The vast majority of the population is using social media on a regular basis. There are over 2.5 billion active users and that number keeps growing. This is the reason why UK businesses of all sizes are jumping on social media marketing to reach their target audience.

But wait, many companies have jumped onto this opportunity spending money on social media marketing without a clear plan. Quite obviously they are not happy with the results. 

The secret to success? Plan your strategy!

Just like any other marketing effort, social media needs a roadmap to be effective. Before you dive in blindly, let us look at some common mistakes to avoid so you can get the most out of your social media presence.

What are the top 12 common social media marketing mistakes to avoid?

There are plenty of mistakes you can make while launching a social media marketing campaign in the UK. Instead of listing every minor misstep, let us focus on the 12 major ones you are more likely to encounter.

1. Ignoring Social Media Analytical Data

Do not fly blind! Data is your friend in social media marketing, just like in any other UK-based business venture. You need data to understand what is working and what is not, so you can make the best decisions about your strategy.

The good news? Getting data is easier than ever. There are free as well as paid tools available to track your performance. Many social media platforms, like Facebook with its “Insights” section, offer built-in analytics.

Third-party tools like Hootsuite (a tool we always use), Keyhole, Buffer and BuzzSumo can also be helpful. These tools track your social media performance and give you valuable insights. Before you create your social media strategy, take some time to analyze this data.

2. Being careless with your content

Content is IMPORTANT on social media. Everything you post reflects on your brand, so make sure it creates a positive impression and connects with your audience.

Avoid these mistakes:

  • Boring Stories: Snore-worthy content will not win you any fans. Make sure your stories are interesting and engaging.
  • All Sales, All the Time: People follow you for valuable content, not just sales pitches. Balanced promotion with interesting and informative posts is key. 
  • No Interaction: Social media is a two-way street. Respond to comments and questions to build a relationship with your audience.

Here are some winning ideas:

  • Blog it: Share your expertise with blog posts on relevant topics. Post a link with a creative call to action on your social media page.
  • Go Behind the Scenes: Show the human side of your business. Post “behind the scenes” content to connect with your audience to connect on a personal level.

By following these tips, you can create engaging stories that will help you build a strong social media presence.

3. Stay on Target

It is important to post interesting and informative content, but make sure it is relevant to your niche.

Your audience follows you for a reason. If you sell financial products, your customer base will be interested in finance mainly, not your adorable dog or the latest recipe.

Here is how to stay focused:

  • Know your Niche: Clearly define your niche and the topics your audience cares about.
  • Content Harmony: Ensure your content aligns with your niche, even if it is not directly promoting your product.

By staying focused, you will build a more engaged audience interested in what you have to offer.

4. Snore No More

Social media is all about conversation. If your content is boring, people will scroll right past it.

Here is how to ignite engagement:

  • Spark Curiosity: Post interesting and thought-provoking content that makes people want to learn more.
  • Call to Action: Tell people what you want them to do. Want them to share? Ask them to. Want them to visit your website? Include a clear call to action to visit your website.

By creating engaging content and prompting interaction, you will turn passive followers into active fans who share your content and help you reach a wider audience.

5. Don’t be a Chatbot

Customers crave real connections. Ditch the generic auto-responders and personalize your approach.

  • For Small Businesses: You can likely respond to messages personally, adding a human touch.
  • For Larger Companies: Consider a sophisticated AI chatbot that offers professional yet personalised responses to customer queries.

The key is to make your audience feel valued and heard. By responding authentically, you will build trust and foster stronger relationships with your customers.

6. Transparency Builds Trust

In the UK (and Globally), people hire companies they trust. Studies show transparent businesses have more loyal customers.

Sure, there is a risk of negative feedback with transparency. But here is the upside:

  • Positive Guidance: By personally responding to concerns, you can steer the conversation in a positive direction.
  • Building Trust: Transparency shows you care about your customers opinions and this fosters stronger relationships.

Be open and honest, and you will reap the rewards of trust and loyalty.

7. Millennials Matter

Millennials are the largest generation in the UK, and they are known for their brand loyalty. To win them (and others) over, you need to show you are worth following.

