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4 More Completely Avoidable Social Media Mistakes
By: Dana Severson
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Awhile back, I wrote about four of the bigger social media mistakes you can avoid. I touched on piggybacking on relevant trends, knowing why topics are trending, and not engaging on social accounts.
 
But I’m totally obsessed with social media — almost in a creepy, stalker-ish sort of way. I get a kick out of watching corporations try to embrace social channels as a way to market their wares.
 
Not that there’s anything wrong with a little self-promotion. Quite the opposite, actually. I think it’s very important to talk to people where they spend most of their time. But we’re still seeing missteps, and rookie ones at that.
 
So why not talk about four more completely avoidable social media mistakes?
 
Mistake #1: Failing to Respond
We’re all busy, and many of us are trying to do more with less. But that doesn’t quite cut it on social channels. Immediacy is key. If you’re already “social,” your customers are likely trying to use the channels for customer service. With 83% of Twitter users and 71% of Facebook users expecting a response the same day of posting a problem or complaint, your silence could be seen as a slight and eroding your business.
 
Mistake #2: Not Finding Your Voice
In an attempt to not alienate consumers, many of us have watered down anything and everything we post on social channels. Yes, it’s important to be respectful, but not at the cost of your voice. Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, offers a great analogy, saying, “Social media is the world’s largest cocktail party, only without the drinking.” And like any party, it should be filled with stories and anecdotes; so don’t be afraid to be authentically social…even if you have to pretend.
 
Mistake #3: Making It All About You
Being like a cocktail party, social channels are all about give and take. Think about it: How long do you really want to sit with someone who insists on talking just about himself? Or, more to the point, who want’s to listen to someone prattle on and on about a sale he’s having next week? You’d excuse yourself, and find another guest to talk to. Your content should be entertaining. If not that, make it informative.
 
Mistake #4: Giving Up All Control
Social media may be new, but it’s not that new. Handing over the social reigns of your business to an intern and letting him run is no longer enough. He may know how use social channels better than you, but it doesn’t qualify him to become your company spokesperson. Ongoing training and supervision by at least one person on your marketing team is important, and then review every post before it finds its way onto social channels. 



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About the Author
Dana Severson is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant in the Twin Cities area. Find him at his website for a little downhome advice. 
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