Social media has become an integral part of our lives. From LinkedIn to Twitter, Facebook to Instagram, there are endless ways to connect with friends, family, other companies, and colleagues. However, if used incorrectly, it could lead to a negative impact on brand reputation.
This blog post explains the most common social media mistakes that B2B businesses make and how to fix it.
These social media mistakes cover three key components.
- Strategy (business core),
- Implementation (tools), and;
- Practice (the boring day-to-day social media efforts)
You should never go to battle before you’ve won the war on paper.Philip kotler
These are mistakes related to your core business marketing plan and strategy.
If a B2B company does not have this in place, chances are the company will perpetuate the rest of the other mistakes over and over.
Failing to create an effective social media strategy
A good social media strategy is essential to any successful social media marketing campaign. It helps you define who you are, what you want to achieve through social media, and how you’re going to go about achieving it.
It should include goals, objectives, KPIs, metrics, and benchmarks.
You can add tactics such as posting frequency, types of content, and timing.
With this in place, you will be able to decide which social media and digital channels work best for your business.
Here are some questions that I would recommend asking yourself before launching your social media campaign:
- Why am I on social media?
- What is unique about my products or services?
- What type of content should I share?
- Who am I trying to reach?
- Why should they follow me?
- What posts should I post?
- When should I post?
- Who will oversee it?
- Where should I post?
- How often should I post?
- Should I use images or videos?
- Do I have enough time to manage this?
Your answer to each question can help you shape a plan on how to accomplish your business goals using social media.
Yes, this is a LOT of work. That’s why there are social media management agencies like ours that could take this off your hands.
Once you get this right, then you will not be doing too many of the rest of the mistakes below.
So, don’t just jump into social media without a plan! Know exactly what you’re doing before you begin.
Read: How to create a solid social media content plan
Using social media without clear business goals
This is probably one of the biggest reasons many businesses fail in social media.
It’s easy to use social media platforms and think that they will bring in customers with no proper plan or strategy.
However, if you don’t have a logical goal in mind when creating your content, then you won’t be able to measure whether your efforts are paying off.
And if you aren’t measuring anything, how do you know what works?
So ask yourself these questions before starting your social media campaign:
- What is my ultimate aim?
- What are my short-term goals?
- What are my intermediate goals?
- What are the milestones that I’m going after?
- What are the key performance indicators that I’m looking at?
- What are the metrics that I’m measuring?
- What are the benchmarks that I’m striving for?
- What are the actions that I’m taking to meet these goals?
Don’t forget to set SMART goals.
Setting SMART goals means that you’re setting realistic expectations.
They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Specific – What exactly are you hoping to achieve from your social media campaign? If you’re not sure, make your goals broad so that you can narrow down later.
- Measurable – How will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? This might mean that you need to keep track of certain things. For instance, if you want to increase brand awareness on Facebook, you could create a page for your company and use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track traffic to your site.
- Achievable – Do you think you can reach your goal? If you don’t think you can, maybe you shouldn’t have set such a lofty goal in the first place.
- Relevant – Does your goal fit with your overall business strategy? If it doesn’t, consider changing your goal.
- Time bound – Set deadlines for yourself to ensure that you get there. It’s easy to say “I’ll try my best” but we all know that doesn’t always happen. Setting deadlines ensures you stick to your plan.
Once you’ve defined your goals, you can decide who’s responsible for achieving them that may include outsourcing social media management.
There seems to be a market for this dark social media practice because there are businesses doing this. And yes, I have received proposals to get x amount of $ to get followers.
If you think you need to buy fake followers to boost your social media presence, don’t.
This will not help you build trust with your customers, and it certainly won’t help you grow your brand.
Buying followers often leads to negative consequences – including a decrease in engagement rates.
What does having fake followers do for you?
It creates an illusion of growth of popularity. That’s all there is to it, an illusion. They will not buy from you. They will not engage with you.
Instead, focus on building relationships with real people.
- Get involved in local and digital communities to strengthen ties with existing fans.
- Post interesting and useful information about your products and services.
- Engage with your customers by asking questions and offering solutions.
