The Three Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes of 2013

Making changes for the New Year isn’t just about moving forward, it’s also about looking back on the mistakes we’ve made over the past year so we can avoid them in the future. Whether or not you believe in resolutions or turning over a good leaf, it’s always good practice to separate the past from the future and now seems like as good a time as any to draw that line.

3 Social Media Mistakes to Cut Out in 2014

With that said, here are three mistakes that we’ve seen time and time again in social media marketing.

1) Focusing on the Sale and Not the Relationship.

As it was originally designed, social media networks weren’t made for marketing. They were made for-as their name implies-networking. They are for staying in touch and building relationships. So many marketers forget this and get onto social media platforms with the lunatic idea that all of these people are simply there to buy something or stay in touch with the latest gadgets and gizmos. That is just not the case.

Social media should be used to cultivate your relationships with your audience. The likes you get won’t translate into sales and the ads you bombard your customers with aren’t going to do anything except get them to hide you in their newsfeeds. Instead, you should provide information about who you are as it pertains to who your customers are. Direct selling is not a pretty face to put on in the social media fields.

2) Not Focusing on Results.

Having your social media posts shared and liked and commented on and going viral can be an exciting thing, but if it’s only giving you a little popularity rush, what’s the point? The point with any marketing should always be the results-the bottom line. Who cares if half of your followers liked your latest status-was it a picture of a puppy dog and a kitten? No wonder!

But what did that do for your business? Launching targeted social media campaigns that build a long-lasting relationship with your customers is what garners results. To do this, you need to provide quality content that is engaging and valuable to your audience. Whether this means you are entertaining them instead of direct selling them or providing a serious solution to a common problem, the point is that the more loyalty you build up to your brand, the better your results are going to be. Look at social media as an ongoing organic marketing campaign full of soft sells, even if you are paying for ads and boosting posts. Paid traffic should never influence your content on on social platforms-on the contrary, the quality of your content should influence your decision as to which posts to boost.

3) Not Engaging with Enough Stories.

Finally, a combination of the first two mistakes plus a tiny twist of extra incompetence results in our third biggest social media mistake: not creating stories that your audience wants to share or engage in. Simply posting information pertaining to your latest product or service isn’t really going to get many people going. Take a look at some of the bigger marketing campaigns out there-they typically have a human element that matters to people driving home the larger message. And while you’re certainly not expected to compare with these larger market campaigns, it doesn’t hurt to borrow a page from their book and add a human element to your social posts to make them more engaging.

Correcting Social Media Mistakes the Right Way

Of course, fixing these mistakes is much easier said than done-unless you know the right tricks.