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9 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Social Media

Being a social media manager is far from easy, contrary to popular belief. With ever-changing algorithms, demanding clients, urgent tasks, and the constant flow of content, mistakes are inevitable. However, many of these errors can be prevented. If you want to improve your social media strategy, it's essential to know what to avoid. In this post, we'll discuss some of the most frequent mistakes social media managers make and how to avoid them.

The number of social media users is skyrocketing. According to research by Global WebIndex, 62.3% of the global population uses social media. As of April 2024, the average daily usage is 2 hours and 23 minutes. This trend compels businesses, both large and small, to invest heavily in social media marketing campaigns. By avoiding common mistakes, you can enhance the effectiveness of your social media efforts and achieve better results. Read on to learn more.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Social Media Strategy

Starting a social media account without a plan is a recipe for failure. A solid social media strategy lays out your goals, target audience, content plan, and metrics for success. With a well-thought-out strategy, you can make sure your social media presence aligns with your business goals and helps you achieve them.

Social media strategies can look very different depending on what you’re aiming for. Take Duolingo, for example. Duolingo is a language-learning app, but their social media content, especially on TikTok, doesn’t always focus on promoting their products directly. On Facebook, they push their blog and products heavily. On Instagram, it’s a mix of pop culture and promotion. Twitter is somewhere in between. But on TikTok? It’s a whole different story—fun, quirky, and often unrelated to language learning.

Whether you agree with their approach or not, Duolingo’s strategy is clearly intentional. They’re creating content tailored to each platform’s audience, and it’s working. As a marketing manager, your job is to figure out what works best for your company on each platform and tweak your strategy to hit your goals.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Social media packs a serious punch when it comes to promoting your business, thanks to its widespread use and flexibility. Unlike old-school marketing methods like billboards or radio ads, social media offers something unique: it's measurable. Here are the main perks of using social media for marketing.

Adding a Personal Touch

Social media platforms let you engage directly with your current and potential customers. Use them right, and you can make your brand feel more human, forging deeper connections with your audience.

Driving Traffic

Slipping website links into your social media posts drives targeted traffic to your site. This boosts your search engine ranking and turns visitors into customers. And if you want to supercharge your SEO game, there are top-notch SEO services out there to help you.

Generating Leads

With features like appointment booking, call-to-action buttons, and direct messaging, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are goldmines for lead generation. These leads mean business, translating into revenue growth.

Boosting Brand Awareness

For startups and small businesses, social media is a stage to showcase what makes your brand shine. Show the world why you're different (and better) than the competition.

Building Relationships

Long-term customer retention hinges on strong relationships. Social media makes it easy to chat with your followers, making it a vital tool for fostering connections.

 Source: own materials

Mistake #2: Posting Inconsistent Content

Consistency is key on social media. Algorithms favor accounts that post frequently, and irregular posting can really hurt your brand. When you post inconsistently, it can confuse your audience and make your brand seem unreliable, reducing engagement and trust. Consistent posting reinforces your brand identity. By maintaining a uniform tone, style, and message, you create a cohesive brand image. This consistency helps your audience easily recognize and connect with your brand, building stronger loyalty and recognition.

Keeping a regular posting schedule amplifies your content marketing efforts. Consistently sharing valuable and relevant content gives it a longer lifespan and maximizes its impact. Repurposing and re-sharing your content across different platforms helps you reach a wider audience and get better results.

To fix this, set up an editorial calendar. Having a schedule makes the content creation process smoother and ensures you’re posting regularly. Aim for two to three posts a week, and feel free to add more as needed. An editorial calendar not only keeps you on track but also allows you to plan for special events, promotions, and seasonal content. Always remember that your content should be relevant, engaging, informative, and tailored to your audience’s interests. Consistency doesn’t mean just posting often; it also means maintaining a consistent voice, style, and quality. By doing so, you’ll build a stronger connection with your audience, improve your brand’s credibility, and ultimately drive better results on your social media platforms.

Mistake#3: Not Understanding Each Platform’s Algorithm

Each social media platform has its own algorithm that dictates what content shows up in users' feeds. If you don’t get how these algorithms work, you’re likely to see low reach, impressions, and engagement rates.

Even though platforms won’t spell out exactly how their algorithms function, you can stay ahead by following the latest updates and news. Take TikTok, for example. It started out focusing strictly on short-form content with a one-minute limit. Over time, they adjusted to allow longer videos, first up to three minutes, and now up to ten, to compete with YouTube.

By understanding these changes, you can optimize your content to get better results. Use relevant hashtags, tag other accounts appropriately, and post at the best times to boost engagement.

How Social Media Algorithms Work?

Social media algorithms, like the ones running Facebook News Feed and Instagram Feed, keep tabs on what users are into and serve up content accordingly. For example, if you’re always liking and sharing basketball stuff, expect to see more of it on your feed. These algorithms are always learning, tweaking, and getting smarter based on how users interact, all to give you the most relevant stuff.