Social media marketing is a long game.
It takes time to build up a following, but it’s worth it.
Treating social media marketing as a silo
Social media is not a stand-alone solution; it needs to be integrated into a broader plan.
The best social media strategy is built on the foundation of an effective content marketing campaign.
Your content should help you attract, convert and keep customers–all while giving your business credibility in its industry.
Here are three ways to make social media become part of your business core:
- Include social media in your marketing tool box
- Use social media to generate leads, or sales
- Use social media for customer service
As an example, here is how it works:
- Include social media in your marketing tool box
When you’re ready to launch a new product or service, include social media in your marketing plan.
- Use social media to generate sales
Once you’ve launched your product, use social media to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.
- Use social media for customer service
Keep your customers happy and engaged after they’ve purchased from you. Answer their questions and solve their problems.
Remember, if you treat social media like a separate channel, then you will miss out on opportunities to connect with your audience.
Using too many social media platforms
There’s no doubt that social media offers incredible opportunities for businesses.
And while there are certainly benefits to being active across several platforms, it’s not always necessary.
It’s better to focus on one platform and master it well before branching out into other areas.
The more social networks you have, the less effective you’ll be.
So if you are trying to decide which platform is best for you, consider these questions:
- Which platforms are most relevant to your industry?
- Do you want to target specific audiences?
- Is your audience already present on those platforms?
- Are you planning to expand globally? If yes, then you may need to start with English-speaking countries first; if not, then start with your local markets.
It’s easy to get sucked into the hype around every new platform. But don’t let yourself fall victim to FOMO.
No social media policy
The law does not require companies to have social media policies; but they can help clarify expectations around how employees should interact with customers or clients online with the standards of professionalism and ethics.
Social media policies are designed to protect brands and companies from negative publicity, lawsuits, and other issues related to online activity.
They also help companies comply with regulations like Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The guidelines should include rules such as what kind of information users should share, and whether they can post images and videos, and if so, what type?
In addition, the guidelines should also specify what kind of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable online.
For example, it is inappropriate to post personal information about others, including phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
Similarly, it is unacceptable to post photos of children without permission from their parents.
Consult with a lawyer that understands digital law when drafting your social media policy.
Not taking advantage of paid advertising
The social media landscape is competitive. There are so many companies vying for attention. Much more now than it used to be.
Want to get seen fast and scale social media growth? Advertise!
Paid social ads are one of the best ways to get more exposure for your business.
Social media platforms, like LinkedIn, offer businesses the opportunity to target their audience based on seniority and other specific interests. This allows them to connect with people who may be interested in their product or service.
If you’re just starting, go with awareness ad campaign. Then explore other social media advertising options that can help you target specific audience like remarketing to generate higher ROI.
Lack of marketing personalization
The key to an effective social media marketing is to understand that people don’t relate to brands; they relate to people.
This is where social media marketing personalization comes in.
Social media marketing personalization is the use of information collected from a customer’s online activity, such as interests and demographics, to tailor the marketing messages that customer sees.
Here are some ways to improve your social media personalization efforts:
- Segment your customers into small groups like preferences, demographics, location, device-used, or actions.
- Create custom experiences for each segment
- Tailor your content for each segment
- Run campaigns for each segment
Not leveraging an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar is a planning tool for creating and sharing content that aligns with marketing objectives. It provides a framework to develop, organize, execute and measure the success of marketing content and campaigns.
I like to think of social media editorial calendar as a big roadmap containing markers that take a company closer to the marketing goal.
It takes time and effort, but it pays off big time.
Why have one?
- Helps you to stay on track
- Helps you to avoid last-minute stress and panic.
- Helps you to bring consistency to your content
- Helps you to find patterns in your content output
- Helps you to figure out what kind of content to create next
A good social media editorial calendar can include:
- An overview of the best time to publish them
- The frequency of these posts
- Content points
- Where the messages will go
- Tone you want to convey
- Links you want to share
- Keywords you want to optimize
- Your goals for each platform
- The hashtags you want to use
- Visual content you want to use
- Time you allocate for each platform
Start by creating a spreadsheet that lists all the information above. Then, add additional columns as needed.
