Five Things To Avoid in Social Media Marketing
Five Things To Avoid in Social Media Marketing

Five Things To Avoid in Social Media Marketing


Olivia Hull

Jun 19 2024

Social media can boost traffic, increase sales, and build customer relationships. A recent survey found that social media was the top marketing channel in 2023, with most industry professionals using it in their digital campaigns. Marketing experts highlighted its main benefits as increased visibility, traffic, and lead generation. However, like any tool, it’s important to understand how to use social media correctly to avoid mistakes.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common mistakes you can make and some tips to bring your social media marketing up to date.

How Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Can Fail

Mistake 1: Too much posting

It goes without saying that when you send out relevant content, your customers are more likely to stick around. But once your content loses its applicability, you’ve broken customer trust. While each social media platform requires a difference in posting frequency, posting very judiciously will generally bring you better results. Keep an eye on how often your follower count goes down and by how much—it could be from too much posting. Credibility is key here; people don’t follow businesses that spam their social feeds.  

Mistake 2: Ineffective captions

You want each post you make to literally connect to something useful: a conversation starter that encourages comments and reflection, an actual link to your top product, a link to a story that relates to what you sell, or a highlight of a customer’s story linking to their social media handle. But keep in mind that when you use a link, you need to place this at the top of your caption. The likelihood of people reading your full post to get to the link is low. Social media users are attracted to convenience and fewer steps.

Mistake 3: Using ineffective image content

Text can catch your eye, but visuals are even more effective. That’s why Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) posts with images get more engagement than those without. But don’t use just any image! Your audience craves authenticity: real stories, real photos, real people, and real life. Social media users are savvy and can quickly spot fake or overly cheesy stock images. Whether you use videos, images, or stories, creating persuasive social media visuals is something you should spend time learning how to do. The furniture store Joybird is known for its colorful Instagram feed that features cozy scenes of couches and home furnishings in all colors on the color wheel. Without those homey images, the business likely wouldn’t have over half a million followers. 

Mistake 4: Using too much jargon (and writing too much)

Posts that are too long will convince readers your content is not worth their time. But using language that isn’t common outside your industry can turn your audience’s attention elsewhere. While it’s human nature to want to sound knowledgeable, using too much jargon can alienate your audience and do the opposite of what you want for engagement. Keep things conversational, keep things real. If a jargon phrase is something you say around the office in strategy meetings, then it belongs there and not in your social media marketing plan.

Mistake 5: Being quiet and unengaging, especially after a post

Stay active and visible after posting. Consider your social media strategy as an ongoing effort that continues to work, even when you’re not directly managing it. Don’t underestimate its value! It’s a vital tool in ensuring your business operates smoothly. Consistent customer engagement increases when they regularly see your presence online.

While engaging with your community is important, you can engage with other businesses or content creators for added visibility from their communities. A few years ago, the Holderness family, a comedic family that posts parody videos on family life, used social media to connect with another popular lifestyle creator called Dude Dad. Both creators have millions of viewers for their funny commentary videos on raising kids and being parents. Over time, these two families connected through social media. Viewers continue to get a kick out of seeing the messages these parody creators send to each other on the same wall the customers contribute to. This type of engagement helps customers feel like they’re in the same room as the personalities they follow, which increases overall engagement and keeps you relevant.

Examples of Brand Fails on Social Media

The Tweet That Backfired: Burger King’s 2021 Women’s Day Misstep

In the digital age, many brands use special occasions to launch promotions and campaigns. While this is generally fine, Burger King’s 2021 Women’s Day tweet serves as an example of how things can go wrong. The tweet began with the statement, “Women belong in the kitchen.” Unfortunately, Burger King didn’t consider that Twitter’s format shows one tweet at a time, not the whole thread. This initial tweet was intended as clickbait to draw attention to their new culinary scholarship program for women. However, it was misunderstood and criticized for promoting outdated ideas.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover: A Bumpy Ride

Elon Musk’s bumbling takeover of Twitter has generated thousands of disapproving tweets and hashtags, including #RIPTwitter. Ironically, Musk uses social media to try and promote his social media company but tends to use the very thing he’s selling in a sometimes inappropriate and unorthodox way. Musk even generated a poll among X users asking if he should step down as CEO. (It got a 57% “yes” vote but he didn’t step down.) His misuse of a powerful tool has decreased his brand credibility.

Ways You Can Strengthen Your Social Media Marketing

Here are some easy ways to develop a healthy social media presence and increase your online clout: 

-Offer content that goes beyond the product you’re selling. For example, include links to experiences or events that relate to your product, even if it’s not the product itself. If you sell homemade jewelry, link to a local art market you’ll be visiting as a shopper and encourage your followers to support other local artists. 
-Routinely comb through your data analytics to find out what’s working (i.e., what’s worth repeating).
-Choose the right social media channels for your business strategy—not every platform is going to be right for your marketing plan.
-Don’t spam your audience with too much content over a short amount of time.
-Be consistent in your social media strategy and revisit it often to make changes.
-Use real hashtags that already exist and have measurable use.
-Focus on sharing genuine stories about real people, real events, and everyday moments.
-When you engage with commenters, do it authentically, do it quickly, and keep it professional.
-Create an ongoing conversation with your audience—you never know when this can turn into a loyal customer base.
-Comment on questions, feedback, or issues constructively and professionally—don’t ignore them or disappear.

Social media can drive more visitors to your site, boost sales, and strengthen customer relationships. Marketing experts say its main benefits are better visibility, more traffic, and generating leads. But like any tool, it’s important to use social media correctly to avoid mistakes. Whether you follow successful examples or develop your own strategy, the key is to stay authentic and consistent with your brand and customers.

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