5 social media mistakes to avoid

Neglect, overreach, and lousy measurement are all too common in the online marketing world.

Mistakes. We all make them, but we can learn from them and move on.

Even better, you can learn from others’ mistakes and avoid making them altogether. This is especially wise on social media, where a mistake can haunt you.

Learn from these five common social media mistakes so you can avoid making your own.

1. Leaving an account inactive.

When a consumer searches for your business or businesses in your area and comes across an inactive account, certain assumptions will be made. Either the consumer will assume you are no longer in business, that you don’t care enough about your customers to keep up-to-date information, or that you don’t understand social media. You don’t want any of these, so post and update your profile regularly.

2. Attempting too much.

It can be tempting to create an account for every hot social media platform, but it’s not always the best thing for your business. Take a deep breath and evaluate each network to see whether it can provide value for your business. Ask yourself: Does your accounting firm really need Instagram, or would you be better served focusing all your energy on Twitter? Spreading yourself too thin across social networks will run you and your brand image ragged.

3. Failing to use analytics.

How can you know if a social media campaign is effective if you don’t have proper measurement tools in place? It seems like common sense, but so many marketers and brands make the mistake of launching social media campaigns for the sake of launching a campaign. If you have proper measurement and analytics tools in place, you can accurately gauge which tactics are working and which you should drop. Taking time to read measurements might seem like it’s slowing you down, but it will save you tons of time and money in the future on potentially wasteful endeavors.

4. Talking without listening.

Social media is filled with chatterboxes who have plenty to say, but who never listen. Don’t let your brand be one of those chatterboxes. The word social is built right into the phrase, so it should be no surprise that you must devote energy to both aspects of social interaction. Take the time to listen to what followers and customers are telling you on social media. Especially make sure you respond to any direct communication or you’ll risk public ridicule.

5. Not learning the mechanics of each platform.

We can all conjure memories of people and brands making embarrassing mistakes because they didn’t understand a social platform. If the person handling your social media doesn’t understand which messages are private and which are public, you could run into big problems down the line. There have been recent examples of employees who mistook brand accounts for their own and posted inappropriate messages. Mistakes like this are sometimes unavoidable, but understanding all the mechanics will help avoid most of them.

A version of this article first appeared on Social Media Strategist.

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