5 Social Media Content Mistakes to Avoid

Although social media has been around for a few years, plenty of businesses and entrepreneurs still get it wrong. When planning your social marketing strategy and being active on social channels, avoid these 5 common content mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not engaging with your audience

Social media is a conversation starter, not a broadcast tool. The key word in this type of media is “social.” Why should anyone like your Facebook page or follow your Twitter account if you never socialize and engage with them?

5 Social Media Content Mistakes to Avoid image bored and not engaged people e1366103017478Image curtesy to Morgan David de Lossi/ Corbis

If you struggle with engagement on your social networks, try these techniques:

  • Respond to comments, tweets, and private messages ASAP. Within 30 minutes is ideal, according to social media expert Mari Smith.
  • Ask questions and make it clear you value the responses.
  • Thank followers for following you, sharing your stuff, recommending you, answering your questions, and other forms of participation.
  • Host giveaways or contests to make it worth followers’ time to engage with you.

Mistake #2: Only talking about yourself

Closely related to the first social media content mistake, only talking about yourself is the worst thing you can do on social platforms. No one wants to talk to the centered person at a party or be friends with someone who constantly makes sales pitches.

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To keep and grow your audience, you must post content that is interesting, relevant, and valuable to your audience. You have to fill their feeds with content they actually want to consume so you can earn the right to talk about yourself. If you struggle with this, consider these remedies:

  • Engage with your audience!
  • Share other people’s content that your audience will love.
  • Tell customer success stories.
  • Give shout-outs to individual employees, executives, thought leaders, local groups, and other relevant people when they do something awesome.
  • Talk about your business no more than 20% of the time.

Mistake #3: Always posting the same kind of content

Take a look at the pages and profiles of the people and brands you personally follow online. What do their profiles look like? I’d bet those pages are interesting and varied, full of conversations and many different kinds of content.

If all you publish on your Facebook page or Twitter profile is links, you’re in trouble, even if you are sharing links to other people’s content. A social profile only containing one type of content gets boring fast, and offers no incentive for customers and fans to follow it. Plus, it’s not very attractive.

If you find yourself only publishing links, these suggestions might help:

  • Engage with your audience and peers! Conversations break up other social media content very well.
  • Share more visual content others have created.
  • Create more of your own visual content.

Mistake #4: Posting links without text

Of course you’ll publish links to your newest blog post or a valuable industry resource on your social networks. But naked links without thumbnail images or descriptions look like spam (not to mention ugly). If you don’t tell followers why a link is worth clicking, they won’t.

So how do you avoid this social media content mistake?

  • Make sure all your content has an attractive image that resizes nicely as a thumbnail.

5 Social Media Content Mistakes to Avoid image Writtent Facebook Page1 e1366206775385

  • Spend some time writing social-friendly “headlines” for links, whether that’s the title of the blog post or something completely different.
  • Give links a description that encourages click-throughs.

Mistake #5: Not investing in owned assets

Social media can be powerful, but it’s not worth as much as it could be if you ignore assets you actually own. Facebook cannot replace your website. Don’t devote hours to conversations, support, and great social media content and forget to focus on the content and assets you control.

Some owned assets to focus on and invest in include:

  • videos
  • blog posts
  • your website
  • data and research
  • presentations
  • email marketing

Other Social Media Content Mistakes

What mistakes have you noticed with social media content? How do you avoid making these 5 mistakes? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Discuss This Article

Comments: 4

  • Marianne Goodwin says:

    Great list to be reminded of! Thank you!

  • Glad you made it Chistina. Nowadays, Social media is controversial, what would be our actions may reflect to the reputation that we have. I admit sometimes we commit any mistakes in our online movements, sometimes on blogs but it will never be boring at all, when investing at the complete ingredients of entertainment. Activeness upon response can promote a liveliness also to your social media life.

    • You make a good point, Anika–being active on social media is important, but can be problematic if used incorrectly. One of the best things about social media is how transparent it is. Transparency builds trust and community, and it reflects and reinforces one’s reputation. That’s why it’s so important to avoid these social media mistakes.

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