6 Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

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With the potential of reaching a wide audience and creating a first touch point with potential customers, social media marketing has become the go-to marketing channel for many businesses. However, being successful with your social media strategy and getting traction is challenging.

In this article, you will learn the ins and outs of social media marketing, what you need to be aware of and how this marketing channel can help you reach your target audience. In addition, you will learn pro tips you can implement right away, to make your social media marketing strategy a success. Let’s get started.
What is social media marketing
Social media marketing refers to promoting a product, service, or brand through various social media platforms.
The goal of social media marketing
The goal of social media marketing is to connect 
with potential and existing customers meaningfully.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing refers to promoting a product, a service, or a brand through various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. Social media marketing can include a variety of tactics, like creating and sharing posts, images, videos, and other types of content, as well as running ads, promotions, and contests. In short, social media marketing aims to build a firm presence on social media platforms and connect with potential and existing customers meaningfully.
The benefits of social media marketing
Boost brand awareness
Gather customer insights
Enhance customer service
Stay informed about the competition
Influence customer decisions
Cost effective
Easy to track
You only need one viral hit

Benefits of social media marketing

Social media marketing offers many benefits to businesses of all sizes. Let’s have a look at the most important ones.
Boost brand awareness and increase sales
Social media platforms have a vast user base, which can help businesses reach a wider audience than they would through traditional marketing methods. In January 2023, Facebook ranked first among the most "active" social media platforms, with 2.9 billion users who use the platform on a monthly basis.

As of 2023, Twitter boasts 330 million users who actively use the platform on a monthly basis. This high number of active users means social media platforms have a significant reach and potential for companies to increase their brand awareness. With millions of people using these platforms daily, companies can use social media to reach a larger audience and engage with customers. Often, the goal is to create a first touch point with potential customers. Customer touch points can be any point of interaction where users engage with your brand, for example, your website, social media ads, content marketing, flyers, or TV ads.
Gather customer insights
Social media provides businesses with valuable customer insights that can be used to improve products, services, and the overall customer experience. In fact, social media platforms provide a wealth of information on what customers say about a brand or its products. You can gain valuable insights into customer needs and preferences by monitoring social media conversations and mentions of your specific brand or industry.

Also, social media platforms offer a range of engagement metrics that can help companies understand how their audience responds to their content. By analyzing metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and click-through rates, you can see which types of content and messaging resonate most with your audience.
Enhance customer service
Social media platforms provide an additional avenue for customers to reach out to businesses for support or help. For example, social media allows customers to reach out to a company in real-time, enabling them to receive quick and timely responses to their inquiries or concerns. People don’t like to interact with robots or nameless brands. Instead, if you give customers the chance to interact with you via social media, you can drastically increase customer loyalty.

Plus, social media platforms are accessible 24/7, allowing customers to reach out to a company outside traditional business hours. This can help to increase customer satisfaction additionally.
Stay informed about the competition
Social media is a powerful tool for watching the competition. By following competitors on social media, monitoring mentions, and analyzing competitor metrics, companies can gain valuable insights into their competitors' strategies and performance. This can help any company stay up-to-date with industry trends, identify gaps and opportunities in the market, and make data-driven decisions to improve its own social media strategies.
Influence customer decisions
Influencing people might sound negative. But we never want to force potential customers to make a decision they don’t want to make. It is more about creating a touch point with potential customers, building trust and showing them the value your business can provide. Customer touch points can be any point of interaction where users engage with your brand, for example, your website, content marketing, flyers, or TV ads. And social media marketing is an excellent way to create such an early touch point because users see your content and can learn something, without having to commit to buying your product or signing up for anything. If you provide valuable content regularly, people will eventually buy from you, not from your competitor.
Cost effective
There are 19 marketing channels you can choose. Social media marketing (organic) is one of the cheapest ones. Especially in the beginning, when your budget is limited, social media marketing can help you to get first customers and to get the word out. At first, it will take you some time to define your target audience and to tailor your content to your target audience, but once you have a system in place (what your design should look like, what kind of content you want to publish, what format you want to use), creating content will take no time. For organic social media marketing, the only actual cost is the time you have to invest, which makes this channel very attractive for testing.
Easy to track
There are marketing channels which can bring you a lot of traffic and sales, but if it is hard to measure the metrics, you will not be able to evaluate, if the specific channel is really worth it. For example, if you use TV or Radio as your go-to marketing channel, tracking your success might be difficult. Contrary to that, social media marketing is straight forward. Numerous built-in social media analytics tools are available to help companies collect and analyze social media data more effectively. In addition, the metrics you need to track are pretty straight forward. Likes, shares, impressions show you how well your post performs, click through rate and conversion rate show you how well your content and your messaging resonate with your target audience.
You only need one viral hit
Often times, businesses test social media for a short period of time and give up, because they don’t see the results they were looking for. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that social media marketing always takes time. It takes time to build a following, it takes time to get recognized. So stay consistent. The great thing with social media marketing is that every day you post something, you get the chance of going viral. Not all of your posts have to be a winner. Don’t become discouraged, continue to provide value and don’t give up.
get new customers via social media
Challenges of social media marketing
Being consistent
Secret algorithms
Regular tracking
Can be expensive
Negative feedback

