16 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Most Brands Make And How To Avoid Them

Social media marketing is becoming more popular as each day passes since every offline business now wants to create a space in the online world. But the problem is that a majority of these businesses are taking the wrong approach to market their brands online.

Most of these social media marketing mistakes are common to most brands, and they are not even aware of the harm their approach is causing to their social platforms.

Below are common social media marketing mistakes businesses or brands make and how to avoid them.

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Not posting enough

It is easy to sign up and create an account on social media platforms, but the main job is creating contents for them. Remember that your content is what will attract followers and potential customers, and if you are not doing this right, it will be difficult to reach your target audience.

Take out time to update your page regularly and also respond to the posts or questions of your customers and potential customers.

Posting mediocre content

Posting content that does not add value to your potential customer is a waste of time. Some businesses make the mistake of posting any content on their social media platform because they feel it will help keep their follower’s attention. But doing this is of no use when your content lacks substance and does not inspire them to take action.

It is important to post contents regularly, but while at it, ensure you are putting together something that will be beneficial to your target audience, so they do not ignore it.

Not leveraging videos

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has said the platform will leverage more on videos than any other content within the next five years. Learn to diversify your content if you want to increase engagement from your audience.

If you have been posting articles, photos, or links to your blog post, it’s time to add videos relevant to your target audience. Videos bring life to a post and have a closer touch with reality than other content formats.

Not posting engaging content

If you will post contents, try as much as possible to make it engaging for your followers. Most brands make the mistake of posting statements rather than questions that help engagement.

While statements help to increase awareness of your brand, questions increase engagements and conversations which allow your followers to get in touch on a deeper level.

Posting engaging content is an easy way to improve organic visibility and increase your brand’s social media presence.

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Relying too much on social media for revenue growth

Social media marketing helps to increase brand awareness and brings you closer to your customers, but most businesses see it only as an avenue for revenue growth and post promotional contents.

Not everyone appreciates seeing too much promotional material popping up on their account so you need to tread carefully to avoid losing followers. No one says you should not sell your business or products through social media platforms, but there is a need for moderation.

Not providing value

It is not a hidden fact that most brands and businesses on various social media platforms are only there to drive sales. But while doing that, it is also necessary to provide real value to your followers and potential customers.

Sales contents should contain real-life issues, humour or entertainment, which somehow relates to your brand. For example, a real estate business might want to take a break from posting contents on house listing and talk about how to repair wears and tears around the house. The content can be in the form of infographics, videos, interviews, and so on.

Also, make sure you seize every opportunity to communicate with your followers through the comment they leave in the comment section or the messages sent to your inbox. Allow your followers to connect with your brand on an emotional level as this could be an important tool for sales conversion at later stages.

Using the same strategy on all social media platforms

It is not enough to post every day on social media. Does your audience find your contents engaging enough to read through it or is it something they will scroll up without stopping to look? Some brands even go ahead with making the mistake of trying to share the same content across every social media platform without optimising.

The content you create for your audience on twitter is not the same for your Instagram or Facebook followers.

Every platform has a direction which they would love their users to follow. For example, Twitter is useful for posting contents on company updates and newsflash while Facebook can accommodate videos and long posts. Not following the traditions of each platform is one of the social media marketing mistakes brands and businesses makes which could cause low outreach. So tailor your content according to the platform you are sharing it.

Not having a lead generation strategy from social media

Offline and online businesses need strategies and clear goals to drive in sales. Without these, you might pump money into the wrong places. With an online business, it is important to broaden your organic reach by investing in the right advertisement. Simply posting contents on your various social media platform no longer does the trick of calling to action.

Mapping out a strategy on the best social media platform to generate leads from, budgeting and investing in strategic advertising will help in converting sales than posting contents for likes and shares. You should also have a plan for measuring the results you get from your online marketing investments.

Opening accounts on every platform

To increase your reach to potential customers, you may be tempted to open an account on every social media platform. Now, depending on how you manage this, it could either be an advantage or a disadvantage. Having too many platforms would make you stretch yourself thin trying to post contents here and there, and you could end up not hitting any of your target audience. You can do two things here.

The first is focusing your time and funds on the platforms that are producing positive results. How do you identify these platforms? By using analytics which will give you details on what is yielding and what is not. If your Twitter page is not producing results and you’ve tried everything possible to ensure it does, do not be afraid to deactivate the account.

Another thing you can do is use social media management tools which helps in ensuring that your content gets across your target audience and drive engagements to yield positive results. But you will want to be careful here as some of these tools might deliver automated contents that your audience may not find engaging.

