7 Social Media Marketing Mistakes That Are Bruising Your Business

There are over 3 billion active internet users, and 2.1 billion of them have social media accounts.

Making social media a popular marketing tool for driving traffic, leads and increasing reach.

But despite the popularity of social media, marketers are still making mistakes. Mistakes that are costing traffic, conversions, and sales.

After reading this post you’ll know what those costly mistakes are, and more importantly, how to avoid them. Resulting in you getting more bang for your buck with social media.

Let’s go.

1. Failing to Hone In On Quality Fans and Followers

According to Next Web, the number of fake Facebook accounts hovers between 67.65 and 137.36 million. And in 2013, Twitter reported that around 5% of their accounts are fake. That’s over 10 million fake user accounts.

(Infographic from Search Engine Journal shows number of active users on their respective sites)

With social media, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: Where is my target audience most active?

You can have thousands of fans and followers, but your informative, witty posts will be as effective as a cucumber in a knife battle if the users who see them are uninterested or inactive.

Lower quality fans won’t share your posts, care about your content, or result in more business. That’s why when looking to increase your following, you should focus equally on quality and quantity.

To snatch up followers that actually share content, interact with you, and enjoy your posts, start by:

  • Being active where both your target audience and competitors hang out
  • Creating a community of insiders. Give people a heads up on promotions, special offers and events. They’ll be more motivated to follow you that way
  • Using sweepstakes and giveaways to generate a buzz

2. Posting at Random Times

Another mistake that might be costing you clicks, conversions and sales is timing.

Yes, posting randomly can still get results…but you can instantly reach a larger portion of your audience by simply posting at peak usage times.
So what exactly are the peak usage times?

Data collected from Hubspot shows that the best time to post on Twitter is: Wednesday 5PM EST.

And the best time for posting on Facebook is on Saturday at noon EST.

For a small tweak, timing your posts can have a big impact. Quicksprout founder Neil Patel, reports a 39% increase in social media traffic when posting at ideal times.

Looking for more info on social media timing? Check out Coschedules.com’s detailed post.

3. Trying to Eat Every Single Slice of The Social Media Pie

Success in anything requires focus. And social media is no different.

Trying to build a thriving audience on every single platform won’t work. Instead, focus on the 3 main networks that are best suited for:

  1. Your industry
  2. Your audience
  3. And the content you share

This awesome infographic from Jason DeMers breaks down 7 different primary social media networks and their characteristics. Use it to help you focus on the 3 points above:

  1. Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr
  2. Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine
  3. Kitchen-sink networks: Twitter and Facebook
  4. SEO and authorship networks: Google+
  5. Business-focused networks: LinkedIn
  6. Location-based networks: Foursquare, Yelp
  7. Niche networks: reddit

4. Not Taking Advantage of Images

You only have a few seconds to snag the attention of your audience. Which means your posts need to cut through the clutter.

And one way to make your posts stand out and enhance their quality, is to harness the power of images.

In a post on Social Media Examiner, research revealed that Facebook posts with images receive 87% more engagement from fans. And when Twitter analyzed over 2 million tweets, they found that tweets with images get 35% more retweets.

When using images on social media…keep things simple. Complex visual activity can be distracting. Let one main person/item/graphic tell your story. And ensure that you upload at a higher resolution for better clarity.

5. Failing to Track Your Social Media ROI

According to Altimeter, only 34% of businesses feel that their social strategy is connected to their business outcomes.

If you don’t have a firm grasp on how much traffic, conversions and clicks you’re currently reeling in through social media, you’re making a huge mistake.

Tracking your social media returns is essential. Without tracking, you’re left with blind decisions, uneducated guesses and no plan of action.

So how do you go about measuring ROI from social media?

The key is to integrate your social media metrics with your marketing goals.

Start by setting goals for each campaign. Then track metrics related to those goals. For example, if your goals are to raise traffic and sales, keep an eye on your click-through-rates and conversions from your social media channels.

Finally, create meaningful benchmarks so you can analyze your performance and pave the way for constant improvement.

6. Sharing Your Content Once

A post by Mark Suster shows how he generated 50% more traffic by simply tweeting the same content.

And in the same post, Mark reveals how and why Guy Kawasaki tweets one piece of content four times.

His rationale was that he found that his audience was tuning into Twitter at several different times during the day and he found that four was the optimal number to convert enough of the people reading his posts into traffic back to his website.

Posting your content more than once allows you to hit multiple time zones, attract more traffic, and suggests content to new followers and fans.

Do it…but don’t overdo it.

7. Giving Anyone Free Reign over Your Social Media Posts

Social media now accounts for 31.24% of referral traffic.

And when you consider that your social media accounts are the face of your business. You can’t afford to give untrained individuals, or new staff members free reign over your social media accounts.

American Apparel learned this lesson the hard way. In celebration of the Fourth of July, they posted an image of the challenger space shuttle exploding in midair.

After posting, the company was immediately swarmed with negative feedback.

So why did this happen?

In their public apology, they reveal it was an honest mistake by their social media account manager, who was born after the 1986 disaster and mistook the explosion for fireworks or clouds.

The lesson: Choose your social media account manager carefully. Make sure they have a white-knuckle grasp on who your audience is.

8. Failing To Optimize Your On-Page Buttons For Maximum Clicks

Ever heard of reducing friction to boost conversions?

As a marketer, friction is the vermin you want to eliminate. It’s your sworn enemy.

Friction frustrates customers and drowns conversions. It sucks the life out of your bottom line. The less you have, the easier it is for your customer to take the desired action you want.

If you want more people to share your stuff, reduce friction, and make it easy for them to do so.

You can do this by:

Limiting your number of share buttons

Too much choice causes friction and makes it harder for people to share your stuff. So stick to 2-4 main share buttons.

Making sure your buttons attract attention

Don’t let your buttons shy away into the background. Make sure they’re big and colorful enough to draw your visitors’ eyes.

Show your share counts

Do you have a decent number of social shares? Consider showing how many other people share your content too. This will act as social proof and build trust.

And experiment with different buttons and layouts. You never know what your audience responds to best until you test.


Social media can be a great marketing tool. And knowing what not to do, is as important as knowing what you should do.

Would you like to have someone help you implement the advice above? Then get in touch with our expert Growth Geeks.

Hassan Ud-deen is a geeky content marketer. Follow him on Twitter.

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