Social Media Mistakes That Hurt Your Business

10 Social Media Mistakes

  1. Not having a plan. If you intend to use social media for your business you need to have a plan that outlines who you want to connect with, which social media sites you’ll use, how often you’ll post and what content you’ll share. Planning can save you time and keep you focused.
  2. Not understanding what social media can and can’t do for your business. People often complain that they don’t or can’t get business from social media. You can get brand recognition, publicity, and information, establish yourself as an expert in your industry and make connections… All those benefits can lead to business.
  3. Expecting to get without giving. Social media utilizes ‘pay it forward marketing.’ Giving content in the form of information, articles, introductions and encouragement strengthens connections. When they know, like and trust you they’ll be interested in seeing what product or service you offer—not before. Don’t instant message someone you’ve never corresponded with about your product or service.
  4. Using ‘broadcast only.’ That’s what I call it when people post, broadcasting their messages, but don’t bother to read what their connections are posting. Liking, commenting and sharing the messages of your target market and influencers will strengthen connections.
  5. Spreading negativity. Would you refer business to someone who’s always negative? Someone who frequently complains, rants about perceived injustices or makes fun of their clients or peers? I wouldn’t! People want to do business with nice people. Be nice!
  6. Not respecting the 80/20 rule of social media. The first word in ‘Social media’ is social. It’s expected that you’ll share 80 percent personal content. (Personal as in personable—not private!) Only 20 percent should be business. On a dedicated business pages you don’t need as much personal information but give 80 percent and sell only 20 percent.
  7. Not posting your business or company information. Oddly some people fear appearing ‘salesy’ so they don’t make their business info easy to find. If people don’t know or remember what you do they aren’t likely to think of you when they need your product or service or have a chance to refer someone to you. List your business name and contact in your profile. Occasionally linking to your website, blog, product or business page can easily be done without being pushy.
  8. Not having a recognizable profile photo. Photos of babies, puppies or your team logo are great to post as show your personality but your profile photo is what people see every time you post, comment or share. They need to be able to recognize your face. For business pages you’ll want a professional headshot.
  9. Getting political. Be very careful about sharing political post. Appearing dogmatic or extreme can easily turn off prospective clients and keep people from referring business to you. Even if you’re diplomatic enough to give an opinion without vitriol you can’t control what comments people leave and how the conversation turns. Personally, I miss the days when I didn’t know the political affiliation of everyone around me.
  10. Being boring! Social media is like a huge party where people are coming in and out, having conversations and sharing stuff. If you’re always serious and bland you’re missing an opportunity to show your personality and connect with people.


Want to learn the basics of how to use Social Media for business? Myra is offering a series of 3 workshops. CLICK HERE to learn more!


Myra McElhaney is an author/speaker who helps people to Enjoy Life and Do Good by working with purpose, living with passion and making a difference! Learn more at

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