Why is it difficult to succeed on social media and what are the challenges?

Succeeding on social media is difficult for various reasons, let’s have a look.
Being consistent
Social media requires a significant time commitment, including regularly creating and publishing content, engaging with followers, and monitoring analytics. Finding the time to devote to social media while also managing other aspects of your business can be challenging. Often when businesses use social media as a marketing strategy, they are looking for quick results. However, be aware that this is not a realistic approach. It takes time to create a social media reputation, to get people to follow and notice you. Being consistent, publishing regularly valuable content is therefore the way to go. It will return 10x in the long run.

Pro tip: One way to overcome the challenge of consistency is to create a social media content calendar. This lets you plan your content in advance, ensuring you always have something to post. You can schedule your posts in advance, so you don't have to worry about creating content daily. Later on, if you combine your content calendar with a social media automation tool, you will not need to log in to various accounts manually, but rather be able to schedule your posts within one dashboard.
Secret algorithms
Let’s be real. Do you know how the algorithms of Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms work? If you don’t have insider knowledge, chances are, you do not. Social media platforms use complex algorithms to determine what content appears in users' feeds. Social platforms constantly update their algorithms, which impact how content is displayed and distributed, which in return, affects the visibility and engagement of a post. So how can we handle this issue?

Pro tip: I would recommend two things: First, keep a close eye on algorithm changes and adapt your social media strategy accordingly. This may involve changing the type of content you create, the frequency of your posts, or the timing of your posts. For example, YouTube once pushed videos that were longer than 10 minutes. It was quite funny to see that people then published videos that were 10:01 minutes long to get their videos boosted.

The second thing I would recommend – which is even more important – is to track your posts and see what works. What does your audience like? What content do they engage with? Once you know which posts are your winners, post more of the same kind. Rinse and repeat.
Regularly tracking
If you have one specific marketing activity to reach a certain goal, you execute it and evaluate the results. Simple as that. However, in social media marketing, you need to constantly measure your results and track your posts to see which one is bringing you the necessary results. Only measuring each one of your posts and adapting your content strategy accordingly will enable you to get the most out of social media marketing.
Can be expensive if done wrong
Social media marketing is a powerful tool to reach your target audience and to get new customers. With very little upfront knowledge needed and the possibility to test it cheaply, it is one of the best channels out there. However, if done wrong, it could become expensive. For example, if you invest a lot of time and resources to create posts without having a clear idea of your target audience, you will not attract any customers. If you use organic social media, that’s bad news, but no deal breaker. However, if you run ads and target everyone in your industry, without having a clear focus, you will not only run out of money but also have gathered no learnings. So do your homework before you start your marketing strategy.
Authenticity and trust are key on social media. Users may quickly lose interest in an account that appears fake or inauthentic. Authenticity on social media means being true to oneself and sharing content that reflects one's personality, values, and interests. It involves being transparent and honest with followers and avoiding using gimmicks or tricks to gain attention or followers. One excellent example of being inauthentic is using click baits – I am sure you know the thumbnails with the red circles that imply that the video reveals something secret or special. Even though this tactic might work to boost some posts, in the long run, your community will turn away from you or your company for such cheap tricks.

