The world of social media can be a minefield for any new business owner.
I mean, which platforms are you supposed to be on? Is there a certain number of times you should post per week? And how do you look like you know what you’re doing to keep up with the competition when you really have no idea?
Needless to say, it’s easy to make mistakes, even if you’ve been using social media as a key marketing tool for months.
However, just by learning the common social media marketing mistakes, you can avoid making them yourself—and attract your target audience for all the right reasons.
1. Thinking You Have to Be On Every Platform
Social media marketing mistakes 101: thinking your business needs to have a presence on every platform.
(I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube — the lot!)
The truth is, if you spread yourself too thin across too many platforms, you’ll compromise the quality of your content. You’re also going to burn out. Fast.
The number one aim of using social media for business purposes is to create valuable content that speaks to your target audience and builds trust. You can’t build trust with poor-quality content.
And you also have to look after your mental health, right?
The solution is to prioritise creating content for one or two hero platforms that get you the most results, whether this is YouTube and Instagram or Snapchat and Twitter.
Only create content for your other platforms as and when you have the time.
2. Thinking Every Platform Has the Same Audience
Do you know what goes hand-in-hand with the assumption that you have to be on every platform? Thinking that every platform has the same audience.
Let’s face it, if you have a target audience of 18-24 year-olds, your brand is more likely to attract them on TikTok than Facebook. Likewise, it would make more sense for your B2B business to focus on LinkedIn rather than Instagram.
Consider your brand values, your target audience and your marketing goals — and this can help you to identify your hero platforms.
Still struggling? You can always experiment with posting on different social media platforms over a specific period (such as 30 days) and see which ones get you the most traction.
3. Posting Poor-Quality Imagery
In an age where everybody with a smartphone can potentially be a photographer or videographer, posting mediocre pictures on social media just isn’t going to cut it.
Sure, not every image you post is going to look Instagram-worthy. However, as a business, there has to be some level of professionalism to your photos.
In my experience, bright lighting and a good filter can work wonders. I use the Adobe Lightroom mobile app to edit my photos when they’re looking a little dark or blurry.
That said, it’s not just about shooting and editing your imagery. It’s also about making sure that every photo or video that you publish is on-brand, aligns with your marketing strategy and is somehow beneficial for your audience.
Tip: create a cohesive look to your feed on visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok by using the same filter on every post.
4. Posting Captions That Haven’t Been Thought Through
As well as your imagery, your captions have to provide value for your target audience when you’re using social media as a business owner.
It’s fine to throw an image on your Instagram personal account with just an emoji for the caption, but this wouldn’t make sense on your business account.
After all, a caption is valuable real estate and offers another opportunity for you to hook your audience — you might as well use it!
Try to have a beginning, middle and end to your caption.
- Draw the eye with a catchy headline that encourages the scroller to continue reading.
- Make sure the main body of your caption is interesting, engaging and easy-to-digest with short sentences and paragraphs.
- Finish with a Call-To-Action, such as “comment below!”.
It helps if you write captions in advance and then go back to them at a later date to proofread and edit them. Writing them then and there when you’re just about to publish your post can result in rambling and fluffiness. (Not ideal.)
5. Posting the Same Things All the Time
One of the biggest social media marketing mistakes that I’ve recently noticed businesses making is publishing the same post. Over and over again.
Sure, it makes sense to stick to your content pillars. Even so, you should try to mix up what you post and how you post it.
(Quick refresher: content pillars are the recurring topics you cover on each hero platform. There’s usually about four, such as “mindset,” “small business,” “freelancing” and “content.”)
There are three types of social media posts you need as a business:
- Educational — teach your audience something they don’t know that solves their problems or pain points
- Inspirational — make your audience yearn for something that you can help achieve with your products or services
- Promotional — tell your audience about your offer so you can increase the number of product sales or client leads
All three types of posts work together to create a strong social media marketing strategy that helps your business succeed.
6. Not Experimenting with Different Features
As well as mixing up the types of social media posts you create as a business, mix up how you deliver them.
The digital consumer gets bored easily. They’re busy, they’re scrolling away on their device and they need to be enticed.
How do you do this? Well, by offering variety.
In other words, don’t just stick to publishing Instagram grid posts or Stories. Occasionally throw in a Reel, IGTV or Live. Similarly, you don’t just have to post text-based tweets. You can do a poll, video, image or GIF.
Trying different features can also help you to determine what your audience responds best to. Then you can do more of what they like to accelerate your growth.
7. Not Having a Strong Bio
Say a new member of your target audience is visiting your social media profile for the first time. When they click on it, you want them to be impressed — right?
After all, this will lead to them binging your content, developing trust and clicking through to your website where they could potentially convert. (Victory dance.)
Newsflash: having a compelling bio in place is a surefire way to impress them. It needs to communicate:
- Who you are
- What you do
- How you can help your audience
A clear and concise bio allows your audience to determine whether they’re interested in following you. And if they’re not, that’s okay — they can simply keep scrolling.
At the end of the day, it’s better to attract the right kinds of people who may actually buy from you at some point, instead of those silent types who never end up converting.
8. Creating a Disjointed Brand Experience
Having a presence on a platform that doesn’t align with your overall online presence is another of the key social media marketing mistakes that business owners make.
For example, your website imagery could be washed-out and vintage-inspired, but then your Instagram grid posts are all filtered with a bright, vivid preset.
On the other hand, you could be posting comedy TikToks with a playful and accessible brand voice when your website has a serious and sophisticated tone to it.
To put it simply, your brand voice and aesthetic needs to be cohesive across all of your online platforms. Doing this can build brand recognition and make your business seem even more trustworthy.
9. Posting Just for the Sake of Posting
One of the most common misconceptions of social media marketing is that you have to post as regularly as you can to notice results.
Sure, feeding the algorithm frequently is important to ensure that your content is seen. Having said that, it’s more important to post high-quality content less often than focus on quantity over quality.
You also need to do what works optimally for you and your business. If you have limited time and resources, the world’s not going to end if you can only post on Facebook once per week instead of three.
Having a content strategy in place can help to improve efficiency when it comes to posting. Batch producing a lot of posts in one go is also effective to minimise procrastination and maximise your productivity.
10. Not Getting Help When You Need It
Lastly, social media may seem straightforward to people who only use it for personal reasons. Having said that, it can be challenging to navigate for business owners.
It takes time and effort to start seeing a rise in likes, comments, followers, clicks and conversions.
That’s why there’s no shame in reaching out to virtual assistants and social media managers who specialise in the subject. Alternatively, you could outsource particular aspects of social media marketing, such as content writing or photo editing.
You could also try sponsoring posts or using ads to achieve your goals sooner.
Note: I currently offer content writing services so I’d be more than happy to help. Find out more here.
Disclaimer: It’s Okay to Make Social Media Marketing Mistakes
Every entrepreneur makes social media marketing mistakes, whether you’ve been in business for two weeks or two years. And that’s perfectly fine!
The best thing about making mistakes is that it teaches you essential lessons and helps you to grow, learn and level up your game.
Just keep adapting based on what’s working for you and what isn’t according to your website and social media analytics.
Here’s to becoming social media pros pronto!