Social media marketing can really help a business grow, as long as you avoid these top social media mistakes:

Not Being Social

Social media is a two-way interactive street, and the more you take advantage of this fact, the more you’ll benefit. Not interacting with your followers, on the other hand, will hinder growth and can put people off.

Some brands even encourage customer service and support questions via social media. IFTTT, for instance, offers support openly via its Twitter channel. This tactic can be great for PR and can go a long way towards building trust and credibility.

Being Inauthentic

Today, brands must go the extra mile to build trust, which means being as authentic as possible. When feasible, put faces and names with your brand. “John from Dell” will look much better than “Dell Customer Service” in a social media interaction.

Ignoring a Potentially Valuable Platform

Though some platforms are down and out, it doesn’t take much energy or resources to put your brand out there. Google+ may be languishing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people on board. Also consider that a social media presence can enhance your presence across search.

Not Using Images in Posts

Multiple studies have proven that images boost click-throughs on social media posts. Buffer, for instance, reported that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets.

Not Using Hashtags

Hashtags also help your posts spread, particularly in networks such as Instagram and Twitter. Buffer reported that tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those without.

Ignoring Your Followers’ Communications

Whether they demand, request, or imply, your followers are your customers. If you pay attention, you’ll learn how to improve your services, products, and your marketing programs. Consider actively asking for feedback or ideas, then using that input to refine, optimize, and grow.

Forgetting to Create Original Content

Curation is a necessary ingredient to content marketing, and it should actually make up the bulk of your social shares.

However, you shouldn’t abandon original content creation. Do that, and you risk becoming too passive in your industry. Hire great content creators, since they’ll be the ones to help you grow.


It’s all right to sell to your followers and promote your products, but moderation is key. Sell too hard or too often and you’ll alienate your audience.

Not Analyzing

Analytics are meant to be used. While it’s true that calculating social media ROI can be a challenge, it’s not a wasted effort. Correct analysis and tracking of your social media marketing campaigns gives you insight into your customers, you marketing initiatives, and your industry as a whole.

Doing Everything Manually

To keep up with the fast-paced digital marketing world, every company must automate to a certain extent. The best social media automation tools save lots of time and money, and can increase your productivity by several orders of magnitude.

When using automation, always ensure that you still have a human behind the helm, so you don’t sacrifice authenticity for efficiency.

Using Every Platform

While you shouldn’t ignore a platform that may have an audience segment, it’s also possible to take things too far. Using every single platform – especially those that aren’t used by your followers – can simply be a waste of marketing dollars.

If your target audience consists primarily of baby boomer homeowners, for instance, a Snapchat campaign would simply be pointless.

Faking a Following

Don’t pay for fake followers or fake likes. Fake followers and fake numbers are worthless in terms of generating trust, conversions, and a following that matters.

Instead, if you’re still in the early stages of growth, use ads or growth hacking techniques to build a real community. These are the followers who will add to your bottom line and help you build a reputation.

Being Inconsistent

Make an editorial calendar and stick to it. Three quick posts followed by days of inactivity convey inconsistency, and inconsistency conveys unreliability. It’s better to post less frequently than it is to be inconsistent.

Define a schedule that you can keep and stick to it with the right automation tools and the right staff.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

While automation solves many productivity problems when it comes to social media, it isn’t a cure-all. It’s still possible to spread yourself too thin and try to accomplish too much.

Don’t create more content than you can reasonably produce and don’t sacrifice quantity for quality. When you do spread yourself too thin, your staff may end up sacrificing authenticity, producing low quality content, responding inappropriately to negative feedback, and so on.

Find the goals and key performance indicators that matter, then focus on those.


Whether you have one social media account or one hundred, avoiding these mistakes can help you grow your business, stand out from the competition, and authentically connect with your audience.