Top Social Media Mistakes Companies Make (and How to Avoid Them)

We live in an age where every company (or at least a huge majority) is present on social media, for better or for worse. The reason for the comment is that there are still many, many, many companies out there that are really not doing a great job on the social media, for a number of reasons.

Their social media practices resemble a Charlie Chaplin routine more than the graceful dance of Mikhail Baryshnikov as they stumble from one mistake into another, turning it into a mess.

Today, we will be looking at the most common mistakes companies still manage to make on social media and we will also share a few tips on how to avoid them.


Doing It All

If you think that your accounting agency should have its own Pinterest or Instagram page, think again. If you were looking to promote your homemade jewelry business on LinkedIn, think again.

Some social media outlets are better suited for certain companies, while others work better on others. The aforementioned examples are quite drastic, but there is a huge number of companies that try to do every social media outlet because they think they should.

There is no need for that. In fact, this way you are far more likely to spread yourself too thin and cause your content and your social media presence to look more like a bot game than anything else.

Instead of this, why not focus on one or two social media outlets that really make sense for you, like for instance Twitter and LinkedIn for B2B companies or something visual Like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook if you are selling products to consumers. Of course, these are just suggestions.




The Wrong Person Doing It

Ah, the social media intern. That mythical being that is brought on to give “that whole social media thing” a try and perhaps, just perhaps, turn everything around.

Well, guess what? They will not turn it around.

This is not saying that social media interns and similar individuals cannot be effective. It is just that they will not revolutionize the way our company exists and bring you thousands of new clients. At least not quickly.

Social media requires time and it requires a human touch from someone who understands your company and who has worked for it for a while.

Instead of bringing someone in just to do social media for you, check with your present employees and find out if someone is particularly social media savvy. Or, try something crazy and have your employees take turns doing company social media. If you run a store (or a few of them), use retail scheduling software to make sure that someone is always responding to customers on social media and posting stuff.

If you do wish someone to handle your company social media, then find someone with experience and with demonstrable results in their portfolio.

Which brings us to our next mistake…


Not Tracking the Proper Results

Perhaps the biggest mistake that companies make when they do social media is not being smart about their results. For one, they expect too much in too little time. Social media is not as quick to bring returns on investments as some other types of marketing. It is meant to work over time, accumulatively.

More importantly, many companies make the mistake of not tracking the actual results and the metrics that matter. Instead of tracking how many new conversions are directly or at least indirectly tied to their social media efforts, they track likes and favorites and follows, the so called vanity metrics.

Do not get us wrong, these do have their value, but for the actual ROI and the actual, cold, hard numbers, KPIs like conversions and traffic coming from social media are much better indicators of where you stand.




Not Using Tools

Another mistake that is a common sight in companies that use social media is that they expect their people to handle everything when this is just not possible.

Would you force your sales team to work without an email client or a phone?

You would not.

People need tools to do their job and this goes for social media that companies do to improve their revenue.

Social media tools that the companies can use will include huge, comprehensive solutions such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social as well as those more specialized such as Tweetfavy or PinFavy. The important thing is to create your set of tools and then find the best uses for them.


strutting my stuff


Taking the Human Out of It

Probably the most terrible mistake that companies make on social is that they forget what social media is all about – about people and connections between people.

It’s in the name, really.

Your social media channels are not meant to be ad space and just another way to grow your email list. This is not saying that you should not promote your company from time to time, but it should not end up being the sole purpose of your social media accounts.

Company social media accounts are meant to bring your business closer to its customers and partners. It is a way to show how your company is different and how it does certain things differently.

It is a lot of things.

As long as the human aspect is an inseparable part.

James Burbank

James D. Burbank has spent years in traditional marketing, trade show industry and is now doing his best to understand the world of online marketing. You can check out his blog – BizzMark Blog or you can follow him on Twitter - @JBurbank2019