7 Biggest Social Media Mistakes and How To Fix Them

As a social media service provider it’s common to hear from people that have put time and money into social media, but have gotten few results.

These small businesses that have poured months of themselves into social media, but aren’t seeing any benefits.

They want to know why…

What am I doing wrong?

What’s wrong with my fanpage?

Does social media really just not work?

It’s understandable. At some point we joined Facebook, learned the ropes and things work perfectly.

You connect with friends and family, build up your friends, share moments, and enjoy checking up on everyone when you have time.

(Updated on March 16, 2015)

Biggest Social Media Mistakes

  1. Abandoning Accounts
    A common thing we see is people setting up a social media presence, adding a few posts,
    advertising on their website and in emails, and eventually abandoning the account, not
    updating often, or only using promotional updates.
    Let me be clear: An inconsistent presence, or one only using promotional content will
    NOT deliver positive results. In fact, the lack of updates, while still sending visitors to the
    account will only waste traffic you otherwise had engaged elsewhere.
  2. Only Promotional Updates
    A large number of fan pages exist only to update their followers on sales. Not only is this type
    of promotional unfriendly in social media, but it borders on insulting. It seems to produce little result and leaves followers looking for someone more engaging to follow.
  3. Too Many Updates at Once
    The number 1 reason for people unfollowing someone is too many updates. If they are not
    spaced out, they can fill the follower’s feed blocking anyone else from entering. Lesson
    learned here: Annoying followers does pay off.
  4. Just Regular Updates
    By only using daily (or even less regular) updates, there are so many opportunities being
    missed, it leaves little, if any at all, interaction with fans. These are the interactions that lead to relationships, and the relationships that turn into customers, so keep this in mind.
  5. Not Responding to Followers
    Recently Social Bakers set out to challenge companies to provide 100% response to fans and
    followers. The idea is that when a company responds to their followers, they aren’t feeling
    ignored, and can share the interaction with others. On top of that, visitors responded to are
    more likely to make a purchase.
  6. No Strategy
    With no strategy, visitors have no idea what to do next, and conversion rates are at their
    lowest possible point. Without leading visitors from one activity to another, they aren’t sure
    what to do, and they are easily lost at any point of the buying cycle.
    It doesn’t take long to come up with a strategy, and only requires consistent action to follow
    through with it. It is worth it, no matter how small the business is.
  7. Lack of Participation in Community
    As pointed out before, daily updates are just the tip of the iceberg, but participation is the real
    place to implement a strategy, collect fans or followers and develop relationships.

Social Media for Business is Different

You’d think that starting a fanpage and telling all of your friends about it would bring in dozens to hundreds of new likes for you. It sounds easy enough.

You make a fanpage, hit up each of your friends for them to like it, and they all share it with the world. Before your know it, you should have thousands of fans. In reality, it just doesn’t work this way.

The same social media that makes it easy to stay in touch with friends, gets brutal when you bring business into it. It’s the opposite of easy, unless you understand what you are doing.

I hope this post will help you pick out why your social media efforts aren’t working, and make a fix that will turn your fate around.

You aren’t posting enough– When you don’t post often, you aren’t activating the fans you do have, that will share, like, and comment.

These three things bring in the most viral views, and help you grow. It might seem silly to only post to a few fans, but if you don’t have an active account, new visitors won’t like or follow you.

Fix- No matter how many people like or follow you, STAY ACTIVE!!

You don’t know what to post– This is common for so many people. But there are so many things you can post.

Post anything that you think your followers will enjoy. And, when all else fails share something that someone else has posted. Here are some suggestions for what to post and when.

Fix- Share others’ posts, visit my list of things to post.

You aren’t being personable– The problem with a lot of companies is they aren’t personable in their social media. They don’t show personality, talk about themselves, share their experiences, or get to know their followers.

The main point in social media is CONNECTING, so keep this in mind. People want to connect with someone at your company!

Fix- Be yourself, let followers get to know you. Relax a bit when posting, it doesn’t all have to be highly professional.

You are too scared to screw up, so you aren’t taking action– Perfectionists have this problem with a lot of things, they get overwhelmed by the expectations and don’t do anything because they don’t want to mess up.

When it comes to social media, you have to get started, start posting, interacting and building relationships.

Fix- Just do it!!- Nike

You aren’t making an investment– Social media takes time and/or money. Just like anything with your business, you have to invest the time to make it work.

You should spend a few hours a week working on your social media, if you really want it to work. Plan ahead, write up your posts and schedule them out, then take time to check on your accounts everyday.

Fix- Put in the time, or you won’t get results.

You aren’t active in social media communities– There are already very active communities on social media, in your industry. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to find them and participate.

On Facebook there are fanpages, on Twitter there are chats and hashtags, and on Linkedin there are groups to join. By ignoring these things you miss out on a huge part of networking that will really catapult your business.

Fix- Find communities, groups and active accounts, and begin interacting with them.

It’s all about you, you, you– Your social media accounts are not the place to constantly broadcast information about your business.

Sure, you can do this some of the time, but if that is what you mostly do, no one will want to follow or interact with you, so there’s no point.

