7 Ways to Screw Up Social Media

To put it simply, social media marketing is very easy to screw up! What makes it worse is that it can be extremely hard to overcome.

Like it or not, social media is an important element of online marketing now, and it’s incumbent upon marketers to get it right. Studies are showing by spending a mere 6 hours a week on social media, some 75% of website owners are seeing an increase in traffic directly attributable to social media. The flip side of that is that another 83% have reported that they’ve changed their mind about a purchase as a result of a bad social media or customer service (tied to social media) incident.

So it’s very clear that we need to get this right, so to help with that, here are seven all-too-easy to commit social media mistakes that you’ll want to avoid!

1. Avoiding Engagement with Your Fans

The surest way to make sure you are not gaining any ground with social media is to avoid talking to your fans. This has to be the #1 rule, it seems silly to add but it is surprising how many companies don’t talk to there own community base. You want to be actively engaging your social media audience all the time. Asking them questions, conducting polls, and sharing anecdotes and humorous tales (humour is really important). Also, don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions: this can be a great (and free!) source of business intelligence that is frequently ignored.

2. Not Being Excited About Your Brand

It stands to reason that if you’re not excited about your business, neither will anyone else be! Creating abuzz about your business starts with you, so make sure you talk it up with enthusiasm in your blog, social media posting and anywhere else you possibly can.

3. Constantly Bombarding Everyone with Promotion

If you’ve decided that your social media is a great place to market, you must tread very carefully. Most of the time this could not be further from the truth! No one wants to be presented with a never-ending stream of pitches, and especially in a place where they feel is relatively safe. The way to do this is after you’ve developed some sort of relationship and a bit of trust, it will be far easier to insert a soft-sell message, something like this: “Really excited about my new product (as are others it seems!) Take a look if you dare—LINK.”

4. Ignoring Your Customers

Everyone is very busy, but you need to understand that social media has become an extension of your customer service commitment. It’s all too easy to miss customer service issues that can balloon into major (and viral) problems if you aren’t careful. All the work you’ve done to cultivate a great image and brand can be dashed in a few clicks if you are foolish enough not to pay heed to your customers.

5. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Don’t attempt to maintain a presence on every social media platform out there. It won’t work. Pick the ones that are most relevant to you, and make a wholehearted effort with those. The major players to consider would be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Selecting a few of these should be plenty! The biggest challenge many companies face is man power. I’d rather have a solid massive community that is relevant on Facebook then having a small non-exist communities on all the social platforms. Allocate your time accordingly.

6. Getting Nasty with People

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is to get into arguments with people on your social media platforms. The bottom line here is that even if you are completely in the right, you will lose. And big time. Others love to chime in with their opinions and soon you’ll find yourself fighting on several fronts. Anything less than total professionalism will sink you, so bear this in mind! If there is anything negative, just take it offline through a PM or DM.

7. Lack of Any Visible Social Media Plan

If you are operating without a road map, don’t be surprised when you end up lost, Social Media can be a great time suck if you aren’t careful. Make sure you’ve instituted a plan that is easily executed, and has goals. You’ll be glad you did!

About the Author

Matthew Goulart

Matthew Goulart is the founder of Ignite Digital, a Canadian digital marketing agency. Through Ignite Digital, Goulart works with Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies from around the world and has helped launch profitable and highly successful digital marketing initiatives for his clients.