12 most simple social media mistakes we all make

Be honest: You’ve sent a tweet without proofreading it, or forgotten quality beats quantity. We all make mistakes, but for credibility’s sake, stop making these.

The lightning pace at which information moves across the Web lends itself to mistakes. So does human nature.

Put these unpleasant, wish-you-never-made-them social media mistakes behind you for good:

1. You put quantity over quality.

Content, quality and conversations matter. Focus on the quality—not the quantity—of content you put out.

2. You’re reactive instead of active.

While it’s important to reply to inquiries and thank people for mentions, it’s a mistake if that’s all you do. Actively seek out others. Create conversation about their content. Show you care by paying attention to what they talk about.

3. You post without a strategy or plan.

Posting without a social media strategy is similar to tossing content at a wall and hoping it will stick. It is a waste of valuable time, resources and money. Take the time to write down your goals. Integrate those goals into your marketing plan and create daily tasks that move you toward them.

4. You use automated direct messages.

Whether you manage an active business account or a personal account with the occasional mention, it’s a challenge to be “on” at all times. This makes automating certain tasks very tempting.

One of these tasks is thanking new followers. We have all received auto direct messages encouraging us to find someone on Facebook, download his latest e-book or buy his latest product on Amazon. These messages are spam, and they discourage people from interacting with you.

Bottom line: Thank whom you can as often as you can, and do it genuinely.

5. You post without proofreading.

Have you fallen victim to posting hasty messages riddled with misspellings? Blame auto-correct all you want, but in the end, it’s your reputation that fails. Take two minutes to proofread your message before you hit send. Don’t immortalize mistakes online.

6. You post while tired or inebriated.

Avoid posting when your thinking is impaired. Take a step back and think before you post, or better yet, put your computer or mobile device away. Avoid disaster!

7. You ask for a retweet in every tweet.

In Twitter’s early days, it was common to end a tweet by asking for a retweet. Twitter’s landscape and usage have vastly changed. Today, asking for a retweet in every tweet is a mistake. If users find your content interesting, they will retweet it.

8. You stretch yourself too thin.

This is for anyone who just can’t say no. Whether it’s the latest tool or a pet project, taking on too much leaves you worn out. As nice as it would be to be everywhere, it’s impossible. Sharpen your focus and simplify your social media tasks. Take on only what pushes you closer to your goals.

9. You spam your fans and followers.

Conversation and engaging with your followers is what social media is about. Sending spam that takes advantage of your followers’ trust in you is not. Blasting promotional links will only alienate you and your business from the very consumers you attempt to reach. Don’t do it.

10. You let fear hold you back.

Don’t be afraid to take a stand and find your voice on social media.

Fear debilitates when you overthink what and when to post, and how you should say it. While you should pay close attention to how your audience will receive your message, it’s impossible to create a unique voice from generic, stale posts.

This is not to say you must throw caution to the wind, but it won’t hurt to try a new approach once in a while. You might be pleasantly surprised by how people respond.

11. You write a novel in every post.

We all have verbose friends. You know who they are—the ones with posts that say “click here to read more.”

They forget that not every post needs to win a Pulitzer, and not every tweet needs to max out characters. Sometimes the best posts are short and sweet. Condense your thoughts in a clear, concise way.

12. You dilute the power of Follow Friday.

Follow Friday is a great way to show appreciation for those you follow or who follow you. But people often make the mistake of using the hashtag (#FF) to randomly tweet hundreds of names without any apparent connection or forethought.

Instead, use Follow Friday to showcase persons who have impressed you both personally and professionally. Share their traits and strengths in a way that encourages your followers to follow them.

What other simple social media mistakes do people make?

Rebekah Radice is the manager of industry engagement for Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate. This article is republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most.

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