Social media marketing is harder than it seems. To keep posting consistent, high-quality, and engaging content, you’ve got to have all kinds of personal skills, know your audience, and use the right tools. You’ll have to keep up with social media trends and improve your work all the time so as not to fall behind your competitors.

In this post, we’ll look at the mistakes that brands most often make when it comes to social media marketing.

1. Not listening to your audience

Most social media marketers are aware that people talk to brands on social media. Twitter is full of users complaining and questioning companies; brands’ Facebook posts gather dozens of comments. Sometimes, social media crises happen: then, you can have hundreds of people addressing brand’s social media accounts.

A common mistake is to leave social media marketing at that: to just watch and reply to comments addressed to a brand directly and ignore all other conversations.

Your audience doesn’t only talk to your brand. It also talks about it. By not listening to these conversations, you miss most feedback (good and bad), questions, and complaints. You don’t know whether people are recommending your brand to their friends. You don’t know what features they wish for or why your target audience prefers your competitors. If you’re not listening to what your audience is saying about your brand, products, competitors, marketing campaigns, etc. – you’re heavily missing out.

What to do instead:

Get a social media listening tool. Use your brand’s name, your product names, your competitors’ brand names (and anything else you deem relevant) as keywords. Most social media listening tools will monitor social media networks (as well as news sites, blogs, and forums) for keyword mentions and deliver them to you in real time. You’ll be able to observe what your audience thinks and reply to them whenever it’s needed.

Social media monitoring tools differ in their coverage and analytics capabilities. Of course, this is reflected in their pricing as well. Here are some examples:


Awario is a social media monitoring tool that strives to be affordable and useful for a business on any budget, be it a startup or a marketing agency. Awario monitors all major social media networks, news sites, blogs, forums, and the web. It lets you create complex queries using Boolean search, analyze the data (mentions’ growth, sentiment, language, location, etc.) and reply to mentions straight from the app.

Price: starts at $29/month. A free 7-day trial is available.


Tweetdeck is a monitoring tool made specifically for Twitter. It doesn’t cover any other social networks, but it finds mentions of specific keywords in real time and offers some analytics features as well. You can filter the search by date, language, and location, and reply to mentions straight from the app.

Price: free


Talkwalker is a powerful social media listening tool for large brands. The tool covers not only social media, news sites, blogs, forums, and the web, but also print and TV. Image recognition is also available in the more expensive plans.

Talkwalker’s analytics includes demographics, occupation, and interests of the audience, as well as industry trends and most used hashtags.

Price: starts at $9,600/year.

2. Ignoring (deleting) negative feedback

A common mistake that is worth recalling in 2020, is ignoring or deleting negative feedback. Despite many years of talking about this mistake, brands still take the hide-under-a-rock approach to negative feedback.

We get it – it’s hard to read about how your product is not good, despite all your efforts. Users’ feedback can be unfair, disappointing, and plain rude. However, by ignoring negative comments online, you’re showing your audience that you don’t care about their opinion. This turns potential customers that see everything that happens online away from you, and also puts the loyalty of the existing customers at risk.

In addition to that, deleting negative comments is risky because there are attentive people in every niche and those that care enough to leave comments usually notice it. So negative comments get screenshotted, new angry comments that accuse brands of deleting old comments appear, and the trustworthiness of your brand fades no matter how right you were in the first place.

What to do instead:

Join the conversation about your brand and your product. Offer a solution that will satisfy the customer or explain why their needs can’t be met at that moment. Whenever possible, invite a customer to message your brand directly and figure out a solution together. Remember that private conversations are also often screenshotted.

3. Ignoring (deleting) irrelevant comments

Not all comments to your brand’s posts will be relevant. You might make a post about an annual sale or a product launch, and still there will be someone mentioning a hot girl having a coffee in your store. I personally know social media managers that delete these kinds of comments because they are irrelevant to the post and “distract readers from the point”.

Comments are very unlikely to distract readers from the huge sale you’re having. But whether they are about girls, coffee, or cats, they have a chance to raise engagement with your post. The higher the engagement, the more social media networks show your post to other users, the more attention it gets, the higher your chances of attracting new customers.

What to do instead:

Sometimes, it’s just good to leave your community to discuss whatever it is they are discussing under the post. And sometimes, you could join the conversation if you have something appropriate to say.

4. Being too promotional

Another social media mistake that brands still make is being too self-centered on social media. While all brands strive to have an online presence, not all social media managers feel like a Twitter chat fits their brand image. Or, they disregard having a fun and creative online presence for some other reason. So, they end up posting promotional information and reply to comments in a corporate style of a serious (read “faceless”) company.

This is not social media marketing. At best, it’s mediocre customer service. Social media marketing implies that you grow in social media followers, attract new customers, as well as help, support, and entertain existing customers.

What to do instead:

Develop your own brand’s personality. It can be funny, or quirky, or sophisticated. Have business pages that are worth following. You can post jokes or useful information about your product or do both, but your content should attract the audience and, ideally, hook the audience.

5. Not using analytics

Social media marketing isn’t that easy to analyze. You have to measure vague concepts such as brand awareness and brand reputation. You have to also measure rather concrete concepts, such as follower growth and engagement rate. Besides, there are metrics that will remain unknown no matter how many analytics tools you use. For example, you’ll never know the exact number of people who noticed your Tweet, thought about your product for a month, and then went straight to the website using simple Google search.

Due to numerous tracking complications, many social media managers skip analytics altogether. As a result, one of the biggest problems that marketers face is not knowing social media marketing ROI. This, of course, is unacceptable.

What to do instead:

You’ll need social media analytics tools. There are dozens of good social media analytics tools, so your choice will heavily depend on your exact goals and your budget. Some of the social media listening tools mentioned above will have analytics features (Awario, Talkwalker). Some information can be found in Google Analytics for free. Combining these metrics and getting other metrics that you deem relevant will give you a clear idea of how your current strategy is performing, and what you might need to change.

6. Treating your brand’s social media profile as a personal one

This might be the biggest mistake a social media manager can make.

The problem is, social media seems familiar. We do it constantly, we create a “personal brand” every time we post something on our own Facebook and Instagram. And Twitter. And LinkedIn. And… you get it. We spend tons of time on social media and we don’t usually need a strategy and a set of tools to deal with that. For many social media managers social media seems so natural that they decide that they don’t need a strategy. They post whenever they feel like it and whatever seems interesting enough to post. They don’t track the results because they are sure that social media marketing “works” – it’s just hard to say how.

This approach is a mistake for a number of reasons, and the most important one is that you’ll never know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong and, therefore, you can’t get better.

What to do instead:

Decide on the goals. What are you trying to achieve by using social media for your brand? Is it perfecting your customer service? Finding new customers? Direct sales? Raising brand awareness?

Build a strategy according to your goals, and see how social media can help you during each step of achieving those goals.

Over to you

Are there any other bad social media habits you should leave in 2019? You have our full support. 2020 should be a year of better social media marketing, cooler brand accounts, and new exciting marketing campaigns.