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11 Social Media Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Friday, December 7th, 2012 by Erin Peters

social media mistakes If you’re a business owner, it’s likely your company is using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and maybe even FourSquare. After all, businesses have to be on social media, right?

Well, not exactly.

While social media has the potential to be a successful marketing tool for your business, it can also do more harm than good if you aren’t doing it right.
To help you make sure your business is getting the most out of social media, we rounded up some of the most common mistakes we see businesses making with their social media accounts. Here are 11 social media mistakes you might not know you’re making:

1.    Overposting. Do you tend to post in spurts? Before you throw out another nine links in 10 minutes, you should know that overposting is the social media equivalent of spam. And no one likes being spammed. Rather than posting nine status updates in a row, space out your tweets and Facebook posts so they’re easy to digest. Don’t have time to update your accounts every morning? Use Facebook’s scheduling service or a Twitter client like TweetDeck.

2.    Going for the hard sell. Social media isn’t about the hard sell. It’s about having authentic conversations with your customers. Facebook and Twitter are platforms where you can learn more about who your customers are and discover how you can solve their problems. No one is going to follow a brand that only uses Facebook to post links to a sales page.

3.    Using full URLs. Facebook is a great tool for sharing links with your fans. But did you know that you can delete the URL from your post after the preview loads? Many companies make the mistake of keeping the URL in the text box, but savvy social media managers know it’s more effective to replace the URL with a comment or question that will encourage fans to like, comment or share.

Likewise, using the full URL in your Twitter posts eats up your 140 characters pretty fast. Instead of posting the full URL of a link you want your followers to check out, try using a link shortening service like bit.ly.

4.    Poor grammar and spelling. You’d probably be pretty disappointed if your latest direct mail piece or email blast went out with misspellings. Hold your social media postings to the same standard. Using poor grammar or misspelling words damages your brand’s credibility.

5.    Posting like you’re texting. U kno wat? Posts like this = not good 4 biz. While Facebook allows companies to informally engage their audience, there’s a difference between being casual and being unprofessional. Keep the texting lingo away from your business accounts.

6.   Using too much text. The social media world is crowded. There are a lot of people out there fighting for our attention on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and we tend to pay attention to posts that are short, offer value and get to the point. When you use Facebook posts like you’re writing a novel, people tend to gloss over your posts before even making an attempt to read it. If you want your followers’ attention, keep your posts short and sweet,

7.   Using a personal profile for your business. If someone wants to engage with your business on Facebook, do they need to “like” your page or “friend” it? If they’re friending it, you have the wrong account.

Business pages can only be “Liked,” while personal accounts can be friended. If you’re using a personal profile for your business, be aware that your account is subject to deletion per Facebook’s terms of service. Plus, using a personal account prevents your business from taking advantage of features like offers, contests and advertising. Bottom line: If your business is using a personal account, you need to switch to a business page.

8.    Running illegal contests. Did you know it’s against Facebook’s terms of service to offer a contest through your posts? That means if you’re asking people to like or share a post for a chance at winning a prize, you’re violating Facebook’s policies–and your account is subject to deletion. All contests need to be administered through an approved app, such as Wildfire.

9.    Missing the mark on cover photos. Cover photos should not be a random image. They are a powerful visual aid and enhance your brand’s online appearance while showing customers what your company is about.

While Facebook cover photos should represent your brand, businesses also have to be careful that their cover photos don’t cross the line into promotional. According to Facebook’s terms of service, your cover photo can’t include contact information or a call to action asking people to like your page. For an example of how a cover photo can represent your brand without being overtly promotional, check out Graphtek’s Facebook cover photo here.

10.    Posting inappropriate or offensive material. Maybe you have an opinion on our elected officials and need to get it off your chest. Maybe you saw a funny joke online and think your followers will past the foul language to see the humor. Or maybe a humorous but potentially offensive photo popped up in your news feed and you just have to share it. But for the sake of your brand’s reputation, don’t. Your business page isn’t the place to discuss politics, use foul language or share inappropriate pictures. Keep it professional.

11.    Your social media accounts are a ghost town. One of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media is to launch accounts that you never update. People are connecting with your company because they want to interact with you on some level. When customers want to hear from you, why wouldn’t you update regularly? Even if your business only posts updates once a week, make sure your updates are regular.

One of the best ways to avoid a neglected social media account is to create a social media strategy before you get started. Learn more about social media marketing strategies here.

Are you making any of these mistakes? Did you learn any other social media lessons the hard way? Let us know in the comments.

It can be difficult for business owners to keep up with the do’s and don’ts of social media. With rules and policies constantly changing, keeping up with the best social media practices is a full-time job. That’s why you need a digital marketing partner that lives and breathes social media. If you’re ready to take your social media marketing to the next level and get results, contact Graphtek Interactive today.

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