Mind Candy

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6 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by mandyf on January 9, 2012

Everyone makes mistakes – some are nothing more than a matter of circumstances all aligning at one inopportune time to produce a failure. In essence, they are unavoidable. Other mistakes can be avoided, and this is particularly true in social media. With a little direction and due diligence, most mistakes can be easily avoided so that you never have to backpedal into damage control mode. Given how much more time I have spent on social networks and working with social media as of late after a hiatus, it got me thinking – if I could forget some of the basics after only a year away, what might people that have had little or no exposure be missing?

1. Don’t forget that a keyword in social media is SOCIAL! You have to put yourself out there to gain anything. Don’t assume that just because you added sharing buttons to your site the world is going to run to tag them all and laud you with praise for the wonderful content you have provided. You need to first be willing to do that for others before you can expect them to reciprocate.

2. Don’t spin your wheels for the sake of spinning. If you have laid out a strategy, stick to it – but not to the point that you are wasting your resources. If your goal is to establish and solidify a presence across 5 separate platforms and you are only having success on 4 of those 5, don’t keep investing in the platform that isn’t working. If, for instance, Pintrest has provided no help to you over a course of 6 months, don’t keep throwing good after the bad trying to force it to work for you. Instead, explore other options and see what may be more viable.

3. Don’t expect immediate results. You can expect to see progress in increments, but don’t expect that just because you registered a Twitter account that thousands of people are going to immediately follow you and re-tweet your every thought. You have to be patient and realistic- building a quality following takes time. You may see fits and starts at times as you develop, but the key is to stay focused and consistent. If it comes too easy, it likely isn’t worth having.

4. Linked to results is audience. If you have a huge audience but very few people have any actual interest in what you are saying, you don’t have the right audience. If for instance you specialize in automobiles and blog them five ways to Friday and seven ways to Sunday, you should be targeting an audience that shares that passion and/or need for knowledge. It would be a waste of time to promote your auto site to an audience that is more concerned with finding sheet music for oboes. Being relevant is being smart – and everyone would rather work smarter than harder.

5. Be consistent. It does you little good to be a presence in an erratic manner. If you are going to be online – be online! Don’t come in every few weeks and go maniacal for a few hours posting content everywhere and answering queries only to disappear again for weeks on end. If people get it into their mind they can’t count on you being around regularly they will seek another resource.

6. The biggest mistake people make with social media is choosing to not be a part of it. Seven years ago, a company could get away with it and have some supporters backing the decision – the whole Internet thing wasn’t about building your business after all. Now, we know that certainly isn’t true. Any business not only looking to expand, but just remain viable in some cases, has to have a presence online. The days of a blurb on a Yahoo directory are gone. People want updates in real time – not annually. They look for a level of engagement. You either get with the program or sit behind someone that has – who is converting more successfully than you are.

Mistakes aren’t necessarily a bad thing so long as they serve as a reminder to always be aware of what is going on. If you take the time to do things right and make an effort to stay current you’ll broaden your audience and see better results. Also keep in mind – the biggest mistake you can make in social media or any other aspect of life is refusing to learn from your mistakes.

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4 Responses to “6 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Bob Warren said

    Have a Rock and Roll Monday!

  2. eleisia said

    Good advice. Just like all aspects of your life, your success with social media depends on your efforts.

  3. V. said

    Nice article with information people should read before going “social”.

  4. Groovy post! And accurate.. Especially about being patient and realistic, it really does take time until people are following you because of the content you share and post…

    Thank you Amanda for those six thoughtful insights!

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