In the ever-evolving world of social media, staying ahead of your competitors is crucial. This means keeping up with quickly changing algorithms, trends, and new platform opportunities. As we step into 2024, it’s time to discuss what we consider the 7 Dumbest Mistakes Rookies Make on Social Media.
Whether you’re a small-business owner just starting out or a seasoned social media user, avoid these pitfalls to retain credibility while boosting your online presence and engagement. Ready to learn how to navigate social media like a pro? Let’s go.
So, what are the 7 dumbest mistakes rookies make on social media?
Not responding to comments
Failing to respond to comments on social media is truly a rookie mistake with serious consequences. According to BrandBastion, when brands engage with their audience, even addressing negative feedback, 45 percent of consumers share their positive experience on social media.
Ignoring comments not only misses an opportunity to build a loyal following but also risks leaving unresolved issues that can damage your online reputation. Responsiveness is key to fostering trust, showing that you value your audience, and turning potential negativity into a positive social media story.
Not adapting posts for diverse platforms and demographics
Small business owners have so much going on that social media becomes another item on your to-do list. It is definitely quicker to create one social media post and spread it across every platform. Don’t do it.
In the world of social media, one size definitely does not fit all. A common rookie mistake is assuming that a single post can thrive across all platforms without adjustments. It won’t. Even if you only have a few overlapping followers across your channels, seeing the exact same content does you no favors.
Each social media platform has a unique audience, tone, and content preferences. To make an impact, tailor posts to suit these differences. Research your target demographics on each platform, adapt your messaging, use platform-specific features, and consider the optimal posting times.
Many scheduling tools calculate this for you, and some platforms offer this with their scheduling options.
An example of why this is important. Instagram requires visually appealing content that catches eyes, whereas LinkedIn requires a more professional and detailed content approach.
If you’re unsure on how to adapt your content for different platforms, don’t hesitate to get in touch and schedule a meeting!
Ignoring negative feedback
Ignoring negative feedback is a rookie mistake with far-reaching consequences. Negative comments, when left unaddressed, can harm your online reputation and discourage potential customers.
However, when handled adeptly, negative feedback provides an opportunity to showcase your brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. Engaging with critics not only allows you to address their concerns but also demonstrates your willingness to improve and learn from mistakes.
It can turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal advocate and portray your brand in a positive light, showing authenticity and responsiveness that resonates with your audience. This is particularly important for small businesses, who heavily rely on word-of-mouth marketing.
This happened with one of AZ Media Maven’s clients. We handle this client’s Google Reviews for them, and answer all reviews, good and bad. One recent review:
I found him via Google, and decided on him based on not only his positive reviews but also the way he interacted online with his very few negative reviews. Respectful and did not turn to anger towards them, and asked for feedback so that he could improve for them. That speaks volumes.
Not engaging with other people’s content
Overlooking the importance of engaging with others’ content on social media is another rookie error. When you actively participate in discussions, like, comment, and share other users’ posts, you build a sense of community and goodwill. Engage with other similar businesses in LinkedIn or Facebook groups that discuss your industry.
This not only strengthens your online presence but also encourages reciprocity. When you engage with others, they are more likely to support and share your content in return. This amplifies your brand’s reach and credibility within your network. It’s a win-win strategy that creates genuine connections.
So, even if it’s just dropping a comment on a local pizza restaurant’s Instagram, start interacting now!
Instagram posts with URLs
Posting Instagram posts with URLs is a classic rookie blunder because Instagram’s platform doesn’t support clickable links within regular posts. These links become unclickable, rendering them ineffective for driving traffic. This commonly happens when social media managers schedule the same content to both Meta platforms (Instagram and Facebook) without adjusting content appropriately.
If you want to send followers to a specific link on Instagram, there are other ways. For example, use Stories, your bio section, or tools like Linktree to share links effectively. Also, while posts do not have active URL links, ads on Meta do have live links.
By avoiding this mistake, you ensure your audience can access your valuable content or products with ease, maximizing the impact of your Instagram presence. Take the time to do this correctly. It will pay off.
For more information on how to be successful on Instagram, check out our blog on authentic content.
Not resizing content
Failing to resize content for different social media platforms is our sixth rookie mistake. Posting incorrectly sized images not only demonstrates a lack of understanding of each platform’s nuances but also reflects a disregard for your audience’s experience.
One-size-fits-all content doesn’t work in social media today. By neglecting to resize, you risk appearing unprofessional and alienating potential customers. Posting Instagram-sized images on Facebook, for example, leaves wide margins on either side of the image that are arbitrarily filled in with a color Facebook pulls from the graphic. It’s not a good look.
Posting horizontal images on Instagram cuts off images on either side, possibly blocking important content on the graphic. Size matters!
To succeed, small business owners need to understand that customizing content to platform-specific dimensions is essential for engaging your audience, promoting your brand effectively, and ultimately achieving business growth.
Buying social media followers
Small business owners like ourselves have so much going on that we’re always looking for shortcuts, aren’t we? So, why is purchasing social media followers a glaring rookie mistake?
Firstly, fake followers don’t engage with your content, making your page seem inactive and uninteresting to genuine users. Secondly, it tarnishes your credibility and authenticity, damaging your brand’s reputation. A lot of these “bought” followers are actually “bots.” (Yes, pun intended!)
Furthermore, many social media platforms actively discourage this practice and can penalize accounts that engage in it. This means your content rarely gets seen in newsfeeds. Instead of opting for shortcuts, building a real, engaged audience is the key to long-term success on social media, creating meaningful connections and trust with your followers.
Good luck avoiding these mistakes rookies make on social media
By steering clear of these 7 Social Media Blunders, you can pave the way for genuine connections, authentic growth, and long-term success. For more advice on how to transform your small business, be sure to check out our previous blogs.
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. She created AZ Media Maven in 2012 to help other business owners succeed by effectively telling their stories through public relations and social media. Reach AZ Media Maven at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 373-8371.