Pro tip: How about using user-generated content (UGC)? UGC is content created by your followers or customers and it can be a great way to showcase the authenticity of your brand or product. Encourage your followers to share their experiences with your brand and use their content in your social media campaigns.
With so much content being created and shared on social media daily, it is difficult to cut through the noise and reach your target audience. This saturation can lead to lower engagement rates and less visibility for your content.

Pro tip: Partnering with influencers can be an effective way to cut through the noise on social media and reach a wider audience. By leveraging the reach and influence of established social media personalities, you can build trust with their followers and drive engagement with your brand.
Negative feedback
Social media users can be quick to criticize and leave negative feedback. Dealing with negative comments and reviews is emotionally draining and takes a toll on your motivation to continue developing content.

Pro tip: Use social media monitoring tools to keep track of mentions and comments related to your brand. Set up alerts so that you are informed when somebody leaves a negative comment and try to answer feedback – especially negative feedback – regularly and in a helpful and professional way.
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When to start with social media marketing
Share your journey early on
By sharing your story early on, you will be able to create fans for your product and build long-term relationships.

When should you start with social media marketing?

Social media is an outstanding channel when you want to reach your target audience. However, often people feel they don’t have anything valuable to share – especially early on – when they just founded their business. But don’t let yourself be fooled. I recommend sharing your story early on. Especially in the beginning, people like to see your progress. They want to give early feedback, want to be part of something bigger. When you share your journey or your product early on – for example, by sharing new product ideas, showing the challenges you overcame or by introducing new team members, you will be able to create fans for your product and build long-term relationships with people. So, think about what value your product/service provides and start sharing valuable content.
How does B2C and B2B social media marketing differ?
B2C and B2B 
social media marketing differ 
in terms of their target audiences and communication strategies.
B2C marketing aims to reach a large audience and promote consumer goods or services directly to end users.
B2B marketing strives to establish long-term relationships with other businesses to promote and sell products or services.

How does B2C & B2B social media marketing differ?

B2C (Business to consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) social media marketing differ in terms of their target audiences and communication strategies. B2C marketing aims to reach a large audience and promote consumer goods or services directly to end users. B2B marketing strives to establish long-term relationships with other businesses to promote and sell products or services.

Therefore, understanding the target audience and tailoring the communication strategy is crucial. While B2C marketing focuses on creating emotional connections with the end-user through targeted ads, influencer marketing, and visually appealing content, B2B marketing often relies more on informative content and thought leadership. Even though B2C and B2B marketing can overlap, in B2B, building trust is even more important than in B2C.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between B2C and B2B social media marketing helps create an effective marketing strategy. Businesses must identify their target audience first and tailor their communication strategy accordingly. Testing and focusing on the best platforms for your target audience is key to ensuring a successful social media marketing campaign.
6 steps to an excellent social media strategy
Defining the purpose
Identifying target audience
Identifying the best social media platform
Defining the metrics and expectations
Creating content that provides value
Posting, measuring and testing

6 steps to an excellent social media strategy

To create an effective social media strategy, follow these six key steps.
1. Defining the purpose
Before building a social media strategy, identify your purpose. What are you trying to achieve with social media marketing? What does success look like? This purpose could vary from increasing brand awareness to driving sales. A clear purpose will help you determine your goals, target audience, and content strategy. One crucial aspect of defining the purpose of a social media strategy is to ensure that it aligns with the business's overall marketing strategy. This alignment helps ensure the social media strategy supports and enhances the business's broader marketing efforts.
2. Identifying target audience
Once you have identified your purpose, identify your target audience, your Personas. Understanding your target audience is vital for creating content that resonates with them. You can use various tools to gather this information, such as surveys, focus groups, and social media analytics. By understanding your audience's motivation, fears and dreams, you can create content that speaks directly to them.

