8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

8 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes & What to Do About Them

When being in business, mistakes will happen. When using social media to help market your business, there is a huge opportunity for mistakes to happen. Knowing how to avoid them is key.


The world of social media marketing is gigantic. With numerous platforms to choose from, conflicting advice and strategies floating around, it’s not surprising to see so many businesses floundering about not sure if they are doing their marketing right. That’s where the mistakes happen. Off-brand messages getting posted. Too many, or too few, posts getting published. No analytics being tracked.


If you see yourself there, or if you are trying to avoid being there, help is here. Here are 8 common social media marketing mistakes I see businesses making, and some suggestions to help:


Doing More Than You Should


Often when a business decides to use social media, they think they need to do every.single.platform. If a marketing professional tells you that – fire them. You need to find where your audience is and focus on that. If that turns out to be Facebook and Instagram, then focus on those two platforms only. If it’s just Instagram, do only that. There is no need spending time on a social media platform that you have no audience on.


According to the latest data from Pew Research Center in November 2016, here is the demographic breakdown of the major social media platforms:









 Not Tracking Your Results


If you are not looking at your analytics on a regular basis, you’ll have no way of knowing if you social media efforts are working. Every platform, save Snapchat, has their own analytics component. Most social media management programs have them as well. To know if you are being effective with your social media marketing, you need to be consistently measuring your social media marketing efforts – weekly, monthly, however frequently you deem necessary.


If you are unsure what key metrics to look for, Sprout Social has a fantastic guide here.


Inconsistent Posting


Not having a plan, or posting consistently, is a mistake. Posting too much will lead people to stop following you. Not posting enough will leave people out in the cold because they will not know what’s going on. So, how often should you post?  That’s up for you to decide for your own business, however, here is my general recommendation:

  • Facebook: 1-2 times/day
  • Twitter: 5-6 times/day
  • Pinterest: 5-6 pins/day
  • Instagram: 1-3 times/day (depending on your business)
  • LinkedIn Company Page: 3-5 times/week
  • Snapchat: TBD based on your business type


Having the Wrong Message


Your social media posts should not be all broadcasts or worse yet, off-brand. People do not want to see sales pitch after sales pitch. Build a relationship with your fans. You want to use social media to educate your fans, yet build that relationship to establish trust. That last thing you want to do is to go off-brand to the point you leave them scratching their heads wondering if a 10 year-old is running your social media.


No Call-to-Action


Even though you want to limit your sales-y pitch posts, you do not want to forget your calls to action. People need to be prompted to do something. The CTAs (call-to-actions) can be something as easy as asking fans to like, comment, retweet, or share. CTAs lead to more conversions, not to mention more awareness for your brand.


Your Followers are Fake


I’ve become more active on Instagram with my business account and one thing I’ve noticed is newer accounts with unusually high following totals. When I go and look at who is following them… it’s mostly spam accounts. Even a “competitor” of mine is doing this. First of all, this is a Terms of Service violation that runs you the risk of having your account deleted, and second of all, this is an ethically wrong business practice.


Not Staying Up with the Latest


Social media is ever-evolving. Platforms change. Rules change. You cannot rely on articles and advice from two years ago. What everyone was suggesting in 2015 honestly is not applicable in 2017. When you seek advice or look at articles on Google, make sure to check the date of the article or source.


To stay up with latest, subscribe to a few blogs. Here are a few recommendations:


Trying to Do it All Yourself


This is the biggest mistake business owners make. Social media for your business can take all of your time, if you do social media right. As a business owner, you can outsource this to a social media strategist, or have someone in-house handle your social media.


Mistakes will happen. We’ve made them before – no business is perfect. The key is to learn from them and grow.


What other mistakes do you see businesses make on social media? Did we leave anything out? If you have any suggestions you’d like to add, please share them below in the comments!


If you see yourself or your business struggling with any of these, drop us a line and let us know – we’d love to help you get on track!


Preparing Your Social Media Strategy for 2017

Preparing Your Social Media Strategy for 2017

It’s never too early to start working on your social media strategy for next year (or next week or next month).


