With so many hints, tips, and bits of advice being offered out there it often seems easy to get your social media marketing results off the ground. Because of this, business owners and professionals trying to go it alone can often fall into some innocent rookie mistakes that can hurt their efforts in the long run. We decided to tackle a few of the most common mistakes out there so that you can be aware of what to avoid moving forward in order to make a good first impression and keep up with your competitors online.

1.Having No Social Media Strategy

In order to execute a successful social media marketing plan, a strategy must be in place. Otherwise, an effective message will never be delivered to your audience. Setting up a strategy includes developing a social media policy, planning a social media calendar, setting goals, and determining your brand voice or message.

Having a social media strategy in place will help you to avoid posting blindly, which will get you nowhere. So be sure you have set a clear social media strategy to keep your brand on its way to having excellent, engaging content that keeps your audience coming back for more.

2. Creating Accounts On Too Many Platforms Too Soon

Many businesses and professionals create accounts across every social media channel they can think of all at once, even though they cannot find the time to post regular, quality content to engage their prospects and followers. You’ll notice that at one moment they’re posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms and the next minute they appear to have abandoned the platforms altogether.

Unfortunately, when your prospects come across your pages to find only a couple posts from months or even years ago it leaves you looking disorganized and unattentive.

When starting out on social media, don’t be afraid to keep the focus of your strategy narrow and branch out when you’re sure that you can offer relevant, quality content on each channel regularly.

3. Spending All Your Time Talking About Your Brand

This is an easy trap to fall into. What needs to be remembered is that social media is more of a cocktail party than a sales meeting. People show up to socialize, be entertained and pick up a few valuable pieces of information along the way. So make sure you are not showing up every post with a sales pitch of people will quickly quit entertaining what you have to say.

Focus on being relatable and post things that your audience can engage with such as quotes, stories, and images. Show you’re part of the community by sharing other people’s content as well if you believe that it is relevant to you brand and useful to your followers. Make sure your community knows that you are available and willing to communicate only by responding when they reach out and engaging in conversations. You will find that when your audience knows that you are available they will be more than happy to participate and share ideas that can help your brand.

4. Avoid Irrelevant And Excessive Hashtags

There is little doubt that using hashtags on social media can help you become more visible. However, if you are using them excessively on #every #single #word and stuffing your posts with more hashtags than words you’re going too far and it appears spammy.

To avoid this, limit your hashtag use to a sensible number and make sure they are relevant to what you are trying to express through your post. If you’re unsure of what a reasonable number of hashtags would be, follow these rules of thumb: Facebook: 1 hashtag maximum, Twitter: 2-3 hashtag maximum, Instagram: use them all but try to put some space between the comment and the hashtags.

5. Too Many Posts In A Short Amount Of Time

Posting multiple times in a row within minutes of each other will have your followers saying, ‘seriously?’ You know you’ve been there… when you notice one person continually clogs up your feed with post after post. Do your best to share consistently and regularly but create a schedule and use a scheduling tool like HootSuite, Buffer, or PostPlanner to avoid overwhelming and spamming your followers.

6. Forgetting To Proofread

Admit it, you find it amusing when you come across a post missing proper punctuation or with multiple spelling errors. Sometimes we get laughable spelling mistakes thanks to spell check ‘fixing’ our words for us automatically. This is why you must proofread. While you may think that this is petty and spelling and grammar are minor details they can actually hurt your online presence and credibility. Think no one cares? Google TRUMP spelling errors and see what people think about it and how many people notice. (And it’s not just the grammar police!)

7. Forgetting To Be Social On Social Media

It’s important to remember that your audience isn’t on social media to hear a sales pitch, they are there to be social! So when they interact with your page they expect responsiveness and want to feel that they are dealing with real people, not corporate robots.

Make sure you are checking in regularly and responding to comments and questions. Doing this builds trust and relationship, humanizing your brand.

In addition, always remember to let your brands personality shine when responding to help your followers feel more connected to you.

Do you have any more common mistakes you see people making on social media or that you used to make yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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