Marketers know that social media is a great tool for improving online visibility, engaging potential customers, and bolstering other inbound efforts—however, there’s plenty of room for error.
The number of social media users worldwide is projected to grow from 2.1 billion in 2015 to 2.5 billion by 2018, meaning marketers have the opportunity to reach and influence more consumers than ever, and a greater potential for messing up. Below, we share tips for avoiding a few of the most prevalent and fatal social media marketing mistakes out there.
5 Fatal Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid
1. Spreading your focus across too many platforms.
Many marketers fall prey to this first fatal mistake. Yes, social media marketing can be an effective tool for promoting brand awareness and driving website traffic, however it doesn’t work if you aren’t engaging heavily on your platforms of choice. At least in the beginning, stick to using no more than two platforms, which allows you to focus your energy so you can perfect them and also take advantage of the benefits of cross-promotion.
2. Not optimizing your chosen platforms for success.
Once you’ve chosen the one or two platforms where you want to spend your time and perfect your social media marketing strategy, you’re not really maximizing its use until you’ve taken steps to optimize your presence there. For example, you can turn your LinkedIn company profile into a lead-generating machine with the addition of a Showcase Page. Read our previous blog post to learn more about hacking your way to social media success across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
3. Failing to be social.
To the many social media marketers making this mistake regularly, I ask one question:
Though it is a challenging task, social media marketing also provides a fun opportunity to interact with customers and potential customers and even influence sales. Social media users are there to engage, share, and converse and you can leverage that to entice them to take action. Start by including questions in your posts or sharing polls to get the ball rolling.
4. Inserting unshortened (unsightly!) links into your posts.
This is a minor but crucial mistake. Not only are unshortened links simply less pleasant looking than those that are shortened, marketers should also consider the following reasons for using link shortening tools:
- Character Count Limit: Shortened links aren’t just for Twitter, however using them does help marketers stay within the platform’s 140-character word count.
- URL Tracking: Many link shortening tools also provide a service that allows you to track and measure your URL clicks. This data can help you assess the performance of your posts and provide insight on future content creation.
We use Hootsuite as our link shortening tool and content scheduling platform of choice, but bit.ly is another popular option.
5. Not creating a content calendar.
If you’re not consistently posting content to your social media platforms of choice, you’re not doing social media right. Developing and maintaining a content calendar—where you can see what you’re posting to which platforms at what time—will only help you better manage your efforts and improve productivity. Check out our previous blog post on creating an effective B2B social media calendar for more information.