Recently, Buffer released their annual State of Social Media 2016 report after surveying over 1,200 marketers who mainly work with small to medium-sized businesses. To be honest, none of the results surprised me, they pretty much validated what I have been seeing over this past year not only with my own clients, but throughout the industry.


Social media has become a major component in any business’ marketing strategy. This shouldn’t be a business’ only form of marketing, but it should be a big part if that is where your market is.


The Buffer report spoke to three key takeaways, but two really stood out to me:

Video is about to peak.

Eighty-three percent of marketers said they’d like to create more video content if they didn’t have restraints such as time and resources. We also found that 30 percent of marketers are looking to spend more time focused on Facebook video in 2017, with 28 percent also looking to add YouTube to their marketing stack.”

Contrary to popular belief, no one has left Facebook and more businesses are investing in Facebook ads.

“Our report found that 93 percent of marketers use Facebook for their business and 91 percent have also invested in Facebook Ads. Despite the drop in organic reach on Facebook, 72 percent of respondents said their use of Facebook has stayed the same or increased over the past 12 months.”


I was excited to see these because it backs up what I’ve been suggesting to my clients about integrating video into their social strategies and confirms what I’ve been telling everyone about Facebook – people are still there! If anything, the 2016 US Presidential election was proof enough that people were still on Facebook!


Here are some highlights of the report –


85% of businesses are using social media for brand awareness.

Social media is a great way to promote your brand and get your message out. Through various ways (photos, videos, etc.) you can show you who are as a company and let your customers, both current and potential, get to know the people behind the brand as well.


91% of businesses have used Facebook ads.

I am a big believer in Facebook ads. If used correctly with the right targeting, Facebook ads can be the golden ticket for your business. With a percentage this high, this also means that businesses have accepted that in order for their posts to be seen on Facebook, they do have to invest in Facebook advertising (which is still much cheaper than traditional advertising!).


58% of businesses are still trying to figure out how to drive traffic to their website from social media.

Driving traffic to business’ websites was the biggest challenge businesses faced. However, with social media ads and the right strategy, this can be accomplished 😉 Next on the list was generating leads, which can be done through contests or an email marketing campaign.


93% of businesses currently use Facebook with their social media marketing.

Facebook by and far is the most popular platform to use by businesses with Twitter coming in a close second. However, I would caution businesses with this – only spend your time marketing your business on platforms your market is on. If your market is not on Facebook, there is no need for you to be there.


58% of businesses plan to add video this next year, with 30% adding Facebook video.

Facebook video, especially Facebook Live is HOT. Native video uploaded to Facebook does much better than linking a YouTube or Vimeo video. I have several clients that we are planning Facebook Live events for this next year and campaigns around them. You will see a lot more of this in 2017. Jump on this before your competitors do.



So there are the highlights of the state of social media for 2016. I’m not sure how 2017 will shape up. I know we will see more video, more of Facebook, and more ads (even though there’s more ad-blocking going on).

What do you see going on with social in 2017?


To see the entire State of Social Report from Buffer report, click here.


6 Marketing Ideas to Kickstart Your Holiday Campaign

The holiday season is upon us and if you haven’t started to see any holiday marketing campaigns yet, well, get ready.

This time of year shouldn’t stress you out. It can be such a fun time to be in business. Many businesses, such as retail, depend heavily on the holiday season that runs mid-November through New Year’s Day. Yes, the fourth quarter can really make a business’ year financially, but here is one thing you should not skimp on right now: marketing.

The holidays make marketing so much fun – the contests, the deals, the relevant engagement – everyone needs to get into the spirit! However, a good bit of holiday shopping is done online, at via mobile at that.

Here are some of the facts:

  1. US retail e-Commerce will grow 13.3% this holiday season. (Source: Signal)
  2. 66% of consumers with shop both online and in-person. (Source: Adlucent)
  3. 34% of U.S. consumers say that digital advertising on a website or in a mobile app influences their holiday gift buying. (Source: Signal).
  4. 30.4% of online sales were placed from phones and tablets during the 2015 holiday season, up over 5% from the 2014 holiday season. (Source: Shelley Media Arts)
  5. Email marketing drove 20% of online sales during the 2015 holiday season. (Source: Shelley Media Arts)
  6. E-commerce revenue was up 16.2% on Cyber Monday 2015 compared to Cyber Monday 2014, making it the biggest day in US online shopping history. (Source: Custora)
  7. Black Friday was “Mobile Friday,” with mobile accounting for 36.1% of orders, up from 30.3% of orders on Black Friday 2014. (Source: Custora)

Now that you’ve seen some of the stats, how does that factor into your marketing plan?

