7 Most Common Mistakes Brands Make on Social Media

Marissa Heckman
By Marissa Heckman

You work hard to cultivate followers on each of your brand’s social media pages, but all your effort could potentially be thrown away… by you! I know what you’re thinking, “How could I be responsible for driving away followers? I want them, I need them!” It’s more common than you would think.

There are a few mistakes that many, even some successful, brands make on social media that can have a substantial impact on your follower count and, more importantly, the way people view your brand as a whole. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that many of these mistakes are easily avoidable once you are aware of them. And once fixed, or avoided entirely, your brand will be stronger than ever across all platforms.

Overly Promoting Your Brand

This may seem counterintuitive. Obviously, you’re going to promote your brand, that’s the entire reason you’re on social media. Gain followers, convert them to customers, that’s the goal.

However, your audience will see right through you if every single post you have is about how greatyour brand is. They will get bored and once that happens, an unfollow is probably on its way. Therefore, overly promoting your brand may lose you followers.

Related: Which Social Platforms Should My Brand Be On?

That being said, it’s not that you can’t feature your product, company, or even initiatives on social media. You just need to do it in a creative way that engages the audience (more on that later) rather than sells to them.

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Great Example: GoPro, the World’s Most Versatile Camera, has a great Instagram account that features consumer photos everyday. This is an awesome example of featuring a product in a way that is meaningful to the audience. GoPro is still communicating the incredible capabilities and image quality of their cameras to their followers, but they’re letting someone else show it.

Not Optimizing Posts

There are a few different ways you can optimize your posts. First, each platform has different image ratios, and sometimes one platform has multiple ratios that look best on the specific site.

Instagram ratios are different than Facebook which are different than SnapChat, etc. Ensuring that the images you’re posting are sized and formatted correctly for a particular site is crucial for making your posts of the highest quality possible.

Related: When to Use Hashtags (& When to Leave Them Out)

You’re also going to want to be careful about adding links and hashtags. Any URL you add to the post should be relevant to that post, otherwise your message will become muddled.

The same goes for too many hashtags, it is overwhelming to the viewer and can convolute the post’s purpose. Research conducted by Statista shows that one or two hashtags per post is usually a safe bet to keep the audience engaged without chasing them off.

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Overlooking Video Content

Do not underestimate the power of video content especially given its versatility in the online marketplace. You can use video to explain how your product or service works, show the product in action, perpetuate customer testimonials and more!

In fact, research finds that four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it. Short videos allow consumers to quickly learn about a product and get a sense for the company. This is a powerful tool.

Related: Video Advertising on Facebook Best Practices

And with platforms developing business tools that allow the creation of video content directly on the platform, such as Facebook Slideshow, it is easier than ever for all brands to develop quality video content.

Ignoring Your Community

One of the benefits, and some would say expectations, of having your brand on social media is the ability to interact with your audience. As you grow your following on each platform, it is important to stay engaged with that community.

You can interact with your community in a number of ways including responding to all messages in a timely manner, interacting with visitor posts and comments, thanking people for good reviews and expressing an interest in fixing bad reviews.When your customers feel like they are apart of something bigger, they’ll gravitate towards your brand and may even help promote through word-of-mouth.

Great Example: Take a quick look at the Starbucks Twitter page, and you’ll see the company has nearly 12 million followers. The next thing you’ll notice is that Starbucks is keeping busy responding to mentions, apologizing for bad experiences, and just carrying on some interesting conversations with its followers.

 

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Lack Of Branding Guidelines

With so many social media platforms available, it can be difficult to ensure that your brand’s message is consistent across all platforms. But creating a set of branding guidelines can help you streamline the look, feel, and content of your brand across platforms.

You’ll want to consider everything from the colors featured in your posts, to the fonts used, and even how the templates on your website coincide with the formatting on the various social media platforms.

Related: Strategies for Growing Your Social Media Following as a New Brand

Consistency across all social media platforms, as well as your website, creates a more appealing experience for your audience while making your brand appear more credible. These guidelines can also create a recognizable brand that helps you stand out among your competitors.

Great Example: Coca-Cola has carefully developed their brand by utilizing their distinctive red logo across all of their social media platforms. They even have consistency around the images they are currently using for their #ShareACoke campaign. Just take a look at their Twitter and Facebook profiles.

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Viewing Quantity Over Quality

Part of being on social media, is striving to grow your audience. The more followers you have, the more eyes see your content and the more potential buyers you have watching your brand. However, a large audience is not always the best audience.

A better metric to keep an eye on, is engagement, or how interactive your audience is with your posts and content. Due to the algorithms that determine what content users see, if your brand has low engagement your content won’t be seen, no matter how large your audience is.

Related: Debunking The Most Common Social Media Marketing Myths

This means you must post regularly on your channels and at optimal times to drive up interactions. You will also want to vary the types of posts you create between quality promotional posts, something featuring your product, and engagement driving content.

Focusing On Conversions

Although you will always have your bottom line in mind, the primary focus of your social media usage should be presenting your brand and its story. On social media, you have the ability to create a favorable appearance and environment for your potential customers.

In addition, it is a place to present your brand in the best possible light, and introduce yourself to the marketplace.The closeness that social media allows between a brand and its customers, with messaging and comments, will allow the customers to feel connected to the brand.

At this point, it is established that social media can increase conversions, but it is not a linear journey for the customer. Just because a specific post isn’t the final touchpoint that directly causes a conversion, doesn’t mean it won’t help increase the exposure of your brand.

Related: Are My Target Customers on Social Media?

Establishing your brand on social media can have a significant impact on your business and help drive more customers to your checkout. Social media can make you more accessible to your customers and can also help to form a relationship with them.

It is a robust means to many different ends, all of which will positively affect your company, but you must post with intention in order to avoid these common mistakes.

 

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Marissa is an Organic Social Media Specialist at Power Digital. Born and raised in California, she enjoys working in the digital space to practice and enhance her strategic and creative thinking. Having graduated top of her class at SDSU, she finds enjoyment in the ever-changing and challenging world of marketing.