Social Media

10 common social media marketing mistakes

- April 25, 2024 6 MIN READ

SEO and marketing expert Nick Brogden shares the top 10 most common social media marketing mistakes and what you can do to avoid them. 

Many businesses and creators have put much effort into their social media marketing campaigns and haven’t achieved their desired results. That’s because little mistakes on social media could quickly drop engagement and followers. 

Unfortunately, a small mistake can kill your business on a platform where users can be unforgiving. 

1. Posting too frequently

How often should you post on social media? Thousands have asked this question, and yet there’s still no solid answer. While everyone knows that irregular posting is a big “No” for any brand that wants to stay relevant, many make the mistake of posting too frequently. 

People are on social media to be entertained or to connect with friends and family. Nobody likes an oversharer, especially if that oversharer is a business. 

Posting too frequently may overwhelm your followers and lead to unfollows or, worse, a negative perception of your brand. Plus, since your audience sees your posts constantly, they may skip over your content and miss out on relevant messages. When you finally do have something important to say, nobody will listen. 

The more people ignore your content, the lower your engagement rates and the higher the chance of your content disappearing in the algorithm — all that effort for nothing. 

The solution: Your post frequency depends on the platform and your audience’s behaviour. 

It’s about finding the sweet spot of posting enough to stay top-of-mind and allowing your audience to miss you enough to look forward to your next post.  

TikTok recommends posting between one and four times daily, while Instagram advises publishing two in-feed posts a week and multiple stories throughout the day. 

Recommended post frequency will vary from platform to platform, and it’s best to experiment with frequency and review the weekly engagement rate variations. 

2. Not defining your audience enough

Every business dreams of being loved by everyone, but that’s not how marketing works. Targeting as many people as possible will mean your messaging won’t resonate with anyone. Defining your audience and clearly understanding who you’re talking to is crucial. 

The solution: Australians spend an average of 6.8 hours per day browsing online; this means that one of the most essential things you should know about your target audience is where they spend their time the most. This way, you won’t waste your marketing budget running campaigns on platforms your audience doesn’t even frequent. You can also check out your competitors’ pages and identify what content performs best.  

We advise creating a detailed buyer persona, which you can use as a reference when setting up campaigns and crafting marketing messaging. A good buyer persona should include:

  • Basic details: Age, occupation, income, interests.
  • Goals: What are they trying to achieve? What does success look like for them? 
  • Pain points: What challenges do they have? What is stopping them from overcoming these challenges?
  • Buying habits: Where do they shop? How do they decide on a product? 

3. Prioritising follower count

Follower or like count is definitely one of the most important metrics to measure on social media. However, it shouldn’t be your primary focus. Focusing too much on your follower count might get you the numbers you want, but most likely won’t be qualified leads, meaning they have little to no chance of converting into customers.  

The solution: Instead of obsessing over your number of followers, focus more on boosting your engagement rates. Having higher engagement means your content is resonating with your followers.  

Remember: Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than retaining existing ones. Prioritising engagement over follower growth might not only cost less, but it will also yield more returns. 

4. Focusing on hard-sell promotions

Despite social media’s popularity as a shopping platform, people still embrace its roots as a means to connect with friends and for entertainment. 

Today’s social media users don’t want to be sold to. People are bombarded with all kinds of marketing content almost everywhere they go. All this noise means people have become more discerning about what content they consume and what brands they support. 

The solution: When creating content, ask yourself how it can bring value to your customers’ lives. Focusing on storytelling can help you build a stronger connection with your customers, therefore helping you improve your sales. 

5. Ignoring negative feedback 

As a business, you will receive the occasional negative comments, and sometimes, they may even be questionable or unfounded. No matter how tempting it is to delete or completely ignore these comments, doing this may backfire. 

Ignoring or deleting negative comments may appear like you’re hiding something or simply can’t take feedback, which is a bad look for any business that wants to succeed. 

