5 Bad Practices To Avoid in Social Media Marketing #Socialmedia

By on August 6, 2013
Bad social media

Social media marketing has always been about constant learning, testing and evolving along with your community. But what happens when you’re just starting out and you want results super-fast? This is when you could end up employing some bad practices that can destroy your online presence before it has even begun. Let’s take a closer look!

Bad Practice #1: Using Social Channels as Silos

Too many large and small brands approach social media marketing like they did in the early nineties – using silos that deal with individual platforms, instead of seeing social media as a collaborative effort across multiple platforms. Do not make the mistake of segregating your platforms and treating them as individual entities.

Social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn need to be integrated and working together for the overall goal of a successful social strategy. By all means focus on the sites individually, but don’t forget that they function as a whole.

Bad Practice #2: Winging It

It still outright amazes me how many social media managers function without the use of any sort of analytics system in place to measure their ROI. If you use social media strategies – then you will need metrics to work with, otherwise it’s not strategy – it’s guessing. There is a vast difference between guessing to get results, and using data to get results.

All quality social media efforts are based on analytics systems, metrics and insights. Winging it is still among the most common bad practices I see in use in small businesses today.

Bad Practice #3: Not Effectively Controlling Content Flow

Along with publishing quality content, and managing communities – there is also the small matter of managing what your community members publish across your platforms. Social media marketing includes the ability to decide what is and what is not allowed on your chosen platforms. Editing your community is a huge part of that.

social media bad practices

Courtesy of hrexaminer.com

Too many small businesses allow their community members to say whatever they like. This results in trolls, spammers and nastiness during discussion. Use the rule that if the content produced is not valuable, informative or friendly it does not belong on your public pages.

Bad Practice #4: Publishing Negativity All The Time

As a rule you should not publish anything that casts your business in a negative light. There will be enough negative things that others say about your brand online, that you will have to deal with in a mature and professional way. Keep in mind that your conversation, tone and intention for your comments will be interpreted by your fans.

Do not argue, badmouth, complain, curse or get upset with your fans – no matter how nasty, invasive or far they push you. Always be the bigger person.

Bad Practice #5: Being Inflexible

Any good social media marketing strategy will evolve over time, due to feedback, new insights and metrics along the way. If you are still working on a strategy you designed in 2010, you are working way below your potential. Social media changes every month, and so should your strategy – even if it’s just a little!

Avoid these 5 bad practices and your social media marketing strategies will grow from strength to strength with every passing year!

Which bad practice have you experienced before and how did you overcome it?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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