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5 Most Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you want to have a successful social media campaign, it’s best to have an idea of how to best go about it and avoid some common pitfalls out there so that you can best utilize your (often times limited) resources.

In this post we will help you begin to create your own successful social media campaign. Here are some questions to get you started:

How do I know if my social media campaign is successful?

What if I have a limited budget for my campaign?

How do I effectively create a long lasting social media campaign?

Let’s Start With an Example

Let’s say you have a dog training company and want to take your business from traditional to online marketing- specifically social media marketing. If you do what a lot of people do and jump head first into every social media channel out there without knowing how to effectively manage, maintain, and ultimately promote your social media campaign, you could be essentially spending your time going in circles not getting the return you want. Essentially that time you spend on social media not tracking your growth, or understanding your audience could be used building your dog training agency through other forms.

Without a succinct and well- thought out social media you could be wasting your resources (time, money, and man power) on things that have nothing to do with your bottom line, or any other business objective.  A successful social media strategy allows you the ability to take your business or brand from one level to the next by using a road map to help map out your path. The peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what is working and why- allows you the ability to adjust and reposition yourself to success.

Mistake #1: Focusing on the Wrong Platform

Failing to understand the nuances between Facebook and Pinterest and how each social media channel typically caters to a specific demographic, can be detrimental to your campaign’s success. For example data shows that Facebook is still extremely popular among millennials. According to Sprout.com a whopping 81% of people age 18-29 use Facebook, meaning that you could potentially missing out the one of the most likely to spend groups of people by failing to reach out them on the platform they are most comfortable with. Focusing on the wrong platforms could also mean that you could be wasting time on platforms that your audience is not concentrating on. When starting out marketing expert Neil Patel, recommends trying different platforms until you can find something “that sticks” (providing decent results), creating processes and systems for that platform, then going back to the platforms that haven’t provided value and creatively try new things in the search for more effective results.

Mistake #2 Not Knowing your Audience

If this list was based on ranking, this would probably have to be number 1 to me. The difference between a completely failed social media campaign, and one that succeeds can come down to this one thing: Knowing your audience. Nowadays, with the average person sees 5,000 ads / day! This makes it that much more important to truly understand what makes your audience, laugh, cry, and everything in between. Many business owners make the mistakes of marketing their business as if they are their own ideal customer. This is such a huge mistake (unless you actually are your ideal customer) because you are going to struggle with creating compelling content that resonates with your customers. I recommend creating what’s known as audience personas. According to Hootsuite a buyer persona is a model that describes your typical or target customer, based on detailed audience research. Don’t assume you know your audience, do your research and really find out what makes them tick!

Mistake #3 Not Measuring the Right Thing

Many marketers miss this the mark by not tracking what matters most. It’s a fact of life: you get more of what you focus on. So what happens if you are focusing on the wrong thing? The same things goes in marketing, many people place emphasis on what’s known as “vanity metrics” such as follower counts, page views, and downloads. Essentially any metric that looks good on paper, but does not push the needle forward in your business is a vanity metric.

Depending on your business goals, there are very different things you should be focusing on to achieve those goals. For example if one of your business goals is to create brand awareness, you should be setting goals and keeping tabs for things like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. For an in- depth breakdown of how you can begin to align your business goals with your social media campaign check our Neil Patel’s post on measuring your campaign metrics.

Mistake #4 Too much Brand Promotion

It may be tempting to only talk about yourself and your services, but the reality is No…One…Cares (I’m kidding…only a little). Seriously, having a good mix of promotional and non-promotional content is essential for an engaging social media strategy. Marketing great Gary Vaynerchuck, writes in his book Jab, Jab, Right Hook, he explains how you have to constantly give value to others before asking them to buy your products and services. Providing value to your customers Non-promotional updates can be reposts, an image or photo that shows your brand culture, or your office or your work culture, how-to guides, infographics or blog pieces.

Mistake #5 Not Engaging With Customers/Followers

Social media is meant to be .. you guessed it… social! Meaning you must create and constantly nurture the dialogue between you and your audience. This takes patience and careful attention to details. Treat each comment as an opportunity to build rapport with a potential customer. Many businesses fail this one crucial yet necessary piece of the strategy, and ultimately miss out on change to connect and establish trust with the audience.

Another Gary Vee gym is what is known as the $1.80 strategy. In essence,  you are leaving your two cents by commenting, liking, sharing, responding, or engaging on the top 10 posts within in your industries hashtags. This strategy should not take more than 2 minutes per post, yet the results, compounded over time are absolutely incredible. Every time you engage with a post your brand is showing on the news feed of whoever’s page you were on. Build relationship by being a real person, and a heartless robot.


To summarize, an effective social media strategy is not about doing one thing right, but rather a multitude of things. Be intentional about doing your audience research, and create content that is best for them and the channels they are mostly found on. Avoid being to “salesy”- provide value to people and you will be forever rewarded. Lastly social media is meant to be a dialogue and not monologue! Engage with your audience on a daily basis and watch your brand loyalty rise!