In 2015 alone, marketers spent roughly $8.3 billion on social media marketing (SMM). It’s easy to see why: countless people check their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr on a daily or hourly basis. Never before have marketers been able to communicate with their audiences so frequently and through so many different mediums.

Yet for as powerful as SMM is, it’s still a relatively new form of marketing. Many businesses are still grappling with how to make social media networks work for them, how to effectively build a social presence and how to connect with their targeted demographics.

All too often, businesses fall into well-intentioned but uninspired SMM campaigns that miss the mark or fail to capitalize on the full potential of social media.

While this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list, we’ve compiled some of the most common and harmful mistakes businesses make with SMM. Here’s what to avoid:

  • Starting too ambitious: creating too many accounts on different networks at the very beginning. This is particularly applicable to small businesses, but no matter the size of your company, you don’t want to overexert yourself. While there are plenty of great channels for a business to tap into, effective marketing on a single network is much better than lackluster marketing on several networks. Start with a single network and work on delivering quality, original content regularly with an organized routine. Once you’re confident you can do the same on an additional network, branch out, but don’t spread yourself too thin until you’re ready to expand.
  • Marketing without a larger strategy or clearly defined goal. This may seem obvious, but all too many companies dive into SMM with vague objectives. “Promoting your business” or “increasing sales” are too open-ended to drive concrete initiatives and get results. Start with a simple, clearly defined objective: like driving sales for a particular aspect of your business or raising awareness of a specific service or product. Then, break down your strategy for achieving this objective. Finally, make sure you have a method of measuring your success in this endeavor and set benchmark goals for specific points in time, that way you can adjust your approach if you’re not getting results.
  • Sharing excessively or not using original content. Sharing, retweeting or reposting is a great feature on social media platforms that certainly has it’s place. However, it’s important to remember that if you want followers, you need to regularly post your own original content. If you are only sharing or reblogging the content of others, people will end up simply reading content on other websites– not your own. To get people to come to your website and stay, offer something they won’t find elsewhere: original, engaging, and informative content.
  • Not engaging with the audience. Stop and think about the name: social media marketing. It’s important to remember that social media should be a process of engaging with your audience, which includes listening and responding to them. Nobody wants to follow your SMM networks if it just sounds like you’re sending messages without listening, just like face to face conversation. For SMM success, respond to the comments and posts from your followers and tune your content to their feedback and criticisms. Making people feel like they’re being listened to goes a long way!

Worried that your business is committing a deadly sin of SMM? Uncertain of how you can achieve SMM success? Reach out to our SMM experts today to see how we can supercharge your SMM campaigns!