Just about every company, blogger, influencer and other online entity by now realises that they need some kind of social media marketing strategy.

But social media marketing is still a relatively new concept,  meaning there are a lot of diverse strategies out there, many of which are still unproven – with that in mind, it would be remiss of us to tell you what you should do, but we can tell you a few things you absolutely should not do.

So here are five things your social media marketing strategy should avoid at all costs – unless, of course, you find a way to make them work for you. In which case, we’d love you to share your experiences in the comments.

5 social media marketing mistakes to avoid

1)    Never ignore (or worse, negate) your audience

Social media is about actual, personal engagement. Not curated, carefully managed always-positive endorsements. If you ignore or delete the negative comments you get (and you will get them. This is the internet, remember?), you make your brand look worse. Find a way to engage them positively, or at least address and respect legitimate complaints.

2)    Don’t like your own posts

I feel like this should go without saying – I’ve seen enough memes about t over the years. Nonetheless it keeps happening! If you have employees or representatives, have them ‘like’ or ‘share’ or ‘favourite’ them, sure. Just don’t be ‘that guy’.

3)    Don’t use automated responses (robots)

Really, don’t. Not only do people really, REALLY hate it, it also completely devalues any actual human replies your brand might make. You need to value your audience and their participation in your story! ‘Letting the machine handle it’ is insulting.

4) Don’t automatically ‘follow’ or connect with everyone who follows you

It’s good to have followers, no matter who they are. It feels natural to follow them all in reply, early on. It makes them feel special, too. However, you might not want your brand to be associates with some of them! Exactly who you find ‘undesirable’ will vary on a personal and business level, but the point remains, carefully vet anyone before following them. You might be damned by association.

5) Don’t be a bland, faceless brand

Social media is about being social! Add some personality. Treat the people you interact with as people, and make sure they see you being a person too! That doesn’t mean ‘being funny’ if you’re not actually funny, but be real to yourself, and make sure your brand is personable.

Of course, social media  can be a real minefield, and there are 1000 more ‘don’ts’ out there ready to snare the unwary, or at least embarrass you thoroughly. Every brand will fall foul of at least one or two, so don’t let a failure keep you out of social media marketing, Get back on that horse!

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