Main Things Social Algorithms Look At

Algorithms use all sorts of signals to match users with the right content. Here are the big ones:

  • User Engagement: Likes, shares, and comments show the content’s hitting the mark.

  • Relevance: Keywords and hashtags help give content context and make it easier to find. 

  • Timing and Frequency: Posting regularly and when your audience is active can boost visibility.

  • Freshness: Newer posts get priority over old ones.

  • User Actions: Following accounts, reacting to posts, and clicking links all tell the algorithm what’s good.

  • Profile Power: Follower count, consistency, and engagement affect how far your posts go.

  • Location: The algorithm considers where users are to tailor content to their area.

  • Content Type: Videos tend to get more love because they’re more engaging. Virality:If something’s blowing up, the algorithm notice

  • Watch Time: The longer you spend watching videos, the more the algorithm thinks you like them.

Mistake #4: Brushing Off Analytics

IIgnoring social media analytics is like driving blindfolded—it's a recipe for disaster. These analytics are gold mines of information, giving you the insights you need to make smart decisions. Ignoring them? Well, that's just leaving money on the table.

You've gotta keep a close eye on how your campaigns are performing. Track everything from engagement and impressions to reach and conversions. And if you're using tools like HubSpot, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite, take advantage of their analytics features. Trust me, it's worth it. For example, Sprout Social has been rocking it as a G2 Enterprise Leader every quarter since 2018.

Benefits of Social Media Analytics

Social media packs a punch when it comes to boosting sales, ramping up brand visibility and trust, and enhancing customer satisfaction. The wealth of online insights opens up doors to direct benefits such as:

Measuring Social Media ROI

Social media analytics lay out the dollar signs, allowing agencies to showcase their worth to brands. Among the direct payoffs of social media analytics is pinpointing the ROI of campaigns. Brands can then use this ROI breakdown to funnel more resources into reaching and engaging with their target audience.

Fine-Tuning Your Social Media Strategy

Analytics serve as your compass in the digital wilderness, guiding you toward what works and what doesn't. By diving into the data, you can zero in on the marketing strategies that drive real results and tweak or ditch the ones that fall flat.

Deepening Audience Understanding

In today's digital age, everyone leaves behind a digital breadcrumb trail, offering valuable insights into their needs and preferences. Marketers can tap into this treasure trove of data to connect with their audience in real-time, delivering content that hits home.

Benchmarking Against Competitors

Social media analytics isn't just about you—it's also about keeping tabs on the competition. By peering into the analytics of your rivals, you can uncover their strengths and weaknesses. Armed with this intel, you can fine-tune your campaigns to gain a leg up in the competitive landscape.

Source: own materials

Mistake#5: Sharing content that doesn't spark engagement

At the heart of social media marketing is turning your followers into customers, especially those who haven’t made a purchase yet. The more customers you reel in, the fatter your wallet gets. That’s why expanding your social media reach is key to unlocking your marketing campaign's full potential. When you post lackluster content on your social profiles, your followers just won’t bite, and you might even see a dip in your follower count. But when you share gripping content, you not only get more clicks but also see your followers sharing your posts with their own crew. That’s why it's crucial to drop content that grabs attention and includes a killer call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, just come out and ask them. And if you want them to click on a link, make it crystal clear with a strong "click here."

Struggling to create engaging posts? Use our tips!

Pop the Question

Similar to asking for advice, tossing out a question—any question—can be a fantastic way to get people chattering. Jewelry brand Jennybird got tons of comments by asking followers to guess their latest launch. Asking questions isn't just about racking up comments; it's about building anticipation, especially around new products or launches.

Post Memes

You know what's a game-changer? Memes. They're like the secret sauce of social media. If you sprinkle them into your content mix and relate them back to your brand, you'll be speaking the language of millennials and Gen-Zers.

Memes are like the neighborhood BBQ of the internet—they bring people together. They show your brand isn't just another corporate suit; you're chill, you're relatable, and you're totally in on the joke.

When you share memes, you're:

  • Reeling in the younger crowd to your content

  • Getting your stuff shared like crazy

  • Showing your followers that you're not just keeping up with the cool kids, you're leading the pack

Host a Contest

A caption contest is a fun and interactive way to get your audience involved. It’s not just about hitting the like button or tagging a friend; people need to come up with witty or creative captions. These contests are especially effective with lively, attention-grabbing photos, like this one:

Hosting a caption contest can help you:


  • Get your followers to engage more deeply with your content

  • Boost the number of comments on your post

  • Build a sense of community as participants like and comment on each other's entries

Mistake#6: Not being transparent

Consumers Crave Complete Product Info

Just slapping a label on a product doesn’t cut it anymore. People want to know everything—ingredients, sourcing, production processes, and the values behind the brand. This level of detail builds trust, with 56% of consumers saying that more product information makes them trust a brand more. Plus, 73% are willing to pay more for transparency, and 39% would switch to a brand that offers it (LabelInsight).