Here are 6 tips to help…

1. Make your accounts festive!

You want your business/brand to be relevant, so that means “decorating” your website and/or social media accounts! Change out your Facebook cover photo to something Christmasy (if you celebrate that) or have your Twitter background be a field covered with snow. Show the world that you are ready for the holidays.

Idea: Use the Elf-Yourself program and share on your social media of you and/or your staff!


2. Post interactive, engaging content.

Ask questions each week, share favorite holiday memories. Connect with your market on an emotional level and get to know them.

Idea: #TBT posts are a great way to spark a conversation!


3. Offer sneak peeks to build buzz.

Let your social media community get in on special deals and products early by offering sneak peeks via your social media channels before any ads run or before anything hits the floors in your store. This is one way to build buzz and interest before an event.

Idea: This would be PERFECT for Snapchat!


4. Offer something exclusive.

People like to have exclusivity. You do not have to do this to be successful, but sometimes this will help you convert those browsers into customers. It can something for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It could be a month-long discount on a product or service.

Idea: Along with free shipping or a free month of service, throw in a free sample or something totally unexpected to surprise your customer.


5. Mix it up with some traditional marketing.

The holiday season is one time of year you need to have a diversified marketing plan. Make sure to infuse your online holiday marketing plan with some aspects of traditional. Not all of your target audience will be online, so do not forget about those who may not be on social media or who may be using flip phones!

Idea: Visit your local businesses with some homemade cookies with your business card attached.

6. Have fun.  

The holidays is all about celebrating after all, so have fun. Enjoy the season and take time to get to know your customers and share this season with them as well.

Idea: Take your staff Christmas caroling!




Are you ready for the holiday season? What tips would you share?

5 Steps to Handling Your Business' Social Media During a Natural Disaster

5 Steps to Handling Your Business’ Social Media During a Natural Disaster

As a business owner, you hope to never find yourself prepping for a natural disaster. Whether it be a blizzard, ice storm, flood, or hurricane, it’s something you are never taught to do. There isn’t a college course called “Disaster Prep for Business Owners 101” or “Managing a Business During a Hurricane 3000”.

I, like many of my fellow Southern coastal business owner peers, found myself on a crash course with this this past week. We were lucky – from what I saw, most came away with little damage, but I know it could have been worse. Everyone had a great support system and stepped up and helped each other.

Before I get too far into this post, let me say, prepping your business physically and prepping your business online are two totally different things. I saw many businesses totally unprepared for this online. Even with a natural disaster approaching, you cannot forget about your social media/digital marketing campaigns. Yes, I fully realize that this may not be the most important element of your business at the moment, but trust me on this, social media may end up being your only form of communication with your fans, customers, and the outside world.

Hurricane Matthew is now a chapter in our “How to Handle Your Business 101” books and even though we know what to do NOW, here’s what YOU should do if you find yourself prepping for a natural disaster.

5 Steps for Handling Social Media During a Natural Disaster

Before the event (blizzard, storm, hurricane) happens, post what your status is.

Will you be closing early or will you be open? Are you closing entirely? The public will want to know your status if you are a brick and mortar store.

Call in the back-ups.

Make sure you have a point-person to monitor your social media if you are not able to.

  • Example: I’m in Georgia, 60-65 miles inland. We were supposed to be partially hit by the hurricane. My marketing assistant Jenn lives in Texas – she’s my back-up. She was aware of what was going on so she could take over in case I lost power or internet. On top of that, a dear friend and peer in California also offered her services as well.

Plan C’s are never a bad idea too. Even if you do not have an outside company handling your social media, make sure you have someone other than yourself who can post for you, just in case.

Look at what you do have scheduled and reschedule if needed.

I have two examples for this.

