Most business-savvy entrepreneurs today know that social media is a powerful digital marketing tool – perhaps one of the most powerful today.

But what many don’t know as much is how to use it properly.

Unfortunately, social media marketing without the right expertise and strategy can be a sinkhole for time and money. And not only that, it could even harm your brand and bottom line.

Avoid falling into this trap by steering clear of the mistakes that newcomers and clueless entrepreneurs often make in their social media marketing. Here are seven common ones to avoid:

1. Working without a strategy.

Contrary to what many business owners think, there’s more to social media marketing than simply having a Facebook account and getting as many likes and followers as possible. This may have worked in the early days of social media, but it’s far from the case today. Today’s social media space is exponentially more competitive and complicated. And if you don’t have a sound strategy driving your social media marketing, then you’ll quickly be left behind and never make an impact on your customers.

2. Thinking everyone is your audience.

We know you want to reach as many people as possible and get their attention – and social media makes this incredibly easy to do. But catering to everyone will not get you the results you want. Instead of targeting every audience you possibly can, you’re likely better off refining your target audiences so you’re more likely reach people who will engage with your content. There’s a whole art and science to targeting audiences on social media, and it’s one you’ll need to master if you want to get as much out of it as possible.

3. Focusing on vanity metrics.

As awesome as likes, views, and followers are (let’s face it – we all feel warm and fuzzy inside when we get them), you need to remember that they’re not the end-all and be-all in social media marketing. Metrics like these are often called vanity metrics for a reason: they’re great to look at but not always relevant to your end goals. The ultimate goal of most social media marketing campaigns is to drive more leads and conversions to your business, and these vanity metrics rarely provide accurate markers for how well you’re achieving that goal.

4. Not using paid advertising.

There’s no way around it: If you want to get the most out of social media marketing today, then you need to advertise on these platforms. Being in social media and posting content every now and then is no longer enough. If you want to stand out and unlock social media marketing’s potential, then you’ll need to advertise. Yes, there are exceptions and examples of businesses that have gone viral with zero marketing dollars, but those cases are few and far between. For most businesses, paid advertising is the way to succeed and get real results.

5. Not showing your human side.

If there’s one marketing channel that’s designed to show off your brand’s personality, it’s social media. But not all businesses take advantage of this, using their social media channels as just other platforms for promoting themselves. And what happens? People end up scrolling past their content because it’s not connecting with them in a genuine, human way. Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand’s human side in your content and promotions – every business has one. Find yours and let it shine.

6. Buying followers.

You may already know this, but you’ll be surprised by just how many businesses still resort to buying followers for their social media accounts. This might have worked several years ago, but it’s often just a big waste of time and money today. Instead of buying fans and followers, a more cost-effective way to use that budget is to create high-quality content and promote it with the right advertising strategy. Loyalty – in life and social media – can’t be bought. But it can be earned.

7. Being impatient.

Yes, things move fast in social media, and you can indeed get results quickly with the right strategy. But remember that it’s not a magic bullet. Getting results that matter and real ROI doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you don’t have a solid social media presence to begin with. When it comes to social media marketing, always remember that it can take a lot of time and investment to get the results you want. But if you put the work in and have the right strategy driving your campaign, you’ll be a lot closer to achieving your goals than before.

Social Media Marketing is Only as Good as How You Use It

If you want your social media marketing to be the revenue-generating marketing tool that it is for many businesses, then you need to use it correctly and have the right strategy.

Social media platforms are constantly changing, and what worked just months ago may no longer be as effective today.

If you need help with your social media marketing and want experts working on your campaign, have a chat with us to learn how we can help. We offer services for social media marketing and Facebook advertising that can help improve your campaign and get the most out of your social platforms.