Are You Guilty Of These Social Media Crimes?

Are You Guilty Of These Social Media Crimes?

Social media marketing makes it easier than ever to connect to thousands of potential customers, but winning the trust and interest of your audience isn’t always straightforward. These 8 common social media mistakes illustrate that many brands don’t understand the best practices of effective social selling!

1. Starting a Tweet with @

When you’re tweeting to a follower or fellow brand on Twitter, your first instinct is probably to tweet something like this:

@icmconsulting – Thanks for the follow!

Unfortunately, your first instinct may well be wrong. By starting your tweet with the ‘@’ symbol, Twitter thinks that you’re having a private conversation. As a result, your tweet will only be visible to the user you’ve tagged, and your entire audience will be excluded from seeing your tweet.

Thankfully, getting around this is simple. By starting your tweet with a full stop (a period or dash symbol), you can bypass this mechanism, making your latest tweet visible to both your audience and the audience of any other users that you’ve tagged.

.@icmconsulting – Thanks for the follow!

If you’ve ever made this mistake, you’re in good company – and even professional marketers have fallen victim to this simple slipup.

  • Potential customers are 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video.
  • Customers spend 100% more when a web page includes a video.
  • Blog posts with videos attract 3 times as many links as plain-text pages.


3. Spreading your SMM efforts too thin

It can be tempting to promote your content across every social media website available, from StumbleUpon to Pinterest – but doing so can actually limit the efficacy of your SMM efforts.

Effective social media marketing requires a time-consuming mix of hands-on involvement, industry research and content creation; and attempting to manage dozens of networks can lead to poor engagement across each. It’s far better to focus the entirety of your efforts onto a handful of networks, choosing the sites which most strongly resonate with your target audience.

4. Tagging posts with irrelevant hashtags

Agile marketing is the process of responding to social trends in order to promote your brand. The most common form of agile marketing uses the humble #hashtag; and by tagging your posts with a relevant and searchable tag, it becomes possible to massively increase the reach of your content. Better yet, this extra exposure comes from a targeted and engaged audience – assuming that you’ve chosen arelevant hashtag to include.

When a security guard with the Arcadia group accidentally sent a holiday request to the entire company, and the email went viral.

Brands like TrekAmerica were quick to capitalize on the action, offering Greg a free holiday, and garnering massive exposure in the process. Unfortunately, several less relevant brands tried to muscle in – creating an embarrassing and shameful attempt at self-promotion that Cellecta Insulation (seen below) will probably want to forget. Whilst hashtagging is hugely popular across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, the practice is yet to take off on LinkedIn. Despite this, many marketers are lazy with their social media marketing, and use automation software to share identical posts across multiple networks. In doing so, they include irrelevant hashtags on their LinkedIn posts.

Whilst this mistake is far from calamitous, it does highlight the fact that your marketing is completely automated. This can have a negative effect on engagement, making it far better to schedule LinkedIn promotions separately to your other social media networks.

6. Sharing content when no-one’s around

With a healthy social media following of several thousand people, it’s easy to assume that your content is being read at all hours of the day. In reality though, a relatively small portion of your audience will be online at any one time.

  • Many social media audiences are compromised of different nationalities, operating in dozens of different time zones.
  • Social media access is often restricted during working hours; and if you’re publishing posts whilst at work, it’s likely that your audience will be too busy to read your content.
  • Even if your audience is online, there’s no guarantee they’ll be engaging with your website and content.

To maximize the reach of your content, check out Tweriod. It’s a free service that allows you to analyze your Twitter following, and determine the hours during which your audience are most active. You’ll be able to schedule your content promotion when the majority of your audience are online – boosting traffic and engagement in the process.

7. Sharing too much self-promotion

There’s more to social media than endless self-promotion- and brands that fail to share third-party content risk appearing arrogant, and alienating their followers. Aim to share helpful content from other relevant brands, and link to beneficial resources regardless of where they originated.

To structure this process, try and stick to the 10:4:1 rule – sharing 10 pieces of third-party content, and 4 pieces of your own blog content, for every sales pitch you promote.

8. Forgetting to respond to people personally

Marketing automation is a powerful tool for streamlining processes and saving valuable time – but there’s still a need for personal interaction across social media.

Whether you’re responding to a direct message or answering a tweet, your audience will appreciate personal responses. In doing so, you’ll be able to build a genuine rapport between business and consumer, and improve the chances of future sales; proving that the old adage is truer than ever: customers buy from people, not brands.

If you’d like advice on effective social media marketing, and how to avoid these and other common mistakes, get in touch with me through email at and I'll be happy to help!

Steven Tulman is the CEO of Social Pulse Marketing Inc., a leading influencer marketing agency. He is a social media marketing and sales expert, and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping companies grow through effective online marketing strategies, improved sales performance, and overall customer experience.

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