for you to be constantly testing and experimenting with new ideas.

Choose one platform to launch your test. While each platform and the way it works is unique, starting with one will make it easier for you to understand what is and isn’t working, so you can try something similar with your other platforms later on.

Overlooking the importance of SEO

All social media platforms have their own search engines and many of them can be indexed by Google, Bing and other third-party search engines, making Search Engine Optimization an imperative factor of any marketing campaign.

Put together a list of topics and targeted keywords as well as relevant hashtags that you would like to rank for. Then carry out native query searches for the terms to determine who or what kind of content is coming up in searches. These insights can help you refine your keyword list, ensure relevancy, and potentially give an indication of the competition too.

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