I love social media bubble and heart illustrationFans and followers don’t want you to be another robot sharing content endlessly and self-promoting. Just last week, I deleted countless Twitter accounts I followed because they all spammed my feed without a single content-rich update.

The same thing happens on Facebook and LinkedIn.

No one likes being promoted to constantly. People flock to social media for human interaction, and this is where businesses fall short. Sure, small businesses may not have the time or resources to hire a social media manager, but they’re doing more harm than good if they don’t start to humanize their social media presence.

And the goal is to teach you how to correct these mistakes to unveil the social media superstar you can be.

1. Every Update Isn’t About You

Somewhere along the line, people started viewing social media as only a platform about themselves. Brands are particularly stuck in this mindset because they haven’t truly humanized themselves to become friends (more on that soon) with their fans and followers.

But what’s social media if all you’re doing is talking about yourself or your brand?

You need to:

  • Share followers’ content
  • Highlight followers’ posts or images
  • Talk about followers’ contributions

If done right, you can highlight contributions that also promote your business or services in a non-aggressive manner – a win-win for all involved.

2. Not Address Complaints, Concerns and Praise Publicly

No one likes to admit their wrong. Products and services that have complaints need to confront these complaints in a caring, concerned manner. Brands that hide behind their social media accounts and never address complaints and concerns are not meeting the expectations placed on customer service.

If a person complains about your brand, be concerned – these are the people keeping you in business.

Meet complaints and concerns with:

  • Personalized messages
  • Real feedback and answers
  • Questions about the problem

Consumers and clients that are willing to address claims publicly will be able to gain the respect of their target demographic, too.

If you want to do something better than the big brands, make it customer service. Social media praise and complaints should both be met with personalized messages and answers.

3. Failing to Monitor and Respond to Your Audience

Social media users want to be heard. You need to hear your audience and response to them, but with so many social media accounts, this can seem like an insurmountable task. Tools can help you overcome these “overlooked” opportunities.

Monitoring programs and services are available that will help you find these opportunities to hear the good and bad that followers and fans are saying.

A few monitoring tools to help along the way are:

  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a complete social media suite that allows you to schedule posts, tweets and updates. The service can connect to 35 platforms and also allows you to monitor your accounts to see what others are saying and doing.
  • Mention: Mention works to ensure that you never miss a conversation. The company allows you to connect to numerous social media networks, join the conversation and a whole lot more.

Patrick Whatman wrote a great post on tools for social media marketing that goes a little more in-depth with some of the tools that every business can use to amplify their social media efforts.

4. Sharing Just Your Content

If you only share your own content, you’re not properly engaging your followers and fans. There needs to be more than the “me” factor involved. A stumbling block for many businesses and social media users is finding content to share.

Social media success is all about the content you share – even the content that isn’t yours.

Finding this content is easier than it seems:

  • Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo allows you to find and analyze content that performs best for a given topic. You can craft your posts and content assets around this content, or you can share these great pieces of content to further educate your followers and fans.
  • NinjaOutreach: NinjaOutreach is a newer tool that is geared toward outreach, but it also acts a lot like Buzzsumo so that you can find content that works well on social media. Mix it up, share this content, connect with influencers in your industry and grow your following.

Everyone makes these mistakes, but you can correct them to find success in your social media marketing. It’s all about going that extra mile to not be just another account a person or brand follows.