To get a better understanding of your market and to better tailor your solution to your target group, answer these questions:    

• What keeps my customers up at night?
• What motivates my customers to solve their problem?
• What are my customers' pain points, and how can my solution solve them?
• What are my customers' unmet needs that my product or service can fulfil?
• What's the desired future state for my customers?
• How does my solution fit into my customers' daily lives and routines?
• What are my customers' values and priorities?

With that knowledge, you can then build Personas that help you focus your marketing efforts more effectively.
3. Identifying the best social media channel
Different social media channels have different strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the channels that your target audience is most active on and where your content will perform the best is essential. For instance, a brand looking to increase awareness may opt for visually driven platforms, such as Instagram or Pinterest, as these platforms are ideal for sharing eye-catching images and videos that attract attention and generate engagement. In contrast, a brand seeking to establish thought leadership may prefer LinkedIn or Twitter, where they can share industry insights.

Here is a pro tip: Maintaining a presence across multiple social media platforms can spread a business thin, and it is crucial to focus on the platforms that work best for your target audience. There is no need to use TikTok as a business just for the sake of it or because you feel you are missing a trend. I rather recommend identifying your Personas and first test the social media platforms that will probably bring the best results. For instance, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for B2B marketing, while Instagram and Facebook are popular among B2C marketers. Therefore, you need to understand your target audience and their preferences when choosing the appropriate social media platform for your marketing strategy.
4. Defining the metrics and expectations
Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your social media strategy is important. Metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversions can help you track the success of your strategy. Defining your expectations regarding traffic and conversion rates will help you set realistic goals and gauge your progress.

Keep this in mind: There are over 50 SaaS / Startup metrics and a ton of metrics you could measure for social media marketing. However, tracking all of them is not helpful, and if you want to monitor them all, you will get lost. Therefore, think about the metrics that help you reach your goal beforehand and then measure accordingly. By the way – here is a SaaS metrics cheatsheet that will help you find the right metrics to track.
5. Creating content that provides value
What does valuable content mean? Valuable content provides some benefit or value to your audience, such as helpful tips, informative blog posts, or entertaining videos. Engaging content sparks a conversation, elicits a response, or creates a connection with your audience. This could be through humor, storytelling, or thought-provoking questions. You should always strive for valuable content because this is how companies can stick out and create a long-lasting relationship with customers. If your content is spammy or unhelpful, you will lose your reputation and the chance of becoming a thought-leader in your industry.
6. Posting, measuring, and testing
Once your strategy is in place, it's time to implement it. Posting content and measuring your metrics will help you identify what's working and what's not. Testing different content formats will help you optimize your strategy over time and improve your results. Also, remember to test different messaging, and targeting strategies to maximize your approach over time. By experimenting with different tactics and analyzing the results, you can refine your marketing strategy and improve your overall results.

As mentioned earlier, in the beginning, you cannot tell which content works best for your specific target audience. Therefore, it is even more advisable to work with a content planner to keep track of your success and to adapt your content in a way that works best with your Personas.
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6 social media marketing mistakes to avoid
Failing to develop a clear social media strategy
Neglecting the power of storytelling
Overlooking the importance of visual content
Not taking the time to tailor content
Failing to respond appropriately to negative feedback
Not allocating enough resources to data analysis

What are the top 6 social media marketing mistakes to avoid?

If you make some crucial mistakes with your social media strategy, your efforts will bring you nowhere, so it's essential to avoid them. If you avoid the following 6 mistakes however, you are already up to a good start.
Mistake 1: Failing to develop a clear social media strategy
Suppose you don't have a clear social media strategy. In that case, you may waste resources on creating content that does not resonate with your target audience or even by targeting the wrong audience entirely. This can lead to a lack of engagement, conversions, and revenue for your business.

What to do instead: Before you create a social media strategy, define your goals. What do you want to achieve via social media? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or improve customer engagement? Who is your target audience? Once you have defined your goals and your Personas, you can create a sound social media strategy.
Mistake 2: Neglecting the power of storytelling and emotional connection in your content
Humans are emotional beings, and emotional connections play a crucial role in decision-making. Storytelling enables your brand to establish an emotional relationship with your audience, making them feel more invested and engaged with the brand. By sharing relatable stories, you can create an emotional resonance with your audience, ultimately leading to brand loyalty. After all, stories are memorable, and people are more likely to remember a story than a list of facts.

