Five Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

Below are the top five common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to social media networking–avoid all of these.

  1. Spending too much time on sites you enjoy and not fully evaluating whether that particular site is the most effective one for your efforts.
  2. Going onto a site for “work” and then running down rabbit holes getting distracted by friends who may have posted something interesting or something that requires a response.
  3. Not being able to properly define when it is more cost-effective to delegate certain social media responsibilities to someone else to handle.
  4. Setting up a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page and then not keeping it populated–consistency and fresh content are key.
  5. Forgetting that social media is about engaging in the conversation and not just about selling.

What other mistakes have you seen? Share them here.

15 thoughts on “Five Common Social Media Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Good list! I have to object to #2, however. If you’re on a social media site for work, reading interesting posts and responding is part of being social. You can’t market without participating.

  2. Dear Ivan –

    Totally true! These are really great descriptions of pitfalls to avoid. I think you’ve hit on a general problem in the workplace now that instance social media has developed. Hopefully more people will pay attention to this!

    Looking forward,

    Jonathan Flaks

  3. Hi
    Great article with important tips.
    I would add to be careful how much personal info you place in your social networking profile or photos. Employers, potential employers, admissions departments and oh so many others decision makers read applicants’ sites before making a selection. User beware.

  4. I think this list pretty much sums it up. Getting distract is the most common mistake in my opinion. There is so much information offered through social media that getting distracted it so easy. This is a good list to lookout throughout the day. Maybe keep it next to you / above your desk.

  5. I agree on these five points, actually I’m working at job career center at Universidad de Monterrey and we manage social media such as Twitter facebbok and soon Linked In to get contact with students alumni and employers. And I think that the most important point is to keep content updated and fresh because is what attracts more people keping an eye on you.

    Today we publish most of our communications through social media and we measure how effective is it, actually our convergence point is about 30 – 40 %.

    Follow me on Twitter @imAlfred7

  6. Hi Ivan,

    Good sharing here. Most who are involved in Social media can relate to them although many do not need to be accountable for them.

    #1 & #2 have surely given social media like Twitter and Facebook a bad name for draining productivity in the workplace. This has resulted in our customers requesting for firewall and/or gateway that can block employees from assessing these sites during working hours. This concerns and fear however will go away in the foreseeable future just like how allowing Internet access & email were once productivity concerns but now accepted as mature and complementary tools in the office.

    #3 is a tricky delegation as it will depends on the size of the people that are working with this social networker. It is also a challenge to get the right people as well as those who are willing to throw away those old ways of marketing and embrace the use of social media for their business or cause.

    Content is king but #4 is a common challenge just like those who had created beautiful websites but didn’t keep them frequently updated with new content that is relevant to their target market.

    #5 was a spot-on. Many a time, we lose our bearing by spraying like a machine gun heaps of information hoping to capture mindspace. #5 to me should be the first to be understood and avoided. We need to be clear that basis of social networking is 2-way communication and the key is to learn how to attract people to want to engage in the online conversation with us.

    Have a good weekend.

    AhSin Ang
    Raffles Chapter
    Far East Region
    BNI Singapore

  7. Ivan hit the nail right on the head! The most common complaint I get from small business owners and entrepreneurs is that social networking is a time killer for them. To stay committed and consistent, have a simple plan or schedule which specifies how much time you are willing to dedicate to specific social media activities, and actually FOLLOW the plan. This will keep you on track and eliminate any social media overwhelm. Otherwise, you are going to keep scurrying like a hamster on a wheel..

    I also wrote another blog post on 10 Social Media Blunders:


  8. I have to disagree with numbers 1 and 2. First of all Social Media is all about being Social so to tell people that they should not get wrapped up in commenting and responding is just plain silly. The only true ways to keep people focused and interested in your brand is to communicate, listen, communicate SOME MORE and keep posting awesome content. I can’t stand those people on Facebook and Twitter that do not respond to people. I don’t care who you are or how many followers or friends you have. YOU can respond and you should respond. Build the trust!
    Also if you enjoy using a site it is going to show and chances are you will see results because you are enjoying what you are doing. If you try to overwhelm yourself on sites that you just don’t understand or like, you will end up wasting your time and building a poorly executed Social Media campaign.

  9. Kim – no where did I say “don’t comment” to people. What I’m saying is that too many people spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME surfing without a purpose and they find themselves in ‘no man’s land’ not knowing how or why they got there. If you are doing this for business purposes – keep your ‘purpose’ in mind. Engaging in the dialog is important. But do it with common sense – not aimlessly.

    There is growing backlash by business people because social media is a waste of time. Well, it is a waste of time if you don’t have a plan and work your plan. Engaging in the conversation should be part of that PLAN.

  10. Hi Kim,

    From Dr Ivan Misner’s message, I read and interpreted it is about Business using Social Media and Social relationship using Social Media. In business, we have very limited time, so the lesson I learned here is :

    About #1 We should focus on those sites that relate to our business and which will help our followers, customers, prospects, etc.

    About #2 We should define our purpose of leveraging the Social Media for our business. For the social side of us, we should have a separate account for interacting with our wonderful groups of friends.

    AhSin Ang
    Raffles Chapter
    Far East Region
    BNI Singapore

  11. I have been searching for a site like this in the field I am interested in. I am a great fan. I also like all things about do it yourself suggestions that help you to save.

  12. I got in on this conversation late and am a “newbie” to social networking, although I have set up Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I do believe I am supposed to be involved with this.

    From what I gather above, you have separate websites for business and friends, and so forth ???? What kind of conversation do you engage in? About business in general? Pleasantries? Have people talk about what they’re doing? What? I’m not sure.

    So, what do you mean by keeping it populated? More people on your Facebook, etc. or what? How would you be consistent and have what kind of “fresh content” for example?

    Sorry to be such a newbie, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get answers. Thanks in advance for all your patience. I am learning from Dr. Misner’s blogs, this one in particular. I have a problem with rabbit holes, but also the idea and manner of doing Facebook and the others. Likewise, how much information about yourself do you put there? Location? And so forth. I have been hesitant to put much about myself, I do have a website and a way to contact me though I think I need a better website. This one you get through the company I’m involved with. It’s all right, but not particularly inspiring.


  13. another social media faux pas is over-broadcasting your sales pitch. it is usually more effective to become a part of a group or discussion without having a big neon sign flashing. certainly, when the time is right, mention your product or service. but become credible and valuable as a person first. your ability to market will increase once you are seen as a person, not just a sales pitch.

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