6 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

I must admit, I’m not an SEO or Social Media guru.  In fact, on a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being extremely interesting), I’d give this topic a 3.  But, after reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” (which I would give a 10), I’ve shifted my thinking entirely.  I also realized why, the topic has had little interest for me – most of the books, articles and blogs I had read were full of formulaic tips  – but none of the advice and tips felt like a good fit who I was and what I had to offer.  And in fact if I had applied some those tips to my blog or my Facebook posts, I would have done myself and my business a disservice by not being “myself” – or authentic.

Some social media marketing mistakes to avoid:

  • Putting the wrong content on a platform – Each platform, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc.) has it’s own “native” language or how the community communicates  and interacts with one another.  A good marketer understands that “context” is just as important as content.  Your content must provide the same value to the viewer that is native to that platform. Your content should fit in with what drives people to that platform.
  • Content is not memorable – Your content should be something that people want to share. ooe fb [age Facebook uses edge rank, which determines who and how many people see your posts.  The more shares, comments and likes, the better your edge rank and the more people who see your posts.  Keep your content, informative, entertaining or both and give people the desire to share.
  • Selling too often – You have to “give” more than you “sell” on social media platforms. If every post you make is a pitch for your products, no one will be interested, let alone want to share them.
  • Text is too long – Twitter has a cut off, but Facebook doesn’t.  Keep in mind that more and more people are viewing your posts on mobile devices and simply won’t read lots of information.  Provide more info via links. Make sure your text is provocative and entertaining.
  • No use of imagery – If you don’t have an image in your posts on platforms like Facebook or Tumblr, you won’t attract attention.  People will just move on to something that catches their eye on their news feed.  And, make sure the images you post are good and professional – they’re a reflection of your business. Make sure you overlay your logo on your images.
  • No call to action – Remember you are ultimately selling your products and your services, so don’t forget to give your viewers a call to action.  But don’t confuse them by giving them too many.

7 Replies to “6 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Good advice, but I don´t completely agree on one point: “Provide more info via links.” Sometimes the reader wants a short text, and not a link to an encyclopedia-like text. That´s why I practically abandoned Twitter, where I was expecting ideas expressed in a few words. Like a tweet explaining Einstein´s theory of relativity 🙂 And the last point, “to give your viewers a call to action.” could perhaps be a little more specific.Make a poll and offer the winners a print-size file, or something similar? Offer a discount voucher to those who reply to the post? And I would add a seventh item, which you do and I don´t: blog or post regularly. Ah, as for the images on Facebook, I stopped posting them since they started implementing their “new” (???) rules

  2. That’s a good list.

    I see too many people think they can tick all the boxes by just cross-linking their various social networks. It doesn’t work. There are no shortcuts. And it’s not only the ‘native language’, but also the fact that each network is a different slice of you – FB are people you know and work with, LinkedIn are professional tighter professional connections, people you actually met and worked with while Twitter is a broader and shallower community.

    The one thing I don’t agree with is, is the call to action. On a social network I don’t think you should ever be selling, period. Be social, be yourself. And stay on people’s radar by being there often and naturally. People who might ‘buy’ from you will do so if they’ve gotten to know you and what you do.

    It’s just like at a networking event, if you hand out our business card to everyone you meet, you come across as a sales person. I just interact with people. If they are interested in me, and ask me for a card, I’m happy to give them one. But I offer one if not asked.

    1. Hi Jan,
      Thanks for your input. I agree that social media is meant to be social, but not all “calls to action” are a sell. Sometimes the call may be to take action on a cause or create awareness. Vaynerchuk’s book was quite informative and I picked up some insight on Pinterest. I have an account but hadn’t really utilized that platform. It’s quite visual and compelling in a way.

      1. Hi Gail,

        Would love to compare notes on what ‘calls to action’ work that are compatible in a social media context and don’t sound like a sell yet still keep you one people’s mind when they’re in a buying mindset.


  3. Hi Jan, I always love to compare notes with you.

    We all agree that social media is a place to be social and not to sell- at least outright. But, part of being social is sharing information and when a “call to action” is presented in that way, then it works. What doesn’t work is a company or an individual for that matter, that only makes posts that “sell” or promote their own interests. They’re not only NOT making contributions to the community, they aren’t being “social”.
    I saw first hand with my film, Opening Our Eyes, that I didn’t need to “sell” it to my community – they had already bought into the project by following us along as we shot, edited and rolled out the movie. By the time, the film was released on DVD – many in my community wanted to see it. I didn’t need to sell it. And when I did try to “sell” it at times – I could see people drop off or unlike.
    The key is being authentic, having something to say and/or share, and creating content that people want to share. The “call to action” can’t interrupt people – it has to provide something relevant to the conversation and platform.

    1. Good point.

      I use social media mostly in a conversational way to be interesting and stay on people’s radar. I also use it to share some of my work, behind the scenes, and inspiration.

      Where I’m sometimes probably too reserved and will be experimenting more, is to remind people that if they like what they see, to keep me in mind for their future projects. It seems they see and like what I do, but don’t always remember me at the critical intersections of opportunity. Need to find good ways of jogging their memory without being intrusive (or interrupt them as you said).

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