4 social media marketing mistakes to avoid

The key elements are freshness and interactivity, so steer clear of these pitfalls.

Building up your brand’s social media presence takes time, effort, and sometimes a little bit of luck. All of that hard work, however, can be undone by these common social media mistakes.

To avoid a public relations disaster and keep your followers and fans happy, make sure you aren’t committing any of these social media sins.

1. Not responding to fans/followers in a timely fashion. When you have thousands or even millions of fans, it can be difficult if not impossible to respond to each individual inquiry. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your community completely.

If you notice that several people are asking the same question (e.g. “Is your site down?”), take a proactive approach and address the manner in a status update or tweet. That way, you answer that question without having to write out 500 different replies. Also, if you have a particularly frustrated fan, it may be best to message them individually instead of resolving the issue in a public forum. In short, stop the problem before it blows up.

2. Posting the same content across all social networks. Each social network requires a different approach. For instance, a huge status update on Facebook obviously wouldn’t fit in the 140-character limit that Twitter imposes. Also, many of the people who like you on Facebook and Google+ probably also follow you on Twitter, so you’re just spamming them over and over again with duplicate content.

This is where social media services can help you schedule posts in advance and plan accordingly. Using such services can ensure that there’s fresh content on all your different social networks at all hours of the day.

3. Not posting interactive content. Social media is supposed to be social. If you make post after post without engaging your fans and followers, you’re bound to lose them. Ask questions, conduct surveys, offer incentives; make your page feel like a true community. Social media is not a one-way street—embrace interactivity. Just make sure you have some community guidelines in place to keep spam and derisive comments to a minimum.

4. Not posting enough throughout the day. Regularly update your social media accounts to keep followers and fans talking about your brand. Posting once a week or once a day isn’t enough, especially given that we’re bombarded with media and information 24×7 on our computers and phones—too many outlets are vying for your fans’ attention. Research shows that tweets and Facebook posts have a lifespan of about two to three hours, so it’s important that you post a few times a day.

Geoffrey Anderson is editor of MenScience Magazine, a men’s health blog. A version of this article first appeared on BrandingPersonality.com.

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