Then you can use the calendar as a reference point whenever you need to update your social media activity.
Not measuring results
By simply not measuring your social media efforts, you risk not knowing what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right and, therefore, how to adjust your strategy.
Here is how tracking your metrics can help your business:
1. Informed decision: Measuring your analytics helps you decide what to change based on data.
2. Focused efforts: Measurement helps you stay focused and increases the direction that you are going with your social media campaign.
Complacency is something you avoid; measurement keeps up the pace.
What should you measure?
- Reach: How many people did you reach?
- Engagement: What percentage of your followers interacted with your posts?
- Click-throughs: How many times were people clicking through to your website or blog from your posts?
- Conversions: How many people engaged with your posts and converted into leads and/or customers?
These are just a few examples of the metrics you can track. There are plenty more.
Just make sure you keep track of the metrics that are important to your company!
And remember: Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing immediate results. Social media takes time to build up. And negative or downward results only mean that you need to change something in what you are doing.
Failing to scale their social media efforts
Scale refers to the size or extent of something, typically in terms of size, quantity or quality. Scaling is the process of enlarging or reducing something.
There are several reasons a company may need to scale your social media efforts:
- You’re going to launch a new product or service
- You’re planning to a huge marketing campaign to get greater visibility on social media
- You’re not getting enough traffic to your site or blog
- You’re not engaging with the right audience
- You’re not converting visitors into leads
- You’re not building relationships with influencers
Social media is not something that you set up and hope that it gives you result you wish for. If you want to see actual results, invest time and resources.
For example, if you’re struggling to drive traffic to your site or generate engagement, then you may need to try increasing your content marketing efforts.
So, when you decide to scale your social media activities, focus on one area at a time. After you’ve addressed those problems, move onto another area.
Using the wrong social media platform
There are many social media platforms out there for a company to choose from.
However, the one you choose for your business marketing strategy can make or break your company.
It is important to choose the right platform for your business because the wrong platform will not help you reach your goals.
Some platforms work better for B2C companies and some work better for B2B companies. Because of this, it is crucial that you do your research and be informed of your options.
Consider these social media platforms. Each type offers different opportunities for reaching customers and engaging them in conversation. Some are better suited than others for certain industries or companies.
|Learners||Small & big|
|Best For||Business networking, |
|Customer engagement |
& brand loyalty
story telling, product demonstrations
|News articles, visibility, SEO||Customer engagement, brand stories|
It’s important to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing.
Ignoring your website
The truth is that social media doesn’t replace your website.
By ignoring your website, your business is basically disregarding the first step in the social media marketing strategy process.
Social media is, by definition, sharing information with others.
Your website is the first step in the social media process. Because your website is a personal representation of your business, and it should represent the core values of your company, including the products and services you offer.
Your social media accounts are where you share valuable content from your website.
What social media does is that it helps drive traffic back to your website, especially if you include calls to action in your social media posts.
Practice: Daily practical mistakes
That you need to reply to all comments
… because you have heard it said that you must respond to be engaging.
Well, not true!
You shouldn’t always feel obligated to respond to every comment or question that you receive. If you are receiving hundreds of comments per week, then you most likely will not have enough time to reply to each one.
I know that we all love our brands and want to interact with customers as much as possible. But sometimes, there comes a point where you need to step back and let your followers take care of themselves.
Your job is to manage the conversation, not to control it. You can still answer questions, but only when you have time to spare, and if you have something of value to add.
So what should you do then?
Focus on the most relevant ones first; like the ones about your products or service.
So, note those customer-related issues and questions.
And if you find that the conversation has turned into something more than just a simple “thank you,” then go ahead, jump in.
Pick out the comments that really matter to your community and spend more time answering those.
Not interacting with other businesses
By ignoring other businesses who are using the same social media channels, you’re restricting your ability to connect with a larger audience.
Overlooking or ignoring potential partnerships or collaborations that could expand your social media outreach and presence is a big mistake.
You’ll end up narrowing your reach as opposed to expanding it when you ignore or overlook potential relationships or collaborations with businesses and brands.
The good news is that there are many ways to increase your interactions with other businesses.
- Participate in conversations like Twitter chats
- Share valuable content from other businesses
- Start conversations with other businesses
- Join online business communities.
- Consider starting a blog to share your thoughts and opinions with the world, and use it as seed to start a conversation.
Social media spamming
A spam is any message sent without regard for whether the recipient wants to receive it. It’s usually designed to generate clicks, engagement or likes.
There are two types of engagement spam:
• Self-promotion spam: Messages that promote the sender’s brand or website. These messages often appear in other people’s feeds. This appears in different forms on social media.
• Engagement spam: Messages that don’t actually provide value to the recipient. For example, these messages may contain an affiliate link, or content that benefits the sender only.
Essentially, engagement spamming refers to any act that increases a piece of content’s engagement count.
The problem with spam is that it doesn’t actually help your brand build relationships. In fact, it often hurts your reputation by making your company appear less professional.
To avoid social media spamming, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure that your content provides value to your audience. You should never send out a promotional message just because someone has liked or shared one of your posts, or followed you.
- Always ask permission before sending out promotional messages.
- Don’t send messages to people who haven’t requested them. Just. Don’t.
- Only send messages to people who follow you. This includes messages that ask for likes, shares, retweets, etc.
Posting content in the wrong time of day
Social media promotes immediacy.
When you post dictates the time that you can expect view and engagement.
In other words, if you post your content when people are likely to be busy with other tasks or offline, aka asleep, you’re less likely to get views, followers and traffic to your site as well.
You may have the best material, but if no one is there to see it, what’s the point of posting it?
Knowing when people are online is important. It’s important to note that the times I recommend you post below are based on averages, which are based on analysis conducted by other social media experts.
It isn’t a foolproof science, but the information should help you get an idea of the times when you’re most likely to reach people. While best times to post varies from social media to social media, these are broad general guidelines that apply to most, if not all platforms.
Most business to business firms publish their posts at peak network times. Experts usually publish their posts between 7 and 9 AM, with the majority of experts publishing at 8 AM.
Peak network times are on the weekdays, too, so at 8 AM (during work days), posts are seen by a lot more people.
There is also a bump towards the middle of the afternoon, typically between 1 PM and 4 PM. This is typical of most businesses, and so you will want to share your posts during these times, too.
The effective reach of posts peaks from 7 AM to 4 PM.
Posts outside these windows can still be seen, but they will have lower reach.
The most effective days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The rule of thumb is this: post when your business audiences are online.
Failing to use hashtags correctly
Using hashtags has become increasingly important for social media networks ever since Twitter allowed them to be used by anyone at all. They not only help with exposure of your posts, as users searching for them can see them, but they also help with social interaction. Using hashtags makes it easy to “find” posts relevant to issues or things you are interested in.
Here are a few common mistakes regarding hashtags:
- Using generic words instead of relevant keywords
Using a hashtag that contains random words won’t help you get discovered. When using hashtags, make sure that you include relevant keywords.
For example, if you are talking about a new product launch, then you can add #productlaunch. This will allow people searching for #productlaunch to see your post.
- Including too many hashtags on the wrong platform
Social media platforms have limits on the number of hashtags per post. The social media platform that allows “too many hashtags” for one post is Instagram only.
They allow 30 hashtags. Then, followed by Pinterest allowing up to 20. All the rest is way below that.
Besides, using too many hashtags in a platform makes your business appear either as you are spamming, or you do not know what you are doing.
For tips helpful tips about hashtags, read this: B2B Quick Guide: Do hashtags work? How to use it, why use it and how many.
Posting too often
Content overload is something that most people avoid. Focus on quality than quantity.
Also, over posting could lead to lower engagement rates.
Not sure how to begin?
Start small and build from there.
For example, LinkedIn says that boosting at least 4x a week gives your LinkedIn page 2x boost to get seen and engagement. Twitter is another story, however.
Remember that the goal is to create engaging content that keeps your target audience coming back to your page.
Not using curated content
Curating content involves selecting stories and information that relate to your niche and sharing them across different channels. This is content that you do not own.
It’s an excellent way to increase your reach and exposure while building relationships with influencers and other brands.
When you start to curate content, you need to remember that it takes time and effort to find good content. And even though some content may seem great, it might not always translate well to your target audience.
If you want to curate, here are some tips:
- Start with reputable sources
Find websites and blogs that cater to your specific industry and check out their archives.
- Look for related topics
Search for similar topics and look for articles that mention your topic. Check out the comments section to see which ones resonate with readers.
- Contact influencers
Some influencers will happily share content that relates to their own personal interests. If you contact them first, they often give permission to repost their content.
- Use tools
There are plenty of tools available to help you find and curate content. Some of my favorites include Buzzsumo, Feedly, Pocket, Scoop, Quora and Reddit.
You can also use Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your company name and any new content that comes up.
When done correctly, curation helps you stand out from the crowd and attracts more attention to your business.
Using poor quality images on social
This mistake is pretty obvious. Images are important in social media.
Telling people what your brand stands for through imagery is much better than telling them through words alone.
So don’t use low-quality images.
Instead, invest in high-resolution stock photography and hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your product or service.
Also, make sure that the image applies to what you’re trying to say.
Posting links without text
If you want your followers to click on your links, then you need to give them a reason to click.
If you post links with no accompanying text, followers will not know what the link is about.
They will just look at the link and ignore it.
The point of social media is to engage with your followers.
Not giving them a reason to click on your links is a missed opportunity – lost engagement and inbound traffic.
Failing to respond to customers
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small business or a large corporation; customers expect you to listen to their concerns and address them promptly.
In fact, many businesses have found that responding quickly and honestly to negative reviews has been an effective way to build trust and loyalty among their followers.
However, responding to every single customer feedback requires a lot of time, energy, and resources.
That’s why it’s best to focus on addressing the most critical issues first.
Then, once you’ve addressed those, you can move on to less urgent matters.
Social media is an essential tool for promoting your business. The more people who see your posts, the more likely you are to attract new customers.
But what happens when you are too promotional?
Promotional language had a negative effect on the reliability of a post. A sponsored review post without a promotional message was evaluated more positively in terms [of] trustworthiness than a post[,] including promotional language.A Study of Factors Affecting the Credibility of Sponsored Posts Created by Instagram Influencers
While marketing through social media is a great way to promote your business, over-promoting can actually have the opposite effect.
Instead of pitching your products or services too often, provide truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
This will ultimately lead to an increase in the audience reach for your B2B company.
While there’s nothing wrong with being friendly and showing gratitude to other people, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t follow just anyone.
Follow those that matter to your business; those that you know will be interested in you.
When vetting who to follow and follow back:
- Pay attention to what they are doing.
- Pay attention to what they are saying.
- Pay attention to what they are posting.
If neither is relevant, move on.
Forgetting to proofread
“History has shown that the destructive potential of a single incorrect character can be staggering.”Cameron Fennel
Last but not least, proofread all of your social media posts before publishing them.
In 1962, NASA’s Mariner 1 went off course, and crashed shortly after it launched. It’s price tag today factoring inflation? $150,000.000. The cause? A missing overbar. A typographical mistake.
Typos and grammatical errors can turn into a negative review or cost you sales.
So before hitting ‘post’, go through each message carefully to check for any typos.
Stop Wasting Money; Improve Your Social media ROI Now
There are a lot of common social media mistakes that companies make and we’ve looked at them.
Thankfully, there are ways to improve your social media image and we’ve shown you some of these.
So, now that you know how to avoid the common social media mistakes that companies make and how to fix them.
Maintain your social media presence with a simple, coordinated strategy.
Capitalize on each social platform’s strengths and connect them all with an overall strategy tailored to your audience.
Keep your social media policy abreast of emerging technologies and best business practices to stay in compliance and protect your B2B company.
Finally, take the time to review, refine, and update your social media strategy at least once per year.
Does your B2B company need help to correct your social media mistakes? Let us talk!