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10 Common Social Media Mistakes (And Likely Reactions) [GIFs]

Type “social media” into Google and, among the suggested autocompletes like “social media marketing” and “social media strategy,” you’ll notice the delightfully malicious suggested search “social media fails.”

Take a quick look through the results of this search, and you’ll find something oddly fascinating about learning from the mistakes of others. And when it comes to marketing on social media, there is no shortage of mistakes to learn from.

However, many of us don’t realize that we are making small mistakes with our own brand’s social media every day. While these mistakes may not be large-scale PR gaffes and may slip past your notice, they do create a poor experience for your audience, and over time can devalue your audience’s perception of your brand.

To help you remember the human element of a social media mistake, we’ve put together a list of social media mistakes to avoid, and also included a GIF reaction that your post is likely to receive. Oh, and as an added bonus, we’ve included helpful resources to correct the social media mistake and turn it into a golden opportunity for your brand to shine. Enjoy!

Mistake #1: You’re posting too much

Social Media- Posting too much

Your audience is exposed to thousands of messages each day. Don’t flood their news feeds with unnecessary posts. Keep your postings to a few times each day. This is enough to get you noticed, but not become an incessant inconvenience.

Resource: Is Your Social Media Out of Control? [Slideshare]

Mistake #2: You’re only talking about yourself

Social Media- Talking About Yourself

No matter how great your company is, your audience has other interests outside of you and how awesome your products and services are. They want you to focus on their wants and needs, and deliver real value to them on your social channels. Make sure you aren’t being self-centered.

Resource: The Secret Behind Sharing

Mistake #3: You’re being too promotional

Social Media- Too Promotional

Just as your audience doesn’t like hearing about only you all the time, they don’t want to be sold to constantly, either. Social media is a great channel to run promotions and feature special offers, but keep the selling to a reasonable volume.

Resource: Thoughts on the Third Stage of Social

Mistake #4: You’re posting the same thing on every channel

Social Media- Posting the same thing

Although it’s easy to blast out the same update on every channel, you need to mix it up. If all your posts are the same, there is no incentive for consumers to follow you on multiple channels. Play to the strengths of each social channel.

Resource: Get More Out of Social Marketing

Mistake #5: You’re not staying up to date

Social Media- Not staying up to date

Social media platforms change fast. You should always have an ear to the ground for changes to design, terms of use, and features. Brands that truly stand out on social media are those that stay on the cutting edge of their platforms.

Resource: 3 New Social Features for Marketers to Be Aware Of

Mistake #6: Your social profile designs are outdated

Social Media- Design

Just like your website, the look and feel of your social media profiles is important. If your Twitter background hasn’t been updated since you joined the platform in 2008, it’s time for a refresh. Make sure you make a great first impression with an attractive header image and a crisp version of your logo for your profile picture.

Resource: A Guide to Social Media Rebranding

Mistake #7: You’re making spelling and grammar mistakes

Social Media- Spelling Mistakes

Although social media platforms like Twitter require you to be concise in your writing, making spelling and grammar mistakes can make you look unpolished and unprofessional. Be sure to proof all of your posts before you publish.

Resource: 6 Secrets of Effective Tweeting [Snapshot]

Mistake #8: You’re broadcasting, not engaging

Social Media- Not engaging

Social media is meant to be a conversation. You can certainly share and promote your content, but you should be engaging as well. If a look at your Twitter timeline shows only broadcasted tweets and no retweets or @ replies, there’s a problem. Thank people for their likes and shares and respond to comments and messages.

Resource: Get More Out of Social Marketing

Mistake #9: You’re trying to handle customer service issues only through social media

Social Media- Customer service

Social media is a great channel for customer engagement, but some issues should be handled privately. While Twitter or Facebook may be the perfect place for a customer to initiate a complaint or submit a service request, you don’t want those channels to become inundated with only troubleshooting communications. Make sure you have a workflow for social media complaints or potential sales leads.

Resource: 5 Essentials of Using Twitter for Customer Service

Mistake #10: You don’t have a plan

Social Media- No Plan

Although it’s new and fun, social media requires planning and strategy, just like any other marketing channel. If your content is being posted at random hours of the day and night and from an inconsistent brand voice and tone, you probably don’t have a plan. You should understand your goals and how you plan to pursue them before you even start on social media.

Resource: Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day [INFOGRAPHIC]

For even more tips and strategies for your social media, check out our free white paper “Get More Out of Social Media.”