Social media has become one of the most influential platforms that brands all over the world are using to reach their audiences. It can be a powerful tool that reaches a virtually endless demographic, enabling brands to market themselves with relative ease and superior efficiency.

One wrong step could land your company in hot water and do some serious damage to your brand recognition. In order to keep your business moving at full steam with the power of social media at your back, you absolutely need to avoid these 8 mistakes.

Promoting yourself too much

In the hands of the individual, social media can be anything from a soapbox to a place where you upload videos of kittens. As a brand, it’s a marketing tool – a way to get your name out there for the world to see. Unfortunately, over-promoting yourself can have undesirable effects. Successful brand recognition via social media is a balancing act between engaging content that your audience finds useful and interesting, and the occasional self-promotion. Emphasis on occasional; you definitely want to have more good content than promotional.

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Trying to have a presence on every platform

Social media has grown to such a size that there are now numerous companies that provide their own unique platform. While this presents your brand with an opportunity to reach a target audience with much more ease and efficiency, too much is never a good thing. Don’t try to keep up with every new or emerging platform, you’ll stretch yourself too thin. Instead, identify which platforms your target demographic utilizes, and stick to those.

Posting the same content more than once

In previous years, it would make sense to put your content on repeat and post the same thing multiple times. Social media feeds typically work chronologically, showing the newest posts at the top. So, naturally, you want the people that missed your previous post to see your content without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, that’s not really how social media works anymore. Today, it’s all about relevancy and the audience/brand connection. If an individual frequents your account or likes your content on multiple occasions, then they will see your latest post at the top of their feed, even if there might be newer posts. That’s because the platform wants to give the user the most relevant content to their interests, which if you’re lucky, is you.

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Being inconsistent

Consistency is key. That isn’t something your old high school coach made up and is applicable to most things you’ll do in life – especially running your business. You wouldn’t provide one customer with a superior product or service, and then give the next customer an otherwise lacking experience. That doesn’t make for good business. Well, the same holds true for your social media. You’ve seen the term relevancy throughout this piece because it’s imperative to operate a successful social media marketing campaign. A major part of being relevant is being consistent. Posting frequently and with engaging content, responding to messages, emails, tweets, and other mentions in a timely manner, and keeping a consistent tone throughout your posts are all essential aspects you’ll need to master in order to stay relevant.

Under-promoting yourself

Coming back to the balancing act of social media; the scales can tip the other way, too. You’re a business, and that means you have something to offer. Social media happens to be an ideal way to broadcast that offer to millions of users all over the globe. Drowning out what your business has to offer can be as disastrous a mistake as yelling about it too loudly. This is particularly true if your company doesn’t have much (positive) brand recognition to go off yet. Be sure to create content that directly promotes your business every once and a while, especially if you have a new and exciting product/service to offer.

Ignoring the overall goal

All too often, businesses confuse what success means in terms of social media. They see that someone “liked” or commented on their post, and they deem that a success. Unfortunately, these businesses have lost sight of the big picture: conversions. Everything you’re doing on social media is to help convert passerbyers to paying customers. That goes for all of your marketing efforts, not just on social media. The whole point of your various marketing campaigns is to increase sales. Sure, brand awareness and recognition is definitely a goal, but a secondary one. Don’t lose sight of the big picture and pop the champagne just because you got 12 likes on your post.

Expecting results in the short-term

It can be defeating to go months without seeing any dramatic results on social media, yet you need to remember that you’re not playing the short game here – you’re in it for the long haul. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that every move you make on social media should be one step closer to the endgame. In golf, you don’t tee off on a par five with a putter, you work your way toward the green using different clubs and systematic choices. So, don’t create a social media post and expect a hole-in-one, you still have a lot of work left to do.

Hopping on the trend wagon

Trends are major influencers in the social media world and can dictate what will interest the masses for the foreseeable future. Utilizing these trends to your advantage can be, well, advantageous. However, trying to make every trend relate to your business just isn’t going to work all the time. If you can’t make the trend fit your business, then don’t even attempt it. The result will look sloppy and half-baked, which your followers will notice. Knowing when to hop on the trend wagon is more important than never getting off.

As a business owner or operator, it’s your job to ensure the company thrives and is here for years to come. Fortunately for you, social media has made your job much easier. Although, just because your reach just got a whole lot longer doesn’t mean you don’t need to work up a strategy. Knowing what mistakes to avoid and what direction you want to move in will ultimately be your key to success on social media.

If want to read further about how you can create social media content that engages your audience, doesn’t lecture them, read the next article here! Also stay up-to-date with the latest in social media marketing by subscribing to our weekly newsletter on the right side of this page. #SMSsummit also puts together events 3 times a year – check them out here and join 300+ social media marketing professionals.

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