The odds are pretty good that you or your company has a presence on a variety of different social media platforms. The problem is that many companies don’t understand the concept behind these tools. They approach social media in the same manner that they approach their blog or website.

They might be trying to preserve the voice of their brand across platforms. But social media has its own independent character, and if professionals don’t adapt, they won’t be able to unlock the full benefits of social media.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes brands make with social media, shall we?

Mistake #1: Focusing Too Much Effort on the Quantity of Followers

Everybody wants to have a successful social profile. However, most companies mistake quality with quantity. This is how many intrusive social campaigns were created. The lure of overnight success was summoned with posts that asked people to share or like it solely for a chance to win a prize.

The profile will surely gather many followers with the promise of winning something. However, the newly created community won’t have a solid foundation to withstand time. If the company doesn’t educate its followers, they can unsubscribe from its thread at the first post that tries to sell them something.

So, the social media mistake here is focusing on quantity and not quality. One of the today’s problems is the overwhelming mass of content. Modern people want to stay updated with the latest trends in their professional and personal interests. However, they will have to choose between quality sources of information and the ones that are just attention-grabbing.

Once you focus on creating quality content, the followers will come. However, it might take a long while to reach a high number of followers, but the results will be long-term.

Mistake #2: Jumping into Social Media Without a Plan or Roadmap

Professional social profiles should be treated as an extra marketing channel. This means that they need constant activity to register any success. However, most companies jump on social media without a plan. They create several profiles on different social platforms, and they post several articles or marketing campaigns. Next time they will use them would be probably to advertise their new product. However, the profile would be powerful enough to bring traction for the new campaign.

Understanding the social media landscape is an important part of getting the most from your social media campaigns.

So, like any other digital channel, a social media profile needs a plan. Like any other strategy, this plan needs to determine some factors in the first place, namely how much time the marketing team invest; what its goals and strategies are; and a designated expert to be in charge of the project.

Mistake #3: Over-Promotion and Spamming Your Followers

Many companies fail to grasp the main reason social media is so important, which is communication. People sign up on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to stay in touch with their friends and family. They’re also employing their profile as a means to recreate their character in the digital dimension. Consequently, they’ll follow only the brands they love, or intend to use in the future.

So, users are not interested in buying new products, but in finding things they like that represent them. The profiles that keep posting only links to their products are not actually respecting the purpose of social media. Such brands only show their will to influence people into bringing them profit.

A successful social presence will add value to its community by educating them about its field of expertise. Consequently, a marketing business doesn’t have to post only their services. They should bring the quality articles to the attention of their community, and they should prove the importance of their services through studies and research.

As a rule of thumb and to respect the social nature of these profiles, companies should have ten conversational messages for for every promotional post.

It’s also normal and even recommended for prestigious brands to share articles created by others. If they convey an important message that resonates with their culture, there is no reason not to do it. Social media is first and foremost a channel of communication. Any advertising moves should be based on creating trust and interactions between brand and leads.

Mistake #4: Relying too Much on Automation

Many companies resort to automation to maintain high activity on their social profiles. This means that whenever they create a new campaign or blog post, their links will be automatically posted on social platforms.

This might save the marketing teams valuable time, but it will not build a strong social community. Since a new study indicates that social media is on the rise, you need to interact directly with this environment to understand how it works.

The danger here is that there can be too many updates in one day or that the posts don’t speak the language of that particular website. Research shows that people usually use social media for interaction, information, to pass the time, entertainment, relaxation, chatting, and expressing their opinion. So, the principal purpose is that of having a good time.

78% of U.S. adults are on Facebook. 28% on LinkedIn. 26% on Instagram. 23% on Twitter.Click To Tweet

Consequently, the corporate character of your blogs or campaigns has little impact on social media. Instead, the posts should be adjusted to fit the different medium. Marketers can post links to their blogs, but the social introduction should find a friendlier angle. As long as your posts are entertaining, relatable, and even funny, your social profiles will seem more like friends and less as soulless businesses.

Mistake #5: Leaving Complaints and Questions Unanswered

Like any other marketing angle, social media comes with advantages and disadvantages. The benefit of having an official profile is that it gets you closer to your target audience. On the other hand, this kind of interaction will leave your company exposed to the public criticism. Depending on the way companies handle the negative feedback, your own community can turn against your brand.

So, another social media mistake is to leave complaints and questions unanswered. Silence is another form of communication that can display only negative character traits like ignorance, indifference, and rudeness.

Consequently, once you open a line of communication through social media platforms, you also have the responsibility to take care of your public. If you kill your followers with kindness, they will remain loyal to the brand and even persuade others to choose your products. As far as the negative reviews go, you should either reply with solid evidence that contradicts the accusations in a polite manner or take proactive measures to fix the problem.

Mistake #6: Lack of Branding Consistency 

Your official social profiles resemble that of a human character. It uses visuals and copywriting to build a certain type of persona. If you want your brand to be an authority in its field, you should focus on delivering a robust and consistent image of your company.

However, many companies are tempted with too many different strategies that promise them massive new waves of followers. These approaches usually make them betray their brand voice and borrow the success recipes from others. This can result in a confusing online page. For example, a serious marketing profile will confuse its followers if it starts posting images and videos with cute kittens. This kind of content is entertaining, but it is a disruptive segment from the general personality of the profile.

Companies might win huge spikes of interactions from their followers that day. However, in the long run, the brand can suffer serious repercussions. The visitors might not be convinced enough of the expertise of the brand if they see content that is intended for children. All your posts should align with the brand identity so you can create consistency and a voice of authority.

Conclusion

So, these are the main social media mistakes that many companies make. Most of them are connected to the temptation of quick gains without much effort. However, your social profiles require strategies and commitment from your part to unlock access to new leads. Thus, as long as you focus on building quality and genuine content, your brand will have much to gain from its social presence.

About the Author: Marc Mendelman is a career advisor and professional writer, with a focus on everything business related. He shares his knowledge because he wants to help both entrepreneurs and individuals choose the best strategies and implement them correctly. He currently writes for todayassistant.com