Social media marketing has become not only a valuable asset, but a necessary one. It’s one of the best ways to engage with your customers and interact. If done properly it also can help cultivate leads and new clients. To give your business some practical direction, we’ve outlined seven social media marketing pitfalls to avoid.

1. Not having a strategy

Social media should be treated as any other marketing initiative you undertake—starting first and foremost with strategy. Many businesses jump into social media with no real strategy or gameplan. They’re “doing” social media but their overall efforts are disjointed and lacking direction and focus. Proper strategic planning is critical to the success of your social media marketing and should be the foundation of everything you do. Be sure to align your social media efforts with your overall marketing strategy and set measurable goals to gauge success.

2. Being on EVERY social media channel

If you try to be on every popular social media channel, you will ultimately spread yourself too thin and become overwhelmed. And not all social media channels make sense for every business and every industry. Start with just one or two social media channels that fit best with your business and audience. Once you are comfortable and in a rhythm of posting often, then you can begin to expand to other channels as they make sense. What works for one company may not be the best use of your resources for yours. 

3. Not being consistent

One of the worst things you can do is set up a social media account and then leave it dormant for days or even weeks. One way to prevent this is to dedicate an employee to doing your social media so that it doesn’t get put on the back burner. Make sure they are posting at least a few times per week, and daily if possible. Being active is essential to staying engaged and creating a following for your brand. Social media is about building your brand and capturing that audience.

4. Having an intern do it all

While it’s fine for interns to help execute your social media, it’s vital that there is someone from management that is driving the strategy, planning and content. If not, then your social media marketing can quickly become unaligned with your brand. Just like you wouldn’t send an intern alone to a tradeshow or press conference, you shouldn’t have them posting content online without strategic guidance and oversight.

5. Not engaging with followers

Social media should not be a one-way street. To be successful and build a following that matters, you have to be social! Share others’ posts on Facebook. Ask questions. Answer questions. Retweet. Share articles. Thank people for retweeting your posts.These are all ways to be involved in social media. The more engagement, the better; so don’t forget the social in social media!

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