No matter what type of career you pursue, you must acquire some training. This is true for teaching, the military, police, politics, writing, medicine, law, and practically anything else you can think of. Perhaps the real mistake many rookie social media marketers make is thinking they can just jump in and brand exposure will happen and profits will increase. You may not realize it, but you need training. Why wouldn’t you?
5 Common Yet Avoidable Social Media Mistakes
Too many online marketing rookies believe that they can create a profile and some ads, and rake in the traffic. And when things begin to look a little askew, many will inevitably make the problems worse by ignoring them or compounding them with more mistakes. Take a look at these five common mistakes to see if you can improve your marketing savvy.
1: Leaping Before Looking
Although it’s easy to create a Twitter account or a Facebook page, that does not mean carrying out a marketing campaign is easy. You need third-party ad-management apps. You need market research to know whom you’re targeting. You need to check out the competition to ensure uniqueness in your field while still outdoing the pack. You need to know about terms and conditions, etiquette, contest and promotions, posting practices, and many other things. Leaping off the social media cliff without looking is the number-one mistake made. Take your time to learn about social media first.
2: Using Social Media Features Incorrectly
Ask those celebrities who accidentally tweet out their phone numbers or who mistakenly send out a profanity-riddled rant about using features incorrectly. Not knowing the difference between a direct reply and a post visible to everyone is a huge mistake. But you can throw a litany of social features in there. Not knowing how to use features correctly is a mistake waiting to happen for social marketers. Learn about the functionality of the sites before using them.
3: Offending People
You have to understand that we live in an extremely hypersensitive culture. Race, politics, and sexuality are the big-ticket items out there, but gender, weight, height, and a laundry list of other factors are also hot-button topics. The same goes for things like disasters, war, and calamity. A few companies were holding 9/11 promotions this year and got grilled in the mainstream for insensitivity. They did not mean to offend, not even a little bit, but some topics just have to be avoided altogether. Don’t make the common mistake of offending any group.
4: Being Inconsistent
Among the common reasons for failure in social media, inconsistency definitely ranks highly on the list. Now, there are different ways to be inconsistent. For instance, you can make the mistake of putting out material that flies in the face of what you have claimed your brand stands for. You can post sporadically on a weird, on-again-off-again schedule. You can reply to some people while ignoring others. You may post non-stop one week and the next just not find the time. Try to remain consistent in what you do over the duration. Inconsistency is the kiss of death for social media campaigns.
5: Paving a One-Way Street
A lot of marketers get into social media and completely leave the “social” part out of it. They expect people to engage with them, but they don’t return the favor. You have to create a two-way street here. Be open and honest with people. Share some of the things you see. Reply to people. Speak to people on their pages. You’re not some king sitting on high while the peasants grovel at your feet. You’re a player in the social realm. Act like it.
There could have been fifty common mistakes listed here as easily as there were five. The point is that you should be focused and dedicated when using social media to campaign. The one thing these mistakes all have in common is that they are inherently avoidable. If you’re willing to pay attention to what you’re doing and spend some time learning, you will quickly skip past social media marketing mistakes and out of rookie status.
What are your experiences? What mistakes did you make that you can share to help others avoid them? Share below!
Guest post author: Lori Davis, an online writer for Qwaya, a Facebook ad campaign tool. She’s a social media enthusiast and loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, she also enjoys engaging with different online communities and social forums.