Fix- Make it about the fans, what would they want from liking or following you. Figure out how you can provide that, and do it. You’ll see much better results.

You hired the wrong person– There are a lot of people out there that call themselves social media experts. Just because they’ve used social media for their personal lives, they think they can help businesses do the same.

These are the same people that will take $8 an hour jobs for social media, because they enjoy it. The problem is, they have no training, no experience, and no idea how business needs to work with social media, and thus causing them to make mistakes.

Fix- Make sure the person you hire is a social media expert, with past clients, results, a website and active social media profiles.

You took the wrong advice– This goes hand in hand with the previous problem. You took advice from someone that didn’t have the expertise to offer it. It happens all of the time. The best thing to do is to research any advice you get, ask for second opinions, and make sure you understand why it will be effective.

Fix- Ask around, check their website to be sure they have the expertise to offer advice, get a second opinion.

You haven’t given it enough time– It takes time to build a following. You have to be patient and consistent to make it work, and it’ll be months before you see measurable results that work for your business. You have to put effort into each and every day.

Fix- Give it a few months of daily work.

Social media can be difficult, be sure to check with several websites, research tips and strategies, and ask around if you have questions. I’d be glad to help if you ever have a question, I just like to help.

I’m offering a webinar series if you are interested, about doing social media for your own business. It begins October 18th, and I’d love to have you. Sign up to get my free gift of how to use social media for business and to learn more about the series here!

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  1. Hi Mary,

    Splendid! I like the persistence factor you noted. Almost 9 PM here on a Saturday night, Kathmandu time, and I am posting comments on blogs. Why? Persistence wins in the blogging and social media game.

    Little of what we do is complex. Very little. Simple stuff, it is create and connect, create and connect, create and connect….the difficulty arises when people feel frustrated, or give up, or just toss in the towel. Then they have to start all over, or get desperate, or try a new strategy, instead of just creating good content and making friends daily.

    Thanks for sharing Mary!


  2. From last day I’m sharing daily one post on blog facebook page and getting good results, eye catchy and short status catch more attention.

  3. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the great tips. I try to apply myself as much as possible to my social media accounts, especially Twitter, as it’s my favourite 🙂

    One thing I’ve found useful for sharing content on my Fan page is the new features to Buffer. We can now share other peoples posts to Twitter and set Buffer up to also share them on our Fan pages.

    It really helps when we’re pushed for time 🙂

    Thanks Mary, great post 🙂

  4. Hi Mary,

    Awesome About page!
    But back to this page! I have been finding out by trial and error that you are right on about content on your fan pages.
    Made a few mistakes,
    posted as myself not my page, which no one ever seems to mention…
    the posts only show as a list of Posts by others on InternetMoneyStore (my fan page) so not sure they even count as content!

    May have gone overboard with making what I post personalized, but better than just copying an article off my blog or sharing a page from someone else and slapping it in place.

    Have definitely got to copy this URL and put on my notepad list of Blogs to Read!.

    I’ll have to thank Bary Wells for sharing your post…really worth the trip to read!

    I was looking for a better social sharing plugin cause lately with my use of Love Claw and CommentLuv I seem to run into trouble and get conflict.
    That perfection thing is also a biggie for me, but I’m learning it is better to “Just Do It and fix it Later if needed.”
    Thanks for the share!

    • Hi Cararta,
      Thank you for visiting and commenting. I use Social elite if that helps. Let me know if you have any issues with it, it helps me get shares for my posts. I will definitely thank Barry for sending you my way. You can subscribe to new posts if you’d like, I send them out once a week. I think it’s great you’ve learned from your past posts, the best we can do is live and learn.

      Feel free to chat me up on Twitter @marygreenim

  5. Excellent tips. I believe engaging with other participants and customers is the key. You cannot just broadcast your message to the masses and hope to get results. It needs to be meaningful, two-way dialog.

    • Right, I think some businesses think it’s just empty advice that doesn’t really mean anything. In marketing there are so many ways to bypass the good advice. In social media that just isn’t true, if you don’t follow the advice it doesn’t work. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  6. I’ve read a witty article earlier on how to catch the readers/followers’ attention and lead them directly in opening and reading your posts. It was stated that the marketer should write posts about THEM (referring to the readers, of course). The one pointed out in the article I’ve read is related to one of the mistakes discussed in your article, “It

    • I completely agree Joanne. Communication is so important. Thank you for coming from Kingged, I hadn’t heard of it before, but got a bunch of traffic from it. I really appreciate you visiting my site.

  7. Completely agree with the mistakes you have mentioned above.

    These are the most common social media mistakes which people make. Social medias are the 2nd best places in drive potential customers and readers after search engines.

    Along with these mistakes, not providing regular updates are also a common mistake as I think. I have seen so many brands on Facebook who never takes care of their audience and that’s why they don’t have engagement.

    People always want entertainment or something which can keep themeselves busy and If any brand isn’t providing such type of content then there might be the higher chances that the audience will forget the name of their brand.

    So to keep their name in their audience mind, they must have to provide such content which can help, entertain and keep their audience busy.

    I am glad that you have mentioned these major social media mistakes. So Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀

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