Are You Guilty of These 15 Social Media Mistakes in Business?

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social media mistakes in business

Every small business knows that they need to utilize social media as part of their marketing plan. But in the process, they are making a lot of mistakes. Here are the most common social media mistakes and what to do about them:

Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes in Business…

Only Selling Your “Stuff”

You communicate only your product offers on social media. You are constantly asking people to buy instead of establishing a relationship with them first.

Talking at People, Not With Them

You are not having two way conversations with people, but only broadcasting your message. A good indication that this is happening is no one ever responds to what you post.

Talking to the Wrong People

You have no strategy for your social media. You talk to anyone that will talk to you. This is because you may have outsourced it to any GenY-er you can find, instead of someone with specific experience.

Asking Others to Retweet / Share Your Content, But Never Talking to Them Otherwise

The only time you communicate with potential partners is to ask them to share your stuff. You should always ask how you can help them before asking for a favor.

Broadcasting the Same Message Across All Channels

You need to tailor your message for each specific social media channel. For example, the form of a marketing message needs to be different on Facebook vs. Twitter.

Focusing on Numbers Not Quality

You are obsessed with the number of followers instead of the quality of their interaction with your company.

Posting Infrequently or Irregularly

No one knows when you will show up on social media. You need to have a regular schedule to show dependability and consistency of your message.

Not Posting the Same Things Multiple Times During the Day or Week

Most social media posts have a short shelf life (Twitter -15 minutes, Facebook- 60 minutes). Everyone is not always on social media so things need to be posted multiple times.

Not Monitoring What People are Saying

Reputation is your biggest marketing weapon. Customers now place more trust in online reviews than advertisements. You need to know what everyone is saying about you!

Having No Company Social Media Policy

Can employees check their social media accounts at work? Can they post on behalf of the company? There is no right or wrong answer, but there should be a specific policy.

Using A Photo that Does Not Reflect Your Brand

Many companies just use their logo, but what could be a better representation of your brand?

Deleting Negative Comments

On social media, this is a big mistake. Instead, respond with empathy and provide a solution.

Sending Automated Direct Messages to Followers

Another big mistake since most social media users consider this spam. Only send direct messages that are customized for the person you are connecting with.

Using Too Many Hashtags

This is a good tool to become part of a conversation, but not every tweet or Facebook post needs to have a #newhashtag on it. #OMGSocialMediaMistakes!

Not Leaving Enough Space for Other People to Retweet You

Make it easy for people to retweet you by leaving room for their Twitter handle and the letters RT. Don’t use the full 140 characters in your original tweet since this will force them to delete some of your message.

Mistakes Photo via Shutterstock


Barry Moltz Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting with countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward. His newest book, BAM! shows how in a social media world, customer service is the new marketing.

31 Reactions
  1. Barry,

    Thanks for the compiling this list. Have you done any of these mistakes?

    I am doing this one: “Broadcasting the Same Message Across All Channels” when I am taking a photo with my Instagram app and distributing it via Facebook, Twitter and adding it to Flickr and publishing a blog post on Tumblr. I haven received positive feedback from friends who say that they like to find the update in their favorite channel.

    • I guess that’s hard to prevent. After all, some people are not present in some channels. They can always opt out some channels if they don’t want to follow you there.

      I think that most businesses are doing this. The business I work with used to talk at customers and sell, sell and sell than establishing a relationship.

    • There are certain situations where posting to all the social media platforms is acceptable. Just make sure that it makes sense on all platforms. The biggest mistake that people make is having their Facebook updates show up on Twitter. Every time you post, post a picture, a gallery, basically anything will show up on Twitter. If it’s a photo, it won’t show up on Twitter, it will be a link to Facebook. Same goes with the gallery. So your Twitter followers will have to head over to Facebook to see your picture, which really doesn’t make sense.

      Same with if your Facebook update is more than 140 characters. Twitter with truncate it and will display a link to facebook.

      • True. But it is hard to ‘catch’ all your followers in all platforms without annoying the people who follow you in all. For example, if you posted a blogpost. Would you even go through the trouble of creating a unique message for your Tweet and your Facebook post stating that you’re sharing your blogpost? I don’t think so.

  2. Thank you for all these tips!

  3. Social media is definitely a useful tool. It’s good to know how to use it effectively. I’ve made the mistake of broadcasting the same message across all channels. That can be quite boring and I am learning to make things more interesting. Thanks for the tips.

  4. I’m guilty of some of these! I think lots of us are, businesses as well as individuals. I do use more than one or two hashtags on Facebook at times, and I don’t feel guilty about it :-).

    I don’t think I could post the same thing throughout the day as I don’t really like seeing other people do it. But I sometimes do it over a week, sparingly though.

  5. Use an automated tool to repost during the day!

  6. Nice read Barry! I totally agree with you, every business is utilizing social media and now it’s a crucial part of every business marketing plan. If you’re using it strategically the only way is up, but for that you need to be aware of certain social media mistakes and how to avoid them, as they can ruin your whole business.

    My 2 cents:
    1) Ignoring social media complaints, questions and suggestions: Social media is a place where people like to interact with each other. If you’re using it only to convey your message instead of helping your audience it won’t work for you.
    2) Posting too often or too less: If you’re posting too often people will lose their interest in you and will unfollow you, and if you are posting too less people will forget you. Maintain a balance to stay on top of the mind of your fans and followers in a manner that you won’t annoy them.

    I have shared my views on social media marketing mistakes here:

  7. Really useful information – especially for someone who’s relatively new to a lot of social media like me 🙂

    I have a question around RTs which hopefully someone can help me with. I’ve been RT’d by a few companies which is very kind so I’d like to return the favour. However, the companies operate in completely different fields compared to me (I’m in business consulting, they are in the arts and crafts field amongst others) so their content wouldn’t really resonate with my followers as it is usually around their products which is understandable. What’s the best thing to do here?

    • Still RT- you never know if they can be influencers and connectors and it helps to build Social Media Cred!

  8. This is a great post Barry… brought to light a lot of mistakes that I made in the beginning you are right in every instance.

  9. It is evident that social media has been playing a crucial role on many businesses, rather many small businesses are doing good, just because of the the favor or generation of good advertisements through these networking sites. But many a times mistakes does occur, due to negligence on the part of businesses on promoting any product ruthlessly. Rather tolerance & positive attitude always helps one to stay alert & friendly even at the time of criticism. I feel it is a good tactics to make common people aware of any product through friendly attitude rather then keeping thorough professional attitude.

  10. Very nice & informative article Barry! As you have rightly said, today almost every business is on social media, but the problem is that not everybody is doing it right. In fact, many of them are still committing some very common social media blunders, which can damage their company image and market proposition.

    My 2 Cents:

    1) Trying to be active on all social media platforms:Marketers commit this blunder most often. But they don’t realize, maintaining social media accounts properly is a time consuming task and it’s neither really possible nor worth spending that much time and resources. You should find out the social media platforms where your target audience is present and manage it properly. But yes, there is no harm in creating account on all other platforms and doing few updates every now & then.

    2) Automating all social media updates: Many marketers do this to save time. But they forget that social is not a one way channel. In fact, it’s more about engagement and that’s only possible when you actively participate in the conversations. Otherwise it looks very mechanical and people tend to lose interest in you easily.

    My thoughts: