Top Social Media Mistakes by Small Businesses

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Everybody has that Facebook friend who shares too much, posts too often and comments on everything. When it comes to close friends and family, you may tolerate a high level of digital faux pas before sentencing them to an “unfollow” or “defriended” fate.

Your brand will never be that lucky.

When you launch a business page or profile on any social platform, you are entering a world based on connections. Like any relationship – digital or otherwise – social media has important nuances and unwritten rules to follow.

Don’t just talk about yourself.

Social media marketing is about earning and maintaining relationships. View it as a conversation, not a one-sided promotional microphone. The ultimate goal is not just to amass followers, but to promote engagement. That means people are sharing, liking, clicking and commenting. If you don’t think interaction is important, consider this: Social algorithms are designed to put posts with a lot of activity in front of more people. So yes, it’s a popularity contest, and the best conversationalists win.

Don’t post the same content to all of your social accounts.

Can you imagine having a friend who repeated the same story all day? Even with slight variations, it’s annoying. In the social media sphere it’s called cross-posting, and it’s a very outdated practice. Many blogs and websites allow you to link all of your social accounts, so every time you post a blog, it appears on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Having that option may trick you into believing it’s a good practice. In reality, it’s one of the fastest ways to lose followers who grow tired of that déjà vu feeling.

Don’t post constantly.

Do you worry your customers will forget about your brand if they don’t hear from you all day? Data proves the opposite is true. The trend is indirectly proportional: the more frantically you post, the faster you lose engagement and followers. Analyzing trends also gives us key insights into the sweet spot for small business posts:

  • 5-10 times a week on Facebook
  • Once on weekdays on LinkedIn, or about 20 times a month
  • 5-15 times a day on Twitter
  • 5 times a week on Instagram (avoid multiple posts in one day)

Don’t use social media marketing to hawk your products and services.

The ultimate goal is finding a way to demonstrate your value and expertise without explicitly talking about it. Instead, cultivate helpful tips, new ideas and interesting nuggets tailored to your target audience. If you’re a personal trainer, post workout tips and how-to videos. Restaurants can share photos of new dishes and drinks that pique interest without telling people to eat there. Marketing is a subtle, soft sell, not the social equivalent of a highway billboard.

Need help with your social strategy?

We specialize in creating, executing and managing social media marketing plans for small businesses. Or, for entrepreneurs and startups on a tight budget, we offer customized, 1:1 training courses to help you do it right. Learn more: