Social media marketing can be an effective way to connect with your customers and promote your brand or business, but the wrong approach could completely backfire and leave you worse off than before. In this article, we’ll cover 7 common social media marketing mistakes to avoid and how to fix them when you inevitably make them yourself.

Following Too Many People     

Following too many people on social media can have a negative impact on your content marketing efforts, no matter how valuable their tweets may be. If you feel like you’re never keeping up with your newsfeed, start by following fewer people.

You’ll still get all of the information without being distracted by those who aren’t applicable to your business. When you follow less people, your engagement will also increase because more of what you share will reach new eyes and ears.

If that sounds appealing to you, then it’s time to consider taking an inventory of who exactly is sharing similar content and interests as yourself and add them as followers. The more targeted your network becomes, the easier it will be for you to find relevant leads.

In addition, there are several tools out there that allow you to filter users based on location or industry , which means you can focus on engaging those most likely to become customers. And remember: Some accounts may not be a good fit even if they’re in your niche or they are interested in learning about your product—and avoiding them will help reduce clutter in your feed. Remember: Follower count doesn’t equal value.

Quality over quantity! A large follower base is nice, but having a lot of inactive followers does nothing for your bottom line. Before deciding to unfollow someone, take some time to see if he or she has posted anything recently that would benefit your business; unfollowing someone after reading just one post could mean missing out on valuable information in future posts.

Even worse than having an inactive follower is when someone unfollows you. As tempting as it might be to do so first, resist that urge! It’s important to know why someone chose to remove you from his or her feed before making any assumptions. It could be something as simple as a change in job title that makes him or her unqualified for your services, or maybe he simply doesn’t need your services anymore. Whatever the reason, try reaching out and asking why before assuming it was due to something you did wrong.

Following Badly

It might sound obvious, but it’s not a good idea to follow just anyone on social media. The practice of following tons of accounts just for following sake can waste time and lead you down a rabbit hole of hashtags and meaningless posts.

Instead, think about what kinds of organizations and businesses you want to engage with and follow those people only. Then make sure that your own posts are valuable contributions to conversations rather than self-promotional spam. If you’re consistently providing value, followers will come.

Posting Inconsistently

It’s important to post consistently and in a way that is relevant for your audience. Constantly changing what you post can confuse your followers, who may stop following you on social media entirely if they are not getting a consistent message from you. In order to keep your followers engaged, it’s important that you find a rhythm when posting.

Once you have figured out how often works best for your business, stick with it! If you don’t want to post every day, try posting twice a week or once every two weeks. This will ensure that your followers know when to expect something new from you.

And remember: don’t fall into a rut by constantly reposting old content; instead, mix things up by sharing fresh photos and updates about upcoming events or promotions. Your followers will appreciate knowing what’s going on behind-the-scenes at your company.

Also, make sure you use each platform for its intended purpose. For example, Instagram posts work well as visual stories, while Facebook posts are ideal for written updates. Mixing up these formats will help engage your followers across all of their favorite platforms. The same applies to emails – although some companies send newsletters only once a month (and even less frequently than that), others email their customers multiple times per week.

Find a schedule that works for you and stick with it. It’s okay to change things up occasionally, but having consistency is important.

Posting at the Wrong Times

When it comes to social media marketing, timing is everything. Posting at peak times can improve your content’s chances of being shared, clicked on and engaged with.

On Facebook, for example, posts that appear between 12-3 p.m. EST tend to see more interaction than those published at other times of day.

The same goes for Twitter—Tweets sent between 5-6 p.m. are much more likely to be retweeted than ones sent during off hours or first thing in the morning. This might seem counterintuitive (we assume most people check their social networks first thing in the morning), but there’s a good reason:

People are generally busier during these hours, so they have less time to engage with content or brands they don’t follow closely. So what does all of this mean? Don’t post when you think you should post; instead, use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to find out when your audience tends to interact with content online.

Not Having Engaging Content

The biggest mistake you can make on social media is to have boring content. You want your followers to be drawn in by your brand, and there’s nothing that turns people off quicker than a lack of engagement.

Make sure you share content on social media that is engaging, otherwise people will quickly forget about your brand or even worse: unfollow you! Engaging content could include behind-the-scenes looks at your business, personal stories related to your business (including how it came to be), contests with awesome prizes, videos—really anything that gets people excited about what you do.

