social media marketingSocial media connects people and businesses in ways we never could have imagined just a few decades ago. It has changed the way we do business and build brands. That is why so many companies are relying on social media marketing to grow their customer base.

Many people, however, don’t fully understand how to take advantage of online platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Without proper expertise and guidance, they make major marketing mistakes like the following:

Failing to make a long-term plan

Don’t be one of those businesses that get all excited over their shiny new Facebook page, posts incessantly for two months, and then leaves it to collect dust and unanswered comments from disappointed customers. If you’re going to start a social media marketing campaign, have a long-term plan. Embrace social media as part of your company’s daily work towards building a bigger, stronger client base.

Automating everything

Customers can tell when you’re not really engaged on social media. Using a system that generates social media posts and automatically sends them out to various platforms indicates that you’re not really present, just feeding content to your profiles from a distance. You should be tailoring your posts to fit different platforms. For instance, the language, context, and culture of Twitter are different than that of Facebook. Nothing is worse than seeing the @ symbol referencing a Twitter handle in a Facebook post. In other words, put your posting tasks into human hands to add a personal touch.

Posting too much or too little

You must spread out your posts so that they are frequent enough to keep your audience engaged but not so common that they become a nuisance. Post too often and you will risk losing followers who are sick of seeing you pop up in their newsfeed. On the other hand, having a Facebook page that is a virtual ghost town won’t do you or your customers any good.

Ignoring comments

Ignoring your followers is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media. After all, what’s the point in having a Twitter account if you’re not addressing your audience directly? You may not have started your social media accounts to act as platforms for customer service and inquiries, but if your followers have questions or comments, you need to reply.

Posting irrelevant content

Funny memes, cute kittens, viral videos – they’re all quality content … for your personal social media account. When it comes to your business’s Facebook page, limit your posts to content that is relevant to your industry. The point of online marketing is to attract strong leads and establish yourself as an authority in your field. That means you need to give people the information they’re looking for.

As many as 74% of brand marketers see an increase in web traffic after investing only six hours per week in social media. Of course, you can’t just rely on social media marketing alone. Building a web presence involves SEO and other online marketing strategies as well. It is in your company’s best interest to hire a skilled team with experience in all areas of online marketing.