9 Huge Mistakes You Don't Know You Are Making on Social Media

The bottom line: Know who your audience is and consider what it is they want and need.

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By Kim Garst

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Most business owners now use social media as a marketing, lead-generation and customer-service tool. In fact, in a recent industry survey, 92 percent of marketers contacted called social media important to their business. Yet, despite the widespread use of social media, many business owners are inadvertently damaging their brand through their efforts, rather than growing and building their business. Here are nine huge mistakes that you may not know you are making on social media.

Related: 8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand

1. Posting the same types of content again and again

What do you typically post on social media? Are you hung up on posting a few different types of content? Maybe sharing your newest blog posts and asking the occasional question? Posting the same things again and again will inevitably cause your audience to tune you out. For ideas on how to change up your social media posts, check out my article "What Do I Share on Social Media? 50 Ideas To Help You Connect With Your Followers."

2. Not getting your social media followers into your funnel

You've heard me say it before, but I'll say it again: your email list is your most valuable asset. If you're not moving your social media fans and followers to your email list, you're missing out on a big opportunity for long-term relationship building. Not sure where to start? Offer a free infoproduct to your social media followers in exchange for their email addresses.

3. Not responding to comments and questions

Posting on social media isn't enough. In fact, posting, tweeting, pinning, etc. are only one part of the equation. You should be spending as much time reading and engaging with your followers' questions and comments as you do posting your own stuff. And, in light of Facebook's new "very responsive to messages" icon, responding quickly to comments is now more important than ever.

4. Being insincere or inauthentic

You may think you can get away with not sharing your true self on social media. You may have this idea of who you should be (or want to be!) on social media, but this isn't a great strategy over the long term. Instead, be yourself! Share your real thoughts and opinions, and let your personality shine through. I guarantee your audience would rather see the real you than the "manufactured" you!

Related: 12 Social Media Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

5. Not posting with your target market in mind

When you post, tweet or live stream, are you thinking about what you want to say, or about what your target market wants (or needs) to hear? Spend some time thinking about your social media personas, and then ask yourself, "What does my ideal customer or client want to know today? How can I help him or her?"

6. Constantly promoting your products or business

This is probably one of the biggest and most harmful mistakes I see on a day-to-day basis. Keep in mind that I'm not just talking about constantly selling your products or promoting your services (although that's a problem, too!). I'm talking about subtly -- or not so subtly -- relating all your posts back to your business or products. Your business doesn't always have to be at the forefront of your posts. Regularly providing valuable content to your audience is the best way to keep your business top-of-mind for viewers.

7. Having unrealistic expectations of social media

Social media marketing is a long-term endeavor. Sure, you can see positive results in the short term, but the biggest benefits can only be truly realized after months or even years. Unfortunately, many business owners try out a new platform, then quickly give up on it when they don't see immediate results. Approach social media with the expectation that you'll need to put in a lot of work now to experience great results over the long haul.

8. Not building relationships

Social media isn't about broadcasting your message to your fans and followers. It's not even just about sharing your knowledge and insights. Theodore Roosevelt said, "People don't care what you know until they know you care." If you're not working to build community and foster relationships, you're missing out on the most important aspect of social media marketing.

9. Posting too much

One of the most common reasons people unfollow brands on social media is because they post too often. While I can't tell you the optimal number of times to post on each social networking site, Buffer has put together a pretty cool infographic you can use as a starting point. Be sure to test out different posting frequencies with your audience!

There you have it: nine huge mistakes that you don't know you're making on social media! Looking for more tips on what not to do on social media? Check out my post, The Top 10 Things You Should Never Post On Social Media.

What would you add to this list? What are the biggest mistakes you've seen businesses making on social media?

Related: Don't Make These Social-Media Blunders That Businesses Keep Repeating

Kim Garst

Founder and CEO of Boom! Social

Kim Garst is a social selling pro, best-selling author and the co-founder and CEO of Boom! Social, a social selling training and consulting firm. 

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