Don’t just take our word for it though; do some research into how other brands are using social media effectively and see what they are doing right! (Don’t steal their ideas though; create your own unique strategy.)

It’s also important to think about what platforms work best for your brand. Are you a food truck? Consider Snapchat as an outlet since most food trucks don’t have brick-and-mortar locations where people can go to get more information.

It might seem like overkill now, but knowing which platforms fit best with your business will help you figure out where to spend time and money when starting out. A few years ago, Facebook was king of social media marketing, but these days we’re seeing an increased focus on Twitter and Instagram due to changing demographics.

If you don’t know who your target audience is yet, we recommend taking a look at statistics from major social networks so you can get a sense of who tends to use each platform.

For example, if you sell to stay-at-home moms between 25 and 40 years old, you should probably be spending most of your time on Facebook. However, if you cater to young adults living in big cities, Pinterest may be better suited for your needs.

Remember, just because one network seems popular doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for your business. Take advantage of free tools like Google Analytics to track what works and what doesn’t. These tools will give you an idea of where your visitors are coming from and how much traffic each source is driving to your website. You can then apply that knowledge toward optimizing your social media efforts.

There are many different ways to measure success on social media, including number of likes/followers/shares/comments per post, reach (number of unique users reached per post), total impressions per post, etc. Experiment with different metrics until you find something that works well for your business. When creating posts for social media channels, try to be creative and utilize visuals whenever possible.

Relying on Auto-post Tools

A lot of social media marketing tools claim to be set it and forget it or auto-posting, but these really aren’t good for your brand in the long run. Humans are always going to notice when their content is copied and pasted over and over again.

But more importantly, you shouldn’t rely on other people’s updates as a crutch for content creation: creating your own unique content is a big part of what makes any social media presence valuable!

It also helps keep things interesting and engaging for followers who might otherwise get tired of seeing exactly the same thing from week to week. It’s better to have a few great posts than dozens of mediocre ones.

And if you do want some help with scheduling posts, try using an app like Buffer instead—it will still post unique content without having to copy/paste everything yourself. (Buffer also has a free browser extension that lets you schedule and share across all your accounts at once.)

Autoposters can also leave comments within your stream that look out of place, which could turn off potential customers. If someone follows you and sees something strange about one of your posts, they may wonder if something is wrong with your company. Every little detail counts!

Stopping Short of Consistency

Don’t just post once or twice and then assume that everything is going according to plan. Whether you prefer Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr or Pinterest (or some other social media site), stick with it.

Consistency matters if you want followers and visibility. Plus, when in doubt, it’s better to over-share than under-share! The key is consistency. Just make sure your posts are good ones; otherwise people will unfollow you for spamming them.

When sharing content on any of these sites, be aware of your branding strategy so you can remain consistent across all platforms. If someone searches for you on one platform and doesn’t find anything interesting, they may move on to another brand who offers more engaging content—this may be an opportunity lost forever!

One example: Before launching a new product line, look at what competitors are doing on social media. Follow their lead when appropriate but don’t feel like you have to follow every single trend either. For instance, if your competitor uses too many hashtags in each tweet, don’t necessarily copy that approach. Instead, try something else.

You should still take cues from others though because you never know which tactic might work best for you and your business. It’s also important to stay on top of changes made by social media networks as well as changes within your own company as far as how often employees use various forms of communication such as email versus texting versus chatting online versus posting updates via social media sites.

All of these factors affect your overall marketing strategy. In fact, change is a given in today’s world, and if you aren’t prepared to handle change effectively, you could lose customers along with market share. That being said, adaptability isn’t always easy.

Businesses need to think strategically about where they want to go and then create a specific plan of action to get there. Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned but having multiple strategies in place helps minimize risk while maximizing profits.

As I mentioned earlier, one way to do that is through testing different ideas. Using social media for small businesses – you can choose to test different approaches with various groups of users, tracking responses carefully and learning from each test run.

Another way would be to learn through reading case studies and research reports published by companies whose products or services are similar to yours.

To sum up: Try new tactics frequently but make sure they align with your long-term goals before committing too much time or money on any particular campaign.