It’s About More Than Products

Consumers also want to know about a company’s values and business practices. Authenticity in these areas fosters loyalty, with 94% of consumers more likely to stick with a brand that’s fully transparent.

Information Seekers

If you don’t provide the info, consumers will hunt it down elsewhere, and you could lose control of your brand narrative. Being upfront keeps you in control of your brand’s image.

Millennial Moms are Leading the Way

Moms aged 18 to 34 are the biggest advocates for transparency. With 86% willing to pay more for transparent products, this group’s significant spending power makes their preferences essential for brands to consider.

Building Lifelong Loyalty

In today’s crowded market, transparency sets your brand apart and builds long-term loyalty. 56% of consumers would stay loyal to a fully transparent brand for life, and 81% would be open to trying all its products (Label Insight Transparency ROI Study).

In short, brand transparency isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. It builds lasting trust and loyalty, helping your brand stand out in an increasingly skeptical market.

Mistake#7: Ignoring Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is part of the game, but ignoring it won’t do you any favors. Instead, take it head-on and respond with care. When someone leaves a negative comment on your post, thank them for pointing out the issue and address it professionally. Companies like Nike, JetBlue, and Starbucks are great at handling customer service on social media. By responding to negative comments, you show your followers and customers that you’re transparent and committed to improving.

Handle Negative Feedback Quickly and Professionally

When you get negative comments, it's crucial to step up and show your professionalism. Ignoring negative feedback won't make it go away. Instead, address it head-on and demonstrate that you can handle criticism.

Here's how to make sure your customer feels heard and valued:

  • Acknowledge Their Concern: Let them know you hear them loud and clear.

  • Apologize for Their Experience: Say you're sorry for how they feel about the situation.

  • Own the Problem: Take responsibility for what went wrong.

  • Explain the Solution: Tell them how you'll fix the issue to prevent it from happening again.

  • Make It Right: If possible, offer a solution to rectify the situation for the customer.

Never ignore negative comments—respond to them promptly. If you're unsure how to handle it, get your marketing and communications team involved to ensure a professional reply.

By acknowledging and apologizing for the customer’s experience, you can improve their perception of your business. Go a step further by fixing the problem. For example, many restaurants offer a gift certificate for a future visit to win back the customer's favor and leave a better impression.

Mistake#8: Acting like a bot

A HootSuite shows that people who follow businesses on social media want real responses to their questions. If you're engaging with customers on social media, don't sound like a bot. The internet is already filled with spambots, and you don’t need to add to that. Robotic and stiff interactions are the quickest way to lose followers. Be genuine and show some personality. Acting like a real person with emotions will help you connect with your audience and win their loyalty.

The Limitations of Social Media Chatbots

If there's one thing that stands out as the downside of chatbots, it's their lack of human touch. Sure, they can crunch data and spit out what seems like a helpful response, but there's something about interacting with a real person who they just can't replicate. And when a chatbot misses the mark, it can drive customers up the wall!

Even with a top-of-the-line chatbot, some people just want that human connection. In a world where automation is the norm, there's still a craving for that personal touch. For these customers, it's all about feeling valued. That's where killer content marketing steps in to save the day.

Mistake#9: Treating Every Social Media Platform Alike

Each social media platform has its own vibe. You need to grasp the ins and outs of each platform to communicate effectively with its users. Just like you wouldn't speak French in Japan, you have to speak the language of the users on the social platform where you want to grow your brand.

Should You Spread Your Content Across Every Social Media Platform?

Sure, you could blast your content out to every social media platform at once, but here's the thing: just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Each platform dances to its own beat with its own crowd, vibe, and rules. So, a cookie-cutter approach might not hit the mark. Take, for example, a zippy TikTok video—might kill it on the 'Gram but might tank on LinkedIn.

Sure, tools like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels make it easy to copy-paste the same video across platforms. But hey, why reinvent the wheel for each one? There's an art to recycling content. Wanna know more about why it's the secret sauce to leveling up your content game? Check out our masterclass below:

Things to Chew On When Dishing Out Content Across All Platforms:

  • Audience Variety: Your Facebook fan isn't necessarily your Insta crew. They're into different flavors.

  • Flavor Preferences: Each platform's got its own vibe. LinkedIn's more about business than belly laughs.

  • Timing is Key: Best times to post? They differ from platform to platform. Your Facebook fans might scroll in the morning, while your TikTok tribe might come alive at night.

  • Post Politeness: Every platform has its own set of rules. Character limits, link allowances—what's kosher on one might not fly on another.

So, before you hit that 'post' button everywhere, take a beat. Consider who's on each platform, what they're into, and how they like to engage. Tailor your content to fit the vibe, and you'll be on your way to social media success.


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