  • What TO do: I am working on a sheriff re-election campaign. It would have been in poor taste for his page to be posting reelection posts when his county was one of the counties affected by the hurricane. We rescheduled all posts for a later time and only shared important information that related to what was going on now.
  • What NOT to do: a store I follow from one of the islands affected was posting to their Instagram account cute outfits and to “Shop Now!”. Even if I wanted to “shop now!”, I couldn’t – there would have a Georgia State Patrol car blocking the interstate exit as I tried to get onto that island. Someone should have paid attention to what they were posting.

Once the event is over, mark yourself as “safe” on Facebook.

This is great feature on Facebook. This will let your friends know you are indeed safe.

hurricane safe

When you are able, update your social media the status of your business.

Let them know if you have power, when you will be reopening, your hours, etc. Keep the public informed. You can do this or your back-up point person can. There may be chaos, but you can cut a lot of down but keeping people informed.

When a natural disaster is coming, there’s always stress. You just need to remember to take care of yourself and your family first. Your business wouldn’t be here without you. Hopefully these five steps will help alleviate some of that stress where your business is involved.

If you have faced something like a blizzard or hurricane, what else have you done to prep your business? Share below in the comments and let me know!

4 Underused Ways to Promote Your Brand on Social Media

4 Underused Ways to Promote Your Brand on Social Media

Here are some social media statistics if you’ve ever doubted the power of social media for business:

Source: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-for-business/

However, more and more people are branching out from the social media norm of regular posting and going to other platforms – Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.

While none of this totally shocking, there are opportunities to really get creative and outside the box with your social media marketing. With so much of your competition now on the same platforms, you have to dig deeper and look for other unique ways to get noticed and capture your target audience’s attention. Here are four underused, creative ways to promote your brand on social media:

Tweet Chats


Tweet Chats are a great way to raise awareness of your brand on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with these, think of it like a group chat, except everyone follows the conversation via a hashtag. Every time I have participated in one, I’ve walked away with more followers and more people who now know about my business.

This is something you can host or you can simply just be a participant in. One of the best programs to use for this is tweetchat.com.

To read up on Tweet Chats, Buffer has a great guide to these that is a great starting point. Maybe one night someone will tackle a #southerncchat? 😉

Facebook Live Videos

Facebook Live is the “hot” thing right now on the platform and there are a multitude of ways you can use this to your brand’s advantage. Here are just a few –

  • Tip of the Week Video
  • Weekly Broadcast
  • Sneak Peeks
  • Cooking Shows
  • How-to Videos

The key to making Facebook Live videos work for your brand is planning them and promoting them. If you did an on-the-fly Facebook Live video, you’d be at the mercy of who happened to be online at the time you went live. If you planned it out and promoted it (via organic posting or social ads), people would know to be online at that set day and time to tune-in.

Specials/Sales via Snapchat


This is something I’m seeing more of. With the limited time-ness (if that’s a word) of Snapchat, this makes the deal seem very exclusive. A lot of brands are still hesitant to join Snapchat, but for those who have made the leap, they are doing quite well with it. There is an ocean of opportunity if your target audience is one that uses this platform a lot.

Example: Promote on your brand’s social channels to follow you on Snapchat for limited time, exclusive deals. Then every couple days post a Snap that says to come in for 25% off item, if you’re a retail store, or if you’re a service-based business like myself, you could create a Snap for a free 30 minute consulting session.

Host an Open House Online

If you are a realtor, this could be one really creative way to set you apart from your competition. Hosting an open house online consists of posting a video or slideshow showcasing the best feature of each residence. You can narrate a walk-through, give decorating ideas and talk about what the seller is willing to offer with the purchase. This is a great way to weed out those who are not seriously interested and for the buyers, this may help them decide if they really want to take the time to go and look. This has a great potential to bring clients to you because of the creativity and the extra effort you go to. Plus, it’s out of the box from the realtor-norm.

This could be done on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram – and with a link to a video, the posting options are endless!


Any of these four ideas can be modified for any business-type, not just the examples I gave. Are you willing to give any of them a try?


This post was written for and originally appeared on The Southern C website and has been republished with permission.

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