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7 biggest mistakes companies make with social media

By Wendi Boyett

Try to avoid these mistakes with your social media campaigns.

Social media has become integral to building long-lasting relationships with customers as well as creating brand loyalists. However, not every organization is doing social media right. In his book The Thank You Economy, New York Times best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk defines seven of the biggest mistakes companies make in their use of social media.

1. Using tactics instead of strategy.

Each day, it seems social media platforms are upgrading and adding new features. It’s important to stay abreast of what’s new and how those new features can benefit your company. Just be sure your social media channels remain consistent. You should have a strategy for each platform that includes everything from the type of content you post to the tone of your words to the color scheme you use to the frequency with which you post. This isn’t the place to experiment with different tactics. Your audience expects your social media communication to look and feel a certain way; don’t disappoint.

2. Using it exclusively to put out fires.

Engagement is key to growing your social media channels. You should always be replying to comments and encouraging dialogue among your followers. However, if you’re only posting to respond to crises, your company’s reputation will suffer. Don’t take to social media only when you’re putting out a fire (e.g., negative comments, bad reviews, product recalls or other, larger crises). Attract visitors with frequent content that’s interesting, useful and positive so that when you do need to handle a concern, it’s not the only content your audience – and Google – sees.

3. Using it to brag.

No one likes a bragger – it’s one of the quickest ways to lose followers on social media. Sure, you should post your company’s accomplishments – your customers will be pleased to learn that they patronize a company that’s at the top of its game. Just sprinkle those self-congratulatory posts in along with plenty of posts that entertain and educate and, above all else, delight your audience.

4. Using it as a press release.

Along the same lines as bragging, don’t use social media exclusively as a means of publicizing company news – especially when the news is uninteresting to your target audience. Going back to your social media strategy, you should always develop and post content specifically for the people you want to attract as customers.

5. Exclusively retweeting or posting other people’s material rather than creating your own original content.

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally posting content from other sources as long as you properly credit the source. In fact, it’s a great way to demonstrate camaraderie and mutual support among other business organizations and charitable causes. Audiences love to see that interplay between corporations. The majority of your content should be original, though – it’s the best way to increase your search rankings and develop your brand’s voice.

6. Using it to push product.

While you should find creative ways to frequently highlight your product or service on social media, don’t use those platforms strictly as advertising vehicles. Instead, post stories that users can relate to, tips that can make their lives easier and reviews from satisfied customers. You want to delight your followers on social media so they keep reading and sharing. Foster brand loyalists on social media and they’ll do the advertising for you.

7. Expecting immediate results.

The top social media profiles didn’t arrive there overnight; they required substantial planning, effort and time. Whether you’re new to social media altogether or you’ve been posting sporadically for years, once you decide to put serious effort into it, understand that it will take weeks or even months to begin to see results. The good news is that if you stick to your strategy, post regularly and frequently engage your followers, your results will grow exponentially.

It takes creativity and strategy to stand out on social media and build a large following. Axia Public Relations can help you choose the right platforms for your company and create content that will position your company as a thought-leader in your industry. Download Axia’s complimentary e-book The Essential Social Media Management Guide to get started learning the best practices for reaching your target audiences.

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wboyett_headshot3-1.pngClients love Wendi’s incisive content. She has experience writing in a broad range of industries, including technology, public relations, transportation and legal. Wendi has worked with Axia since October 2013. Learn more about Wendi.


Topics: public relations, online public relations, shared media

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