The solution: Just how bad publicity is still publicity, negative engagement is still engagement (depending on how you respond to it). Always respond to disgruntled customers and apologise when needed. Even if you decide to discuss the matter through direct message or phone, your audience needs to see that you’ve responded — people are always watching. 

Deleting comments is only acceptable when there’s trolling or bullying involved. Anything offensive and inappropriate doesn’t deserve a response. 

6. Not customising content per platform

What works on one social media platform won’t necessarily work on another. For instance, your audience on Facebook may be completely different from your audience on TikTok, even if you’re posting vertical videos on both. 

Plus, different platforms have different trends and communication styles. Not tailoring your content per platform may make your brand appear inauthentic and not engaging. 

The solution: Customising content per platform means ensuring that everything published on your channels is optimised and tailored to their different audiences. Using the Facebook and TikTok example, your audience on each platform will most likely be from different generations. Hence, the language and content will need to be tweaked. 

To ensure your content is optimised for posting, you can use social media apps to resize your content with a tap. Creating entirely different content for each platform will be challenging, so it’s also crucial to (go back to #2) determine who your audience is and which social platforms they frequent. 

Remember: You don’t need to be on every platform! You only need to be where your customers are. 

7. Sticking to one format

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook always introduce new content formats. This means each platform’s algorithm will prioritise new content formats. 

For example, Instagram prioritises Reels over other in-feed content, so you may not get as much engagement if you’ve been sticking to photos. Sticking to one format can also make your content monotonous and predictable. 

The solution: Posting a combination of photos, videos, Stories, and Reels can keep your audience excited about your content and allow you to experiment with more ways to tell your brand story. 

Testing out other formats helps you understand what produces the best results. For example, you may discover that videos generate more engagement, but static content is best for lead generation. 

8. Not starting conversations

Consumers prefer social media content over traditional advertising because it creates an open line of communication between brands and their customers. So, if you treat social media as just another platform to advertise your products, you may lose valuable customers. 

The solution: Asking questions is an excellent way to boost social media engagement and make your audience feel valued. Instagram has interactive stickers that are convenient tools for starting conversations. 

You can also host Q&A or “ask us anything” sessions on Live for a real-time conversation between you and your followers. Hosting live sessions with key people from your brand also humanises your company and can make your customers form a deeper connection with you. 

9. Forgetting a call-to-action (CTA)

Social media users scroll through thousands of pieces of content throughout the day. Without a CTA, your audience wouldn’t know what to do after seeing your post. You can’t expect people to take action if you don’t ask.  

A CTA is crucial to your success because it can increase your engagement and push leads to convert. 

The solution: Your CTA should always be relevant to the content posted. A CTA can be included in the caption and within the content. It should always be snappy and easy to understand. 

A strong CTA includes an action word, such as “Shop Now” or “Limited Supply,” to create a sense of urgency.

10. Not keeping track of untagged mentions

Social media listening is essential to social media marketing, and not keeping track of conversations about your brand can mean missed opportunities or, worse, a PR nightmare. 

The solution: Many social media listening tools help you monitor relevant conversations about your brand and industry. In addition to your brand name, we recommend using specific keywords related to your niche. 

Following multiple keywords can help you join conversations and find opportunities to present your brand as a solution.  

Summing up 

If you’re new to social media marketing, don’t sweat it; mistakes are inevitable. What’s important is that you learn from them and pivot. 

Keep in mind:

  • Experiment with frequency and review engagement rates weekly.
  • Create a detailed buyer persona for more specific targeting.
  • Focus more on nurturing existing followers and boosting engagement rates.
  • Focus on storytelling and bringing value to your audience.
  • Always respond to comments.
  • Tailor your content for each platform.
  • Test out different content formats.
  • Always ask questions.
  • Don’t forget your CTA.
  • Invest in social listening tools.

Now that you know what not to do, you’re one step closer to quickly building a solid social media marketing strategy. 

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