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Ignoring important metrics

Most brands do not see the need to use analytical software provided by the social media platform to check their performance metrics. While posting contents on your accounts, it is important to track the quality of your followers, their interaction with you, the popularity of each post, demographics, and other important metrics that will help you in mapping out your next social media marketing strategies.

If possible, using external software such as Google Analytics will also help analyse the traffic from your site by tracking your post shares and testing if they are likely to lead to sales conversion or not.

Paying for fake social signals

This point is one of the most common mistakes brands make in social media marketing. The quest to get more increase engagement and make the page look “popular” or “reputable” drives most business to acquire fake online followers, likes, or shares. Some might take it a step further by holding contests with the promise of gifts to attract followers who will probably fizzle out after it is over.

The consequence of this action is little interaction even with a significant number of followers and potential embarrassment. The best way to build your social media presence is through getting organic followers who are interested in your brand and what it offers. We can also use advertising as a tool to grow your social signals.

Not maintaining professional standards

When you do not have a social media policy for your team members to follow, there is a huge possibility that anyone in the team could respond inappropriately to negative comments. There should be a policy that should outline what posts or comments to approve or ignore. Whoever is managing your brand’s social platforms should know this policy and strictly adhere to it.

For some companies, they’ll prefer to stay away from contents that suggest anything political, religious, sexual, discriminatory, and so on. Not only will it help to maintain the professional standards of your brand, but it will also prevent any need to take part in the unnecessary argument that could stain your brand‘s reputation.

Making insensitive or inappropriate posts

While it is important to get closer to your followers on social media so you can provide real value, you need to be careful of “innocent” contents that can go wrong.

Snapchat added an ad for a game known as Would You Rather? The game was asking potential users if they would rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown. Now, this ad was viewed by numerous users including Rihanna who saw it as an indirect way of joking about domestic violence, and it resulted in a nasty backlash on Snapchat producers even after they apologised.

Learn to draw the line between funny and inappropriate contents by reviewing it before approving. Don’t wait until the damage is done because even your apologies might not win your customers back.

Snapchat Would You Rather

Making spelling and grammatical errors

With the availability of numerous grammar checkers like ProWritingAid, there should be less spelling and grammar errors on social media contents, but this is hardly the case. Recently, there was an outcry on twitter when the Department of Education in the United States had wrongly spelt W.E.B. DuBois as W.E.B Debois and still made another mistake after being called out. Now, nobody will look at the inspiring message the poster had intended to pass across rather they’ll concentrate on the spelling error.

As a business or brand, it is important to edit and proofread your contents after writing and before publishing. Avoid a situation where the writer is also the editor. And even if it’s the case probably because of staying under budget, you need to ensure that the writer waits for at least 30 minutes to an hour before editing the content. This helps to reduce the chances of skipping grammar or spelling errors. Your posts should always appear profession and intentional for you to attract and retain followers.

Not critically reviewing content

Before posting contents on social media sites, ensure you and other experienced members of the team review it. A single post can either make or mar your brand and so it is important to have an insight into how your audience will perceive a post before publishing it. You need to know what your brand stands for and take steps to ensure that you do not compromise.

Let’s look at an example of one of the biggest beauty brands in the industry; Dove. It is a company known for over 10 years for encouraging women to embrace their natural beauty and skin colour. But recently, Dove posted an advert on Facebook which questioned what they stood for. In the ad, a black woman was shown to turn into a white woman after she probably applied the Dove body lotion on her skin.

This advert had lots of negative feedback ranging from racism to colourism. And although Dove removed the ad on Facebook and released a statement of apology, it may not take away the perception in the minds of millions of women they do not stand for natural beauty.

Not being strategic about taking political sides

It’s getting harder for brands to present a neutral front in a politically charged world. Numerous studies have shown that internet users want brands to take a stand on social and political issues. Taking sides in political or social issues is a perilous terrain that can reward or punish a brand in the long or short term.

For example, Gillette recently got into trouble with their customers after their recent ad campaign “We believe in the Best of Men” which was aimed which at trying to correct the “societal problems” associated with men.

Not everyone liked the advert, and those that were displeased threatened to stop buying products from Gillette. If possible, brands should avoid taking social and political sides, and if not, they should learn how to be strategic about it.


Every business whether big or small makes mistakes which is not a bad thing since learning comes from making mistakes. The important thing is to identify these mistakes early and correct them before it has a negative impact on your brand.


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