8-common-social-media-marketing-mistakes-to-avoid-in-2016After much anticipation, we’ve finally welcomed the New Year. It’s a time for resolutions, company evaluations, and overall improvements. During your time of goal setting this year, take a minute to evaluate your social media marketing strategies over the last year. What things have you done well? What mistakes did you make?

There’s extreme value in learning from your errors. Everyone does some pretty stupid things when they’re exploring their social media strategies. Just remember that you only truly make mistakes when you don’t use these experiences to improve your business. As you set your 2016 resolutions, strive to make fewer mistakes in your social marketing.

Here are some that you should definitely avoid.

1. Ignoring the Target Audience

In theory, this one’s a no-brainer, but in practice, it’s an easy one to do. The best way to avoid making this major mistake in the future is by setting a procedure for all social engagement that requires making assumptions about what your target audience needs or wants first.

2. Paying for Faux Followers

If you haven’t done this one already, you’ll probably be tempted in the future. Many companies choose to pay for fake followers in an attempt to leverage brand recognition, but the ROI is very rarely worth the money you pay for it. Not to mention, this hurts your image when your real followers find out what you did.

3. Too Much Branding

Branding is vital when it comes to a social strategy, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Brand mentions are important, but only if there’s value attached to them. Don’t let your affinity for your brand get in the way of putting quality content in the hands of your customers.

4. Posting Irrelevant Things

Relevance is the only thing truly welcome in a social marketing strategy. Irrelevant and excessive hashtags are a great example of how things can get out of hand. Hashtags are useful for helping your business achieve more visibility, but excessive use comes across as annoying. Limit your hashtag use to a sensible number that’s relevant to your post’s purpose.

5. Not Proofreading

With spellcheck built into most social media site’s posting functions, you’d be foolish not to use it. It only takes an extra few seconds, and good grammar helps you avoid the appearance of sloppiness, thus boosting your credibility.

6. Talking and Not Listening

It’s easy when on social media to talk profusely about your brand and other relevant content, but that only works if you’re willing to listen to your followers as well. You can’t hold a true online conversation and deliver the valuable content your followers crave if you’re not willing to listen to the feedback they leave you.

7. Hiding Things

Many people use social media as a way to project themselves as something they’re not, but businesses must avoid this trap at all costs. Honesty will always prevail, while hiding things will close connections, shunt your credibility, and remove the power of making impressions from your hands.

8. Undervaluing Connections

Too many companies use social media to focus on sales, when they should be focusing on connections. It’s true that your ultimate goal is to sell a product, but ten one-time sales are never more valuable than a single loyal customer. People are not interested in being bombarded with sales pitches. They’re interested in developing relationships with a company they can get behind. Avoid making the mistake of undervaluing these kinds of connections in 2016, and you’ll be amazed at the growth your company will enjoy.

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