9 Common Social Media Marketing Misconceptions

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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Social Media Marketing Mistakes
We all make mistakes, and when it comes to social media marketing, there’s no exception.

Social Media Marketing + Business

If you’re reading this, the chances are high that you know what social media marketing entails, or you’re at least starting to learn! Either way, you’ve probably realized that social marketing is a full-time job and not something that you can really…”time-hack.”

It’s time-consuming!

Ultimately, social media marketing is essential, and every so often, gaining perspective on what needs to be improved is super helpful! Hence, we created the below list of 9 common social media marketing mistakes. The goal is to help you better connect with your audience (and avoid unnecessary back-tracking on future marketing efforts!)

Let’s get to it!

Click below to time-warp to a specific section:

  1. Not having a social media policy.
  2. Jumping to conclusions on what works on social media vs. researching/practicing
  3. Not being flexible
  4. Dismissing technology because it’s not “personable.”
  5. Only tracking vanity metrics
  6. Being on way too many social networks
  7. Relying on canned responses and automated direct messaging
  8. Posting the same message on all of your social channels
  9. Not repurposing “old” content

9 Super-Common, Yet Avoidable, Social Media Marketing Mistakes:

1. Not having a social media crisis plan or internal policy

There’s a lot of debate over this one, and it seems to flip-flop from year to year. Some say that you must have an internal social media policy, but others believe that social media policies are ‘hogwash.’

So which one is it? Better question: What happens when you don’t have a plan, and then a somewhat sticky situation arises?

Definitely, DO NOT delete or ignore!

Instead, deal with it fast AND be professional. If you were wrong, do something along the lines of publically acknowledging the situation, apologizing, or include a resolution. Once the issue gets resolved publically, offer a direct telephone number or schedule a Skype or in-person meeting. Let them know that you really do appreciate their advice!

If you’re not sure what to do, get advice from legal counsel.

The whole point of social media for business isn’t JUST for sales and marketing. It allows companies to be transparent like never before.

On the flip side, some companies try to address issues on social by asking that questions or complaints get sent via direct message or email. Let’s face it; sometimes, explanations can be too complicated or technical to explain in writing. However, be careful when it comes to complaints. If someone is agitated and you tell them to send an email/private message, it can be off-putting.

Still undecided on if you need a social policy or not? Consider these three things:

  1. Not being “all that” concerned about social media might mean that you don’t take it seriously. However, it’s real and needs to be looked at like you’re receiving a phone call or email inquiry. Would you treat those any different? Social media is another form of communication.
  2. When you think about creating a social media policy and draw a blank, if this happens to you, check out the above links and read how to create a social media policy from the Small Business Association’s site.)
  3. Does your insurance company require that you have written policies and procedures for EVERYTHING?

If so, having a social media policy might not be a bad idea.

2. Assuming you know what works on social media vs. research/practice

When it comes to social media marketing, don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions! Instead, become a practitioner! Research and testing can take you much further in your social media marketing efforts.

Two words:

Market research

Market research is everything! When you assume that you know what audiences are looking for and their specific interests vs. doing the research, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Market research is there for a reason!

Plus, there are different expectations online vs. in-store, and you need to know what they are. Plus, each social network operates in a different context.

3. Not being flexible

Not being flexible with your social media plan is pretty much impossible nowadays. However, some places still flat-out refuse to stray away from their initial ideas (despite a lack of research).

Bad idea! Things change, need to be updated, and trends come and go. Especially when it comes to social media.

In a nutshell, seeing the same old stuff day in and day out gets boring. Switch it up, and don’t hesitate to try new things. Start by changing around one or two weeks’ worth of content first and if those do well, revamp your plan, ma’am/man! (sorry, it rhymed!)

4. Dismissing technology “to be more personable.”

Utilizing tools to become more consistent is a good thing! However, using them to automate direct messages/replies can make you seem like a robot.

Now don’t get us wrong, automating messages can be very useful, especially when you update the words frequently. However, thanking someone every time you get a new follower on Twitter…automatically…with the same reply…quickly becomes very obvious that it’s not you! That is what takes away authenticity, not technology.

Next, using tools to preschedule posts allows you to plan your content further out and be more consistent. They also allow for quick changes (if you need to revamp a content plan, etc.). Plus, tools like Buffer and Hootsuite offer a separate set of analytics to help you gauge engagement better.

Speaking of metrics…

5. Vanity Metrics = UGH!

You just got 100K followers!? Yay!

17 likes on a photo in 3 seconds? Wow!

“Top-level” metrics are helpful and can sometimes get our hearts pumping when a post takes off. However, they shouldn’t be what you base social media marketing success around.

Better metrics = average engagement rate over time, CTRs and HOW customers are finding you.

Vanity metrics = basic stats.

The detailed data is what can help you to solve problems and plan your social media strategy better.

If you’re unsure how to get detailed metrics, set up a Google Analytics (GA) account and connect it to your website and social media profiles. GA automatically records just about every parameter that you can imagine. Once it’s set up, please give it a month or two to register some data and then pull a report. As time goes on, you’ll be able to see patterns, ups and downs, and a whole lot more!

6. Being on TOO MANY social networks!

If you already do market research, having too many social media profiles shouldn’t be an issue. However, not researching can leave you wondering which network(s) is best.

So to figure out the best social networks for your biz vs. signing up for the ones that seem like the best option, do a bit of research. Also, get familiar with the context of social media networks. Skipping the analysis will most likely lead to wasted time and effort.

7. Relying on (canned) replies and (automated) direct messages

PSA: automated “thanks for following” shoutouts, pre-drafted/canned responses, and automatic direct messages are for the birds! Everyone knows when they get one and even more so when they see them aligned, one after another, in your newsfeed!

Remember: Consumers are smart! They no longer want sold to, and they are the decision-makers. And don’t spam! (consumers = all of us, btw)

Instead, do this: avoid automated ‘thank yous’ altogether! Only send when you mean it.

Next: change the automated direct message setting from ‘on’ to ‘off,’ especially if you’re trying to get people to buy something and you’ve never even talked to them before! P.S. that’s not “promoting” — it’s spamming.

Now, please don’t assume we’re all against automation. Not the case! However, if you aren’t changing up the verbiage of your message (frequently) and strive to make every note super personalized, what’s the point?

8. Posting the same message on all social networks

To reemphasize from earlier: All social media networks operate in different contexts!

Why on Earth would someone share the same exact thing on all of them?

Anyway, as the old saying goes, “Obeyeth thee social media gods, or thy shall be shunned-eth!” -unknown

In other words, follow the guidelines and rules of each social network (same as you would do with search engines) and get to know the differences between each. If you’re having a hard time figuring one out, create a personal profile and experiment.

9. Not re-purposing content

Do you recycle content? If not, time to start ASAP!

If you don’t know where to begin, think about the last time you read an old post or saw an image and thought, that can be way better! Then take that piece and “fix” it. Be experimental. Be daring and make it different!

Once you get the hang of repurposing, create a content campaign that focuses on bringing something back to life.

We’ve all encountered things that didn’t catch our eye at first, but then BAM! There it is! The same thing happens in marketing. However, we usually have to repurpose something to make that happen. Plus, it’s neat to see how slight changes can impact engagement, and repurposing can save some time since you don’t have to start from scratch.

Until Next Time!

So there you have it, nine social media marketing mistakes that are common but easy to avoid! If you’re up for a challenge, here are some additional digital marketing reads:

9 Social Media Marketing Misconceptions
If you’re a small business owner or marketer, make sure to avoid these common social media marketing misconceptions.

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