What to do instead: Speak to your audience as a person, not as a business. Use conversational language and personalize your content to make it relatable. Plus, share stories and testimonials from your customers that highlight the positive impact your product or service has brought to their lives.
Mistake 3: Overlooking the importance of visual content in favour of text-based posts
Visual content is more engaging and memorable than text-based content. How can we take advantage of this fact? Social media users are more likely to interact with posts that feature images or videos than those that rely solely on text. By overlooking the importance of visual content, brands risk losing out on engagement and their audience's attention.

What to do instead: Start by reviewing your content strategy. Consider what types of content you want to share on social media, and how you can balance text-based posts with visual content. For example, aim for a mix of images, videos, and graphics to keep your audience engaged.
Mistake 4: Not taking the time to tailor content to each social media platform
Social media platforms differ – in type of audience, active users and the format images, videos other content is presented. Not tailoring content to each social media platform can be a disadvantage for brands for several reasons. What works on one platform may not work on another. Also, brands that don't tailor their content to each platform may come across as lazy or unprofessional. When a brand doesn't take the time to customize its content, it can give the impression that they don't care about its audience.

What to do instead: Set aside time each week to plan out your social media content in advance. This will give you enough time to tailor your content for each platform without feeling rushed. Use a content calendar to organize your content and ensure you post the right content on the platform. In addition, work with reusable designs and templates so that you only have to design a post once and it gets automatically adapted to each platform's format type.
Mistake 5: Failing to respond appropriately to negative feedback or reviews
When brands don't respond to negative feedback, customers may perceive that the brand doesn't care about their concerns. In the worst-case scenario, customers may take their business elsewhere or even post negative reviews about the brand on social media or review sites, which can further negatively impact the brand's reputation.

What to do instead: Listen to the customer's concerns and empathize with their situation. Use language that acknowledges their feelings and frustrations that shows you understand their perspective. If the negative feedback results from a mistake or a problem with your product or service, apologize for the inconvenience caused. What's more, you can solve the customer's problem or concern. Depending on the situation, this could involve offering a refund, replacement, or discount on future purchases. Follow up with the customer to ensure that their issue has been resolved.
Mistake 6: Not allocating enough resources to data analysis and interpretation
By failing to analyze social media data, brands may miss opportunities to connect with their audience. For instance, they may invest in the wrong platforms or channels or fail to target the right audience. However, with access to insights from social media data, brands may make better marketing strategy decisions.

What to do instead: Numerous built-in social media analytics tools are available to help companies collect and analyze social media data more effectively. Twitter Analytics provides insights into tweet performance, including impressions, engagement rates, and audience demographics. LinkedIn Analytics provides insights into the performance of company pages and sponsored content, including engagement rates, reach, and audience demographics.

Some companies may need more dedicated staff to analyze social media data. Companies that do not have in-house expertise in social media data analysis may consider outsourcing to a third-party agency specializing in social media analytics.

Alternatives to social media marketing

Social media marketing is just one of the 19 marketing channels you can choose. If you tested social media marketing but did not get the results you were looking for (remember, social media marketing takes time and you need to be consistent), this article will help you find other marketing channels that will bring you the traction you are looking for.

Final thoughts

Social media marketing is a powerful method to reach potential customers and to increase brand awareness. It does not matter what type of content you create (images, videos, promotions, contests), but keep in mind to always make it valuable for your target audience.

If you only take one thing out of this article, then remember that social media marketing (organic) is a marathon. Yes, posting ads can bring you results quickly, but if you want to have an impact on your customers’ lives, then providing valuable content regularly is the way to go. And this takes time. Don’t be demotivated if you don’t get million likes and shares in the beginning. Use a content planner, create valuable content for your customers, and stay consistent. The success is waiting for you. Go get it.
Having troubles with social media marketing? This will help you