Do you remember when you were preparing to first embark on your social media marketing campaign? When you first saw your Facebook page come alive, or your Twitter profile become public? Do you remember your first tweet, your first status update and your first blog?

Without doubt social media marketing has become one of the most important aspects of online marketing and branding, and with Google now pushing harder than ever on personalising our search experiences it’s likely to become an even bigger part of our lives.

mistakes made using social media

But the trouble is that there are still too many people making some truly awful mistakes, without even realising it. These mistakes may well have been costly to date, but with most people’s search results becoming tweaked by Google’s analysis of people’s behaviour through social media, those mistakes could become truly painful.

So here’s a look at two of the most common social media marketing mistakes, and how to avoid them and get your online business back on track.

1. Talk like a self obsessed introvert who swallowed a dictionary on business speak.

It really doesn’t matter how large your company or organisation, what’s important in the land of social media is the human factor. If all your tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts are written in the third person, or written in a way which sounds as though each word was separately chosen by a committee before publication, you’ll be losing out big time.

Often many business owners are afraid to reveal the fact that they are human, to write in the first person or even to dare to have opinions. Yet it is the human factor which brings the business alive, drags it kicking and screaming out of the lofty board room and back onto the street where the real customers are. Engaging with people means being a real person. We all have enough to do with computers, from email to voicemail, telephone menu systems to lifts. Sometimes it’s nice to hear the voice of a real person once in a while.

But at the same time, make sure that human voice isn’t self obsessed. Remember, social media is about being social, not standing in a corner hurling business cards at anyone who inadvertently stumbles past you on the way to the loo.

Read what others are saying, engage with them, comment on it, agree or disagree, share their thoughts with others, ask them questions, offer help – basically be human, rather than a self absorbed chunk of silicon.

2. Use social media based on a single campaign.

This is less obvious for some people, but often what can happen is that businesses decide to use social media marketing solely in order to push a new service, launch a new product, or boost some other new initiative. The problem is that whilst success may well be experienced, it is short lived, and you will have built up no brand loyalty. Social media marketing is very much about brand loyalty, and this doesn’t work for short lived one off campaigns.

It’s a little like chatting someone up, making it clear that you’re really only interested in a one night stand rather than long term commitment. It might be fun for a while, but further down the line you’ll have too much time to spend watching re-runs of game shows all by yourself!

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