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Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter present unique opportunities to reach your target customers. Whether you’re a startup or a more established company, social media plays a vital role in today’s marketing landscape. It is crucial to growing awareness for your products and services, so it’s important to get off on the right foot or you risk alienating your audience entirely.


First impressions are quick, powerful, and enduring — it’s very important to do everything you can to make a good one. Changing a first impression is doable, but it’s best to avoid making social media marketing mistakes in the first place.


1. Not having a social media strategy

Companies without a social media strategy whatsoever can never deliver effective messages to their audiences. Communications appear disjointed and confused. You must have a distinct voice, measurable goals, a social media policy, and a publication calendar. Without these, you’ll find yourself posting blindly and diminishing your brand capital. A clear delineated social media strategy puts you on the path to offering useful, engaging content that is sticky and memorable.

2. Creating accounts on too many social media platforms

Please refrain from signing up for every social media platform out there. Yes, it’s important to be in more than one place, but not when you’re just starting out. Especially for small businesses, it’s much easier and more effective to master one platform before you branch out to the next. If you rush to create a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Google+, Slideshare, and Snapchat and begin madly posting incoherently on all of them, you will look like you don’t know what you’re doing. And when you finally throw up your hands and abandon most of your platforms because you can’t do justice to them, it looks even worse. Would you purchase something from a company that’s projecting how inept they are? I wouldn’t — this type of activity does nothing to engender trust, which is the basis of any customer relationship.

3. Paying for fake followers

Quantity doesn’t trump quality. Your goal is to build genuine customer relationships rather than focusing on numbers. Earning thousands of followers — and the social proof that accompanies them — takes time and diligent effort. Buying followers can potentially create a nasty public backlash. Do you really want to risk your real fans’ finding out that you bought social media followers? What does this say about your honesty as a company? It damages your brand and negatively affects your bottom line.

4. Sharing too much in a short period of time

Publishing one post after the other within minutes or hours can alienate your followers and prospects. Your goal should be to share posts consistently and spread them out so you avoid overwhelming and spamming your followers. Otherwise they may unfollow you and never return.

5. Not being “social” on social media

People who use social media expect companies to be responsive. They also want to feel like they’re dealing with a human being instead of a corporate robot. Responding to comments builds trust and intimacy between you and your customers. It’s also helpful to use a voice that’s interesting and witty vs. monotone and off-putting.

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