Social media gives brands fantastic opportunities for increasing name recognition and building website traffic. Additionally, social networks help companies generate leads and thereby boost sales and profits. Although this might be true, some firms have failed to capitalize on the social media phenomenon.

To be sure, the right strategy can hold tremendous potential for your brand. On the other hand, the wrong strategy can result in wasted time and effort as well as damage to your reputation. In fact, the first thing to remember is that you should always stay aware of the risks you face on social media as you pursue its many rewards. To help you stay vigilant, learn about the following five social media mistakes that can ruin your brand.

1. Spamming Your Followers

Companies want to get results, so they think that frequently sharing content and updating their status on social media will get them noticed. Of course, such behavior does attract attention but not the kind that is good for business. In fact, followers consider a constant barrage of information as spam and will stop following offending brands.

To avoid this mistake, limit your social media interactions. For example, a brand should never post more than 14 times to Twitter. Similarly, your business should limit its Facebook posts to two per day. Learn the lesson that many brands before you have failed to learn: More on social media is not always “better.”

2. Not Creating Original Content

The process of creating content for social media requires much creativity, planning and hard work. Knowing this, business for expedience often depend on reusing existing content. Such an approach saves time and effort, but it also creates a bad impression for your firm. In other words, brands that have little original material to share appear as though they have little leadership and authority in their industry.

One thing that must be remembered, however, is that your focus on creating original content should not preclude your sharing of other interesting and entertaining content. On the contrary, you should fully participate in the social media experience. Create a balanced approach so that you can establish the credentials of your brand while contributing to the online community.

3. Using Irrelevant Hashtags

The desire to increase traffic and views can tempt you to use trending hashtags that have no direct relationship to your content. Rather than broadening your appeal, however, the practice will attract irrelevant users and damage your reputation.

Avoid this mistake by choosing hashtags that accurately portray your content. Doing so will attract attention from prospects who have a legitimate interest in your material. As a result, you will create a strong message and reputation and increase the validity of new leads.

4. Ignoring Your Followers

As a result of a carefully planned and executed social media strategy, your brand can connect with an almost limitless number of customers and prospects. Despite achieving this desired outcome, however, some brands fail to effectively deal with the resultant deluge of incoming messages and comments. Consequently, those brands never realize their potential ROI from their social media effort.

Despite the fact that you and your team already have plenty of work to do, you must make sure that everyone who contacts your brand receives a prompt response, even if they leave a negative remark. By interacting on social media, you demonstrate your commitment to customer service and make your audience feel valued. Additionally, make sure all you security measures are in place. You want to do everything you can to protect your customers.

5. Selling Constantly

When businesses see social media only as an avenue for increased sales, they bombard their audience with sales pitches. As a result of this mistake, brands can alienate their audience and destroy their reputation. People expect to interact with other people and their favorite brands on social media and they can quickly become disillusioned if they feel that all you want to do is get their money.

Of course, you can use social media to sell as long as you do it by building trusting relationships. Also, you can pitch sales, but keep such activity to a minimum. Generally, if you spend 80 percent of your time interacting and posting high-quality content, you can spend the remainder of your time selling.

Final Word

All things considered, social media gives you a chance to expand the reach of your brand and establish its authority. Doing so, however, requires a deliberate effort that involves interacting with social media users and adding value to the community. In other words, success requires time and effort. Additionally, success requires that you steer clear of the above five social media mistakes that can ruin your brand.

By avoiding spam and posting original content, you establish your brand as a responsible member of the community. Similarly, other sound practices such as using relevant hashtags and responding to comments can help you build a loyal following. Above all, by prioritizing the social aspect of your strategy over sales, you set the stage for increased sales and sustainable growth.

Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows.

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