5 Social Media Mistakes You're Probably Making

This week the wonderful Robyn Mays (aka my dear client and co-founder of South Africa-based digital agency Digital Butter) is here to help us get our social media marketing game back on track.


Social media is like any other technology – it’s great when it works but VERY frustrating when it doesn’t. So how can you make sure it works as often as possible? By avoiding some fundamental mistakes! Below are 5 mistakes you’re probably making when it comes to social media and how to fix them.

#1: Neglecting Your Social Media Objectives

Without a strategy to follow your results are bound to be less effective. A good place to start is to think about the ‘why’ behind your specific channels and from there it is easier to make sure the content you create aligns with your goals for those channels. Not only does content creation become easier but breaking down your objectives into actionable strategies means reporting (tracking how much your audience is engaging with your online content) becomes easier and more valuable to you.

#2: Inconsistent Posting

Consistency means regular, but also intentional posting (that being: posts that fit your social media objectives). Consistency is essential for social media. However, when our own lives get busy, and despite our best intentions, we all get overwhelmed and neglect our own social media. We often see profiles with no posts for weeks and then 3 posts in a day. So, to avoid making this mistake it is helpful to consider the following:

  1. Planning out your posts in advance and
  2. Use a scheduling platform, such as Buffer, so that you don’t have to worry about uploading posts manually.

#3 – Being Too Professional (aka Really Boring)

In order to build trust with potential customers, you first need to show yourself as trustworthy. One of the greatest ways to build this trust is through an authentic social media strategy, bringing ‘real’ into everything your brand puts out online.
There are a few ways to go about doing this, but one of the most effective ways is to showcase the behind the scenes of your company. Whether it’s through ‘Meet the Team’ posts or insights into how the brand works – by showing what goes into maintaining and running your business, you create an authentic and transparent product or service that people feel more inclined to buy into.

#4: Being Too ‘Salesy’ In Your Messaging

When using social media it’s easy to forget that it’s really about giving value to your customers rather than peppering people with sales pitches. A lot of businesses use social media as a platform for pure advertising – all their posts are sales-related which means they’ve missed the point (and true power) of social media. It’s about connecting with your audience, building a community and building trust.

#5: Not Paying for Ads. The boosted post vs paid advert debate

The algorithms are not in your favor.

Although you can generate great leads from organic posting, you’re missing out on the huge numbers by not utilizing ads as part of your social media strategy. Organic reach is currently only about 6% on Facebook which means that by leaving ads out of your social media strategy you’re losing the opportunity to grow your audience.

Another tip most people overlook is how powerful Facebook ads can be compared to boosted posts. We write more on this in another blog post you can find here: Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts

Bonus! Here’s 2 more!

#6: Thinking anyone at the organization can do social media marketing

There is so much that goes into social media: branding, marketing, sales, copywriting and design just to name a few. Social media should be done by an experienced team and not just someone who has a personal Facebook account.

Some tips to help your organization get started:

  • Play to your strengths: identify the skills needed to run a successful social media marketing team and see who in your team has those skills. Ie: Graphic design to one person, copywriting another.
  • Invest in your people: identify the areas you and your team are lacking in skills and up-skill yourselves using a plethora of online resources (including courses) on social media marketing from Coursera or Udemy. By investing in your people you improve your social media skills as well as enrich your team’s capabilities.

#7 Not learning/adapting from reports and analytics.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram give you great analytics as well as a range of social media scheduling software. Our favorite software for scheduling and reporting is Agora Pulse, if you’re looking for a powerful analytics tool, look no further. You can use these analytics to monitor what works and what doesn’t, test new ideas, and constantly better the content you’re sharing with your audience.

So to end off…

Social media isn’t scary! You don’t need to become viral in a day to make your digital mark. Start by making small changes to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Social media is not a short game to be won but rather something that requires some time, effort, learning and trial-and-error to get right. And you can get it right. Just keeping being authentic to who you are as a brand, and you will see the payoff.

Robyn Mays, Digital Butter.


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