The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing and How to Avoid Them


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Clint Greenleaf, CEO of Greenleaf Book Group, describes ten common errors made in today’s ever-expanding social media landscape—and how to avoid them. He shares easy-to-implement tips to use when promoting a product or brand using social media, without breaking the unspoken rules of Web 2.0 etiquette.

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The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. Social Media 101: The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing and How to Avoid Them A webinar by Clint Greenleaf CEO, Greenleaf Book Group
  2. 2. Mistake # 1: Not setting realistic expectations or knowing how to measure results.
  3. 3. DO understand the limits of social media. DO take advantage of the many tools available that provide you with analytics to measure your results. DO keep track of how many of your leads come from social media. Do’s
  4. 4. DON’T expect immediate results. Building networks and making connections takes time and patience. DON’T get carried away with how much time you spend doing social media. DON’T expect all of your leads to come from social media efforts. Don’ts
  5. 5. Mistake # 2: Not understanding the social media tool or medium that you are using.
  6. 6. Do’s DO research the platforms/mediums you are interested in using. DO choose the tools that work best for the audience you are trying to reach.
  7. 7. Don’ts DON’T make the common mistakes of people who are ignorant of a social media platform: this includes sending private messages publicly, overlooking word or character limits, commenting on your own blog or wall, etc.
  8. 8. Mistake # 3: Creating an online persona (or many), and then neglecting it.
  9. 9. Do’s DO create a schedule for updating your social media platforms. DO reserve your name/persona/brand on as many social media platforms as possible, whether or not you intend to use them. DO focus on a few key platforms.
  10. 10. Don’ts DON’T create unfinished profiles or pages unfinished. If you only intend to reserve your name, keep your profile/page hidden. DON’T use a social media platform once and then never again, as it makes you look like you’re neglecting your online persona. DON’T make your profiles or pages inaccessible if you want the general public to be able to see them.
  11. 11. Mistake # 4: Failing to properly network on social media platforms.
  12. 12. Do’s DO show discretion and monitor your connections, friends, followers etc. for spammers or other undesirable links. DO be strategic about who you connect with. Choose people who have similar goals, interests, etc.
  13. 13. Don’ts DON’T assume the protocol for connecting with people is the same across all social networks. DON’T connect to an unnecessary number of people at one time, as too many connections can become unwieldy and hard to handle.
  14. 14. Mistake # 5: Not knowing the difference between fake sincerity and authentic interaction.
  15. 15. Do’s DO be transparent about your posts, comments, etc. If you are not personally on all of your social networks, tell your audience. DO budget your time appropriately so that you can do your own social networking without becoming overwhelmed.
  16. 16. Don’ts DON’T send automated responses or messages to people. These are impersonal and insincere. DON’T have an assistant, associate or paid professional claim to be you on a social network.
  17. 17. Mistake # 6: Ignoring the rules of grammar and spelling.
  18. 18. Do’s DO double-check your spelling and grammar, regardless of where you will be posting or commenting. Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. DO understand the limits of your platform, and use proper shorthand as necessary.
  19. 19. Don’ts DON’T use unnecessary chatspeak or other Internet shorthand in your spelling and grammar. You don’t come across as hip and youthful, you come across as lax and unprofessional.
  20. 20. Mistake # 7: Pitching instead of providing value.
  21. 21. Do’s DO post or share interesting and relevant material, whether original or through trusted sources. DO connect and network with other people whose content you can comment on and share. They can reciprocate and increase your audience. DO connect with people who are as equally committed to providing value as you are.
  22. 22. Don’ts DON’T send endless repetitions of the same pitch. DON’T post only other people’s content. Write original material as well.
  23. 23. Mistake # 8: Not striking a balance between the informative and the personal.
  24. 24. Do’s DO personalize your posts and comments. Your audience can tell what is automated. DO add interesting details that may not necessarily have to do with your platform or product. People like personality.
  25. 25. Don’ts DON’T send countless facts about your day that have no bearing on your audience. Be personal, but don’t overdo it. DON’T waste time on “fad” social network elements or additions, such as Facebook games, etc.
  26. 26. Mistake # 9: Not thinking about your private life.
  27. 27. Do’s DO create separation when necessary between personal and public accounts. DO be aware that your personal comments can be monitored by companies and individuals unless you set your comments to private.
  28. 28. Don’ts DON’T give out personal information that you do not want easily accessible to anyone on the Internet. DON’T spend company or client time doing personal social networking, because you never know who will find out.
  29. 29. Mistake # 10: Not considering your public image.
  30. 30. Do’s DO be aware that compromising photographs, recordings/video, comments etc. can be placed on the Internet without your knowledge or consent. DO politely and privately contact someone if they post or link to something you consider inappropriate, and ask that it be removed.
  31. 31. Don’ts DON’T reply in the heat of the moment to inflammatory statements about you personally or your company. Immediate retaliation can lead to reckless comments. DON’T start or participate in “flame wars,” that is, posting back and forth and arguing continuously. This is childish and unprofessional.
  32. 32. A webinar by Clint Greenleaf CEO, Greenleaf Book Group Social Media 101: The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Social Media Marketing and How to Avoid Them