Social Media

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

You could be lowering your engagement and traffic without realizing.
5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media
Image credit: PhotoAlto | Eric Audras | Getty Images
VIP Contributor
Founder, Uber Brands
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Social media can be one of your most successful marketing channels, but only if you do it right. Just being active on social media isn’t enough -- there is a lot of noise you need to break through if you want to find success.

Take a minute to scroll through your social media feeds and look for posts that are from business accounts that actually cause you to stop and engage with them, let alone read them. They are very few and far between. To help you create social media content that performs well, make sure to avoid the following five mistakes.

Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

Using stock images.

Stock images have their place, but social media isn’t one of them. Your social media platforms are a way for you to attract and connect with potential new customers and continue engagement with previous customers. Using stock images can make your content feel too promotional -- you want consumers that come into contact with your social media content to be interested in your brand, not turned off due to images that look like they belong in an instruction manual.

Not every business can afford to hire a professional photographer or purchase expensive digital cameras, but that is fine, because your smartphone camera and free photo editing apps are all you need to create captivating images. If you are looking for high-quality stock images to edit and alter to use as memes, for example, that is a different story.

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

Drowning out your message with too many hashtags.

Hashtags are a great tool to use to help improve social media content discovery, but don’t go overboard. Using too many hashtags in a post not only makes it look spammy, but it can also annoy consumers -- and that’s the complete opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

The goal of social media is to build brand awareness, create fans of your brand and then eventually drives sales and revenue. Jamming every post full of every hashtag imaginable will act as customer repellant.

If you use too many hashtags, you will take away from the main message and point of your post, so use them intelligently. Buffer suggests using one to two per post on Twitter is best and that posts on Instagram with 11 or more hashtags receive the best engagement. They also note that Facebook posts with no hashtags outperform posts using hashtags.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

Voicing personal opinions.

Remember that you aren’t the only person who will be reading what you post, which is why you should never discuss things like religion or politics on social media. Other people reading your content will have a wide range of beliefs and opinions. Being conscious of this will help you avoid pushing potential customers away or receiving public backlash.

You have to be respectful of others’ feelings. A single tweet or Facebook post that is controversial can bring with it a complete PR disaster. Some of the biggest brands even make mistakes, as evident by these social media fails that have occurred this year so far. It’s very simple -- avoid personal opinions that could cause controversy.

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

Posting content littered with grammatical errors.

Grammatical errors just are not a good look. I see mistakes on social media on a daily basis. It’s a much larger problem than most people probably think.

The solution is very simple -- use spell check, and make sure you don’t make these common grammatical errors.

Related: 10 Proven Ways to Make Millions on Social Media

5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media

Posting irrelevant content.

One of the biggest mistakes I see brands make is posting too much content focused on current events, from viral videos and sporting events to breaking news. They do this in hopes of leveraging the buzz and interest of current events, assuming it will naturally lead to engagement and new followers.

If a consumer wants to read about news, politics and sports, they seek out that information from the proper sources. Just because there is major world news trending doesn’t mean you need to broadcast it. Unless something is directly related to your business or industry, it’s best to not post about it.
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  • 5 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Posting on Social Media
  • Using stock images.
  • Drowning out your message with too many hashtags.
  • Voicing personal opinions.
  • Posting content littered with grammatical errors.
  • Posting irrelevant content.
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