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5 Rookie Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Establishing a social media marketing strategy is essential for any business today. Research shows that over 4.26 billion of the global population use social media, and this figure is expected to grow to nearly six billion by 2027.

With such a vast potential customer base, businesses are clamoring on to utilize the power of social media to reach a broader audience and promote their products or services. However, social media marketing isn’t an easy feat. A simple mistake can quickly derail your entire strategy.

In a recent study, 90% of startups fail due to various reasons, including poor product and market fit, cash flow issues, and poor marketing strategy. Moreover, 22% of those businesses that failed don’t have a solid marketing plan. If you’re not careful, your business could quickly go down the same path.

Some mistakes could doom your social media marketing efforts before they even get off the ground. Here are five rookie mistakes to avoid:

Not clearly defining and deeply understanding your target audience

Sometimes, promoting your business to everyone online can be overwhelming. After all, you want to reach as many people as possible, right? But this method may not be effective and could lead to waste and failure. Trying to target everyone could result in a scattered and unfocused message that’s unlikely to resonate with anyone.

Instead, you need to focus on a specific target audience and niche down to remain relevant. To identify your target market, below are some questions you should consider:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their pain points?
  • How can you help them?
  • Their motivation and where they spend their time?

Answering these questions will help you create content tailored to your target audience. You can also create a buyer persona or maybe a few, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. According to a report, 90% of marketers say that buyer personas have helped them better understand their prospects. And 82% of businesses successfully take advantage of this resource.

Defining your target market is a fundamental step in effective social media marketing. Without a clear insight, you’ll likely be wasting time and resources on tactics that don’t work. So, take the time to determine whom you’re trying to reach before you plan and execute your marketing strategies.

Content for content’s sake. Keep them engaged!

Once you’ve identified your target market be sure you create value in your content that they’re interested in. Before publishing anything, there’s one crucial factor one must consider: what’s the purpose of the content piece?

Your content should always have a purpose, be it to educate, entertain, or inspire your audience. Of course, it should be relevant to what you’re offering and make sense.

To narrow down your search, here are a few things to remember:

  • Your content should be interesting, informative, and highly valuable.
  • It should be shareable and relevant to your potential customers.
  • Using high-quality videos is essential, with images and infographics to make your content more visually appealing.
  • Platform appropriate

Taking the time to create high-quality, engaging content will help you stand out from the competition. Did you know Meta delivers only 4-6% of your content to your most engaged followers organically! So it’s vital to reel them in and make use of the many placements and create specifically for those engagers where they like to hang out most. It’ll also give your audience a reason to stick around and follow you.

The table below shows the behaviour of people and as Simon Kemp mentions in Datareportal, it’s worth noting why they go there. For example TikTok users want to be entertained and recent data from TikTok’s end of 2022 report shows people come away feeling the happiest after time on this channel. In contrast, LinkedIn would be information and news updates.

Not posting consistently -too frequently or infrequently

This practice could result in your content getting lost in the shuffle. More importantly, potential customers are likely to forget about your brand entirely.

Here’s a quick summary of how often you should post on your social media accounts:

  • Meta (Facebook)

With three billion monthly users, four to five times daily is a good rule of thumb if you want to stand out but woah that’s a huge time commitment for any SME right. We hear you! The secret sauce is meet them with content that they want to engage with and make it visible in different formats and placements of course ensuring the most energy is invested into video content. This can sound hard but take time to understand where to post within the platform however if you’re wanting to show up here, energy into organic is vital in 2023.

  • Instagram

It’s the second most popular social media platform, and Meta’s ad revenue is like a 55/45 split between Facebook and Instagram these days. eCommerce shopping is huge on Instagram so be sure you’re active here. With their newest rival TikTok taking  hold of video and good feeling engagement, your goal should be to come up with reels that can compete with the Tiktok’s viral content. If it’s any indication, Mark Zuckerberg has been working harder on IG reels engagement to catch up on Tiktok’s big lead and sliding into the mix this year is YouTube shorts.

Take a look at the following tips on how to make your IG reels go viral:

  • Keep it short and sweet – attention spans are now 7-13 seconds!
  • Be creative and original
  • Use trending audio but check commercial rights if you’re pushing with paid
  • Avoid being too promotional and salesy – nobody wants to be sold to
  • Stick to a theme or niche hashtag wisely and provide value
  • LinkedIn

It’s a professional networking site with 722 million users. People use it to connect with like-minded professionals and learn about new business opportunities. You should post not more than five times a week on this platform.

  • YouTube

According to Statista, over 694,000 hours of video were streamed on YouTube in a single minute as of April 2021. You Tube has more than 2 billion users globally. It’s the second biggest search engine after Google. Posting one video per week is the ideal goal. After all, this task isn’t an easy feat as it involves scripting, filming, and, more importantly, editing.

  • Twitter

According to Pew Research Center, 57% of users understand a specific event better when they see it on Twitter. To strike a good balance between annoying and informative, aim for three tweets a day. Twitter is getting attention right now due to Elon Musk making the headlines and his controversial take. Hey if there’s eyeballs, be seen!

  • TikTok

TikTok is took the stage in 2022 on social. It has 1.5 billion active users worldwide (Nov 2022) – perfect for promoting your brand, especially to a Gen Z audience. According to Hootsuite, 1-3 times a day on TikTok will benefit most brands.

If you’re new to social media marketing, it’s best to start organically to grow at least 1000 fans and gradually increase your posts’ frequency over time. Keep an eye on the data and engagement indicators to get a feel for what works best for your audience, and adjust your posting schedule accordingly. More people are using TikTok to search today too so keep this channel in sight! Bear in mind users go there to be entertained and data shows 99.9% of users exist on at least one other social platform. And 84% share their love with Facebook.

Keep up with new emerging channels we expect to see as gaming, metaverse and NFTs show up and the popularity of Messenger communication rises.

Know your competition

In this competitive landscape, it’s almost impossible to succeed in any industry without understanding what your competitor is doing, especially if they have a tonne of fans online. The same goes for social media marketing. Before anything else, conduct a competitive analysis to know what type of techniques your rivals have and the content they’re posting.

You can also use social media marketing tools to observe your competitors. These tools allow you to see the following:

  • When their potential customers are most active
  • How much engagement their posts are getting
  • What type of content gets the most engagement
  • Who their most influential followers are

Collecting this valuable data gives you insights into what’s working well for your competitors and where there’s room for improvement. You can then use this information to fine-tune your strategy.

Understanding Data and Key Metrics

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes is not measuring marketing results. Track and monitor your progress so you can identify what’s working and not. Without this information, you’ll have no way of knowing if your social media marketing efforts are paying off.

There are several key metrics that you can use to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Some of the most important metrics to track include:

  1. Traffic: The number of visitors to your website or the number of people who see your ads.
  2. Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  3. Revenue: The total amount of money generated from your marketing efforts.
  4. Cost per acquisition (CPA): The cost of acquiring a new customer or converting a lead into a customer.
  5. Customer lifetime value (CLV): The total amount of money that a customer is expected to spend on your products or services over the course of their relationship with your business.
  6. Return on investment (ROI): The profit or loss generated from your marketing efforts, calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the marketing campaign.

By regularly tracking these metrics, you can gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget.



Avoiding these social media marketing mistakes will help you fast-track and set your company up for success. Don’t let these pitfalls trip you up – keep them in mind as you build and execute your social media marketing strategies.