7 Most Common Social Media Interaction Mistakes You’re Making

Most people think social media marketing is very easy. The reasoning goes that if teenagers can have social networks that spread into the thousands, how hard must it be for businesses with paid branding and marketing teams to do better. Well, the truth is, it’s very hard, because businesses have a clear ROI expectation attached to any outlay, including social media. This problem is compounded when most businesses are making the following 10 most common social media marketing mistakes.

1) Always talking business

signYou know what do you sound like when you always talk shop? A salesman, on overdrive that doesn’t care at all about the prospective customer. People don’t open Facebook or Twitter to see what cockamamie little marketing activity you’ve got going on right now. They logon to connect with people, talk to friends, stalk ex’s and generally do non-business stuff. So please stop always just talking about yourself and your business and get into real conversations with people or use your business page, not your personal.

2) Putting out the same mundane stuff

Your content marketing efforts should involve multiple forms of communication like blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, videos, infographics, interviews, etc.

3) Always talking but never listening

I’m sure you must have come across those business social accounts where there’s no conversation but lots of announcements. As if the sole reason for having a Twitter or Facebook page is to send out mini-PR releases. Please don’t do that. It’s just an extension of mistake #1. Listen to people. Talk to them. Engage in conversations. And have some fun while you’re at it.

4) Making it wayyyy too personal :)

That style might be great if you were a 14 year old who still hasn’t grasped the finer nuances of the English language, but you’re not. You’re a business, so act like it. Now some of you might say what about mistake #1, always talking shop? Well, it’s about striking a balance and making smart conversation, just like in real life.

5) Automated link sharing

You know what does your Twitter stream say when all it has is Buffer or Hootsuite, automated links? It says you’re too lazy to actually engage in a real conversation.

6) Leaving your personality at home

Every organization has a culture, a personality. In fact, one of the reasons why the Time Warner – AOL merger fell through was because of their very different cultures. That’s how important an organization’s culture is, and you miss out a lot when all your social media interactions are staid personality deprived robotic messages. Please understand that in a world that is becoming increasingly more social, having a personality isn’t an advantage anymore, it’s a necessity. When you throw some around, there will be people who agree and people who don’t. When you leave it out, there’s a full total of zero people who care.

7) Not harnessing the power of reciprocity

Do you know what’s one of the most powerful ways to create meaningful, long term connections? It’s reciprocity.

You lose out on the power of reciprocity by always only sharing your own content. Instead, if you were to share your own content and help your social connections discover others’ content too, those people will happily return the favor at a point when you may need in or in many unexpected ways. Also, social is about “us” and not “me”. Therefore, go out, talk to the world about yourself but make sure you’re talking about others too.

What do you think?

content-marketing-communicationI think I’ve spoken too much already and now I’d like to hear your views. What are the common peeves you encounter when trying to talk to people and businesses through social networks and how does that affect your decision to continue engaging with them? Let’s chat in the comments.

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siddharth-deswal Siddharth Deswal works at Visual Website Optimizer, the world’s easiest A/B testing software. He’s been involved with web development for about 8 years and actively looks to help online businesses discover the value of Conversion Rate Optimization. He tweets about A/B testing, landing pages and effective marketing tips on @wingify


  1. Marcy Johnson says:

    Good points. I try really hard to follow those rules. I think the most challenging part at times can be getting conversations going. Great article!

  2. I would agree, I try to be personal but have a hard time engaging conversation .

  3. That’s true Marcy. There’s so much of self-promotion happening on social media that most people are just switching off. And we marketers are to blame too you know. We use our personal profiles to actually talk to people but as soon as someone gives us a company account, our Sales side kicks in.

    Oh, and thanks for the appreciation :)

  4. Good points, but I do have a question. I was taught that by automating posts, I can save lots of time. Now I spend an hour or two a week, looking for posts for the whole week so most of them do say hootsuite or buffer. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respond when someone leaves a comment. Do you think it’s off putting still? Should I be using facebook automation instead?

    • Kristen,

      Have you compared the number of replies you would receive from people before and after using automation? That should give you a better idea of what works for you.

      However, one way to work around this is to add a thoughtful comment/snippet before every automated post so your readers know you’re curating instead of just automating.

      • I’ll test that out next week. I do try to add little piece of me to everything I’m posting, anyway I do it. Thanks for your input.