Here is the recipe for social media success:

  • Consistent Content: Keep your followers engaged with a steady stream of interesting posts.
  • Share Valuable Content: Post relevant articles from your company blog, even if they are not brand new. Evergreen content with lasting value is key.
  • Stay Up-to-Date: Avoid outdated information. Millennials (and everyone else) appreciate fresh, relevant content.

By following these tips, you will create a social media presence that attracts and retains customers of all ages.

8. Handling Negative Feedback

Not Everyone is a Fan, But That’s Okay! Negative comments are inevitable but do not panic. Here is how to turn them into something positive:

  • Do not Ignore It: Ignoring criticism seems easy, but it can damage your reputation.
  • Embrace & Respond: Thank the person for their feedback and address the issue professionally.

Responding to negative comments shows you care and are transparent. 

As an example, look at companies like Nike, Samsung, Apple, Domino, and Starbucks for inspiration on excellent social media customer service.

By handling criticism with grace, you can turn unhappy customers into brand advocates.

9. Quality over Quantity

Lots of followers might look good, but it is the engaged followers who really matter. They are the ones who like, comment, and share your content. This helps you reach a wider audience.

Here is how to attract quality followers:

  • Ditch the Follower Frenzy: Focus on building a community of engaged fans, not just a follower count.
  • Know Your Audience: Use social media tools like Facebook Insights to understand your ideal followers.
  • Post Like a Pro: Tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can help you schedule engaging content at the perfect time for maximum impact.

By prioritizing quality over quantity, you will build a loyal following that amplifies your brand message.

10. Be a Real Person, Not a Robot!

People on social media crave genuine interaction, according to a Hootsuite study. They ask questions and expect answers from real people, not automated bots.

Here is how to avoid the social media “Spam Zone”:

  • Ditch the Robotic Replies: Skip the stiff, pre-programmed responses. Respond thoughtfully and authentically.
  • Show Your Personality: Let your brand’s voice shine through. A little humour or emotion can go a long way.
  • Respond Promptly: People want answers, not radio silence. Aim to respond to questions and comments in a timely manner.

By acting like a real person, you will build stronger relationships with your followers and establish yourself as a trustworthy brand.

11. Do Not Be a One-Size-Fits-All Marketer!

Each social media platform has its own vibe and audience. Tailor your content to each platform’s unique language.

Here is the key:

  • Know Your Audience: Understand who uses each platform and what kind of content resonates with them.
  • Speak Their Language: Use the right format, tone, and style for each platform (e.g. short and visual for Instagram, longer-form content for LinkedIn).

By adapting your approach to each platform, you will connect with your target audience in a more meaningful way.

12: Create A Profile on Every Platform

Having just a presence on every social media platform is not the key to success. Focus on the platforms that best suit your target audience and business goals.

Here is the smart approach:

  • Define Your KPI: Set clear goals for your social media marketing (e.g. brand awareness, lead generation).
  • Choose Your Platforms Wisely: Research where your ideal customer spends their time online.
  • Focus on the Best Fit:
    • B2B Businesses: Consider LinkedIn and Twitter for professional networking.
    • Market Research: Reddit and Quora can provide valuable customer insights.
    • Brand Awareness: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest can be great.
    • Quick Tutorials: Platforms like YouTube Shorts, TikTok and Instagram Reels are ideal for visual content.

By strategically choosing the right platforms, you will maximize your reach and connect with the customers who matter most. Also, you can hire a digital marketing agency from Hertfordshire ( Like Mind and Matter) or anywhere in the UK to help you out.

Let’s Wrap Up for Now

Social media marketing is a long journey, not a destination. Even the most seasoned marketers make mistakes. By learning from common pitfalls like the ones we have covered above, you can avoid them and increase your chances of success.

Here is the key takeaway:

  • Be strategic, not sporadic.
  • Focus on quality engagement, not just follower count.
  • Respond authentically, like a real person.

By following these tips and experimenting to find what works for your brand, you will be well on your way to social media success. Good luck!

Published On: April 7th, 2024 / Tags: /