Everyone knows that social media has become the most authentic way for people to engage with your brand, product or service.  But doing “social for social’s sake” is seldom a good plan, and believe it or not, there are deadly sins of social media.  Here are 7 things you shouldn’t do when you start your social program:

  1. You don’t have a plan or strategy:

The first step to creating any social media marketing plan is to establish your goals and objectives. Without clear goals and a killer strategy, you are unable to gauge the success of your social media efforts. Ask yourself what it is that you’re hoping to achieve through the use of social media.

  1. sins of social media platform choiceYou’re choosing the wrong platforms:

Understanding which social media platforms are best for your business is key to your strategy. Just because everyone seems to be on Facebook, doesn’t mean you need to be. Thinking of hopping on the Instagram bandwagon? Make sure to do your research. Social media is not “one size fits all”.

Focus on what you would like to gain from your social media plan and choose the right platforms specific to your personal business. When choosing your platforms, keep in mind your budget, time, assets, and goals.

  1. You’re not posting enough:

If you are unable to effectively implement the social media strategy you created, it will be hard to gain the engagement you are looking for.

Too busy to tweet a few times a day? Try using a scheduling tool to help optimize your content strategy (HubSpot or Hootsuite, for example). This will help you effectively manage your social media accounts.

  1. You’re not engaging with your followers:

Posting your content to each social media platform isn’t enough to drive more engagement on your accounts. Yes, sharing news and other information is great, but many of your followers use social media to interact with your business. Inquiries about upcoming events, business hours, inventory, and contact information are a few examples of opportunities for interaction with your audience. Being able to address their needs helps create valuable, personal relationships.

  1. social media noiseYou’re posting the same types of content:

Switch it up! Your followers want to see new and engaging content. Take a chance to be creative with your posts and stand out from your competitors. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, what would you be interested in engaging with? Throw in some interesting articles, employee spotlights, and videos that will reel in that engagement.

  1. You’re not tracking your ROI:

You know those goals we talked about in deadly sin #1? Well, now it’s time to measure them. With every goal comes a KPI (Key Performance Indicator). Through analytics, URL tracking and other means, you can monitor your reach, site traffic, leads generated, conversions, and yes, even revenue generated, through social media.

  1. You don’t “think before you tweet”:

We’ll say it once and we’ll say it again. Always double check your posts! It is inevitable that you will misplace a comma or forget to wear your grammar hat while posting content. Continuing to misspell words or use incorrect grammar on your social media accounts will show your followers that you’re clearly not invested in your platforms, and take a toll on your brand. Take ten minutes out of your hectic day to double check, then triple check your content before you’re blasting it out for the e-world to read.

Now that you know a few “do’s and don’ts”, go ahead and take a crack at your own personal social media marketing plan. It may not be an easy task, but taking the time to create a comprehensive plan and avoiding these 7 most deadly sins of social media will allow your efforts to shine.