Common Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media Marketing

BY Fabian Wright // Media Analyst

Tips for creating a successful plan of action

Social media marketing has become an integral part of many companies’ digital media strategies. And why not? You don’t have to be a genius to use the platforms. Organic posts are free. It’s a great way to promote your brand and engage with your customers, and you can start whenever you want. Yet, some brands still struggle to take advantage of all the tools social media has to offer. Over time, small, innocent mistakes have the power to slow growth of brand awareness and leads.

We’ve noticed a few common mistakes brands have made and have created this guide to help you avoid making the same ones.

MISTAKE #1: Not Setting a Clear Objective

We all know that setting goals increases your likelihood of success, yet it surprises me how many brands fail to put objective goals in place when starting a digital media strategy. If you don’t have clear goals for your marketing initiatives, you may as well be shooting in the dark. How do you know how well your marketing efforts are performing without any standards to compare them to?

Well defined goals give your strategy a way forward. These goals should be aligned with your overarching business goals and should follow the SMART method, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

MISTAKE #2: Focusing On The Wrong Metrics

This next misstep is one that many brands innocently make. They might have their SMART goals, but they are also focusing their attention on the wrong metrics for results. What value do analytics and insights provide if you’re focusing on the wrong ones? It’s easy to get caught up in “vanity” metrics. But, as it turns out, staring at the number of likes, followers, and shares you’ve gotten in a day are not going to show you the full picture. 

Social media is no different than any other marketing channel – you’ll only gain actionable insights by critically analyzing your results. The results you are measuring should fall in line with the goals you’ve set. To gain a comprehensive view of what role social media plays in your holistic marketing strategy, look at metrics that are driving the growth of your business like transactions, sales, conversions, and ROI. Many social media platforms have built-in tools that can help you track these metrics.  

MISTAKE #3: Assuming Your Audience is Everyone

Just like putting goals in place, knowing your audience is another fundamental part of having an effective plan. Look at it this way: if everyone is your target audience, do you really have an audience? 

Defining your audience gives you the ability to reach the right person with relevant messaging specific to their unique traits, preferences and behaviors. You can then craft the right content, messaging, and ads – leading to better conversion rates and better ROI. Ultimately, you want to build a target audience that is full to the brim with people who are most likely interested in your service or products. 

MISTAKE #4: Too Many Social Platforms 

Once you know who your audience is, carefully choose which social media platform makes sense according to who you are trying to reach. Find the ones that your target audience relates to and what fits your brand. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Having a presence on every social media platform is counterproductive. Instead, see where your audience is spending their time and go where they are.

MISTAKE #5: Lack of Brand Consistency 

What trait do the biggest brands in the world share? Consistent branding. From tone, voice, aesthetic, and feel, your brand should create engaging and truly recognizable content. Now, this is not to say you have to be monotonous. You don’t need to post the same content over and over again. Mix it up. Test out different ad formats. Throw it against the wall and see what sticks – but remember consistency is key. 

MISTAKE #6: Using the Incorrect Ad Format

Yes, there are a ton of different ad formats to choose from for social media, and yes, all these options can leave you overwhelmed. You might feel that it is easier just to stick with one ad size and use it for all your ads. Easy right? 

Unfortunately, that’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. It just doesn’t work. There’s nothing more unpleasant for me personally than scrolling through social media and seeing a video that was shot in landscape, but uploaded in a portrait layout. It’s the kind of stuff that haunts my dreams. Pay attention to details, stay consistent in your branding and make an effort to provide high-quality content for your audience. It’ll pay off more than you know in the long run. 

Remember, we all make mistakes, and yes, you’ll probably need to shift your strategy once in a while. But avoiding these common mistakes can give you a leg up, and will allow your social media marketing strategy to be more effective and make for a better experience for your customers.