17 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

February 15th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

Mistakes With Social Mediaphoto © 2009 Mykl Roventine | more info (via: Wylio)
Small businesses have jumped headfirst into the Social Media Pool.  Do they know how to swim or just tread water?

They might be starting to sink if they are making a number of these mistakes.

1.      Participating in too many networks or vehicles.

2.      Not fully completing profiles on each network.

3.      Selling instead of informing prospects and potential prospects.

4.      Too aggressively contacting people and thus, having your content thought of as SPAM.

5.      Delegating planning to others without giving it “the once over.”  Use your gut to check it out.

6.      Friending people just to turn around and pitch them your product or service.

7.      Not clearly defining your reasons for using Social Media.

8.      Not measuring the ROI of your Social Media efforts.

9.      Getting defensive about comments made on your blog, Facebook Fan Page etc.

10.  Not having a clear distinction between personal and professional online identities.

11.  Not learning and evolving strategy based upon earlier efforts.

12.  Lack of a Social Media calendar.

13.  Thinking Social Media is the “silver bullet” for what ails the firm.

14.  Not monitoring or limited monitoring of your blog, web site, Twitter account etc.

15.  Not regularly adding new information to your web site, blog, Facebook Fan Page etc.

16.  Employing same tactics for each Social Media vehicle.

17.  Not balancing the need for technology with the need to respond, interact and engage.

The Takeaway

Social Media is a wonderful opportunity for your firm.  Make a plan, implement and adjust as necessary to leverage properly your efforts.

That is the list.  Over to you.  Please add your comments below.

1.      What else would you add to the list?

2.      How successful do you feel your Social Media strategy has been?

3.      What will you do next with your Social Media strategy?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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  1. Jill Tooley says:

    I think it’s most difficult to find the right balance between personal and promotional on social media sites. People are repelled if you talk about your business too much, but people will forget about your business if you talk too little. It’s a challenge sometimes…

    Anyway, this is an excellent list of what not to do. I’d also add “Refusing to acknowledge your customers/fans/followers.” I’m not saying that businesses should auto-follow or auto-reply to everyone, but it drives me crazy when brands preach about customer service and friendliness and then never respond to or follow back their customers. If it’s about engagement, then connect with your audience as much as possible!

    • Rob Berman says:


      How can we communicate with these brands if they do not let us? I wanted to talk to the CMO at Dick’s Sporting Goods about a situation. I needed to find him, follow him, get him to follow me so I could DM him. Seems like a lot of work. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Great list Rob. It’s all about pull rather than push marketing. Build relationships, a community, share compelling content, and allow your community to decide what will be reshared. The old business mindset says, “Keep useful information close to the vest.” Those actively participating in the Digital Renaissance frown on that paradigm. The change has already taken place. Those left behind have to wake up before they can catch up.

  3. Nice list Rob. I’d add “Hiding behind keywords rather than showing you’re a human.”

    Too often people don’t take the simple steps – create a Gravatar, upload a picture of yourself and use your real name. People like to do business with (and help) other people. When someone leaves comments on my site with a name like “Dallas Cars”, I just want to delete the comment and move on.

    • Rob Berman says:


      A great addition to the list. I so agree with you about the Dallas Cars” example. I do delete some of them when they say nothing and I have never heard from them before.


  4. Susan Oakes says:

    Hi Rob,

    Good list. One thing I would add is following what others do without considering what is best for your business and customer relationships.

  5. Great list Rob!

    Accept a lot of contact requests on Linkedin because they are my readers. The negative side of that is that some of them immediately send you a sales proposal. But now you can classify them as spammers so hopefully long term that will improve this problem.

    Would add that people really have to be polite and respectful on social media. About 2-3 % of comments in discussion are rude and insulting. Posting that kind of comments will give you a bad reputation online. Not least in the future when software that show everything a person does on social media will be widely used. So people posting nasty comments may have a very unpleasant surprise in the future when people turn them down for employment and don’t want to do business with them.

    • Rob Berman says:


      You are correct that technology will catch up with those commenters. Those are probably the same people you shake your head at when you see them cutting people off in a car or other similar acts.


  6. It seems like there is a consensus – don’t spread yourself too thin. I intend to keep up with Bloggers Helping Bloggers but I’m analyzing other LinkedIn Groups and dropping out of some. My focus right now is my blog and LinkedIn. I’m posting to Twitter and Facebook but I can’t devote 100% effort to every social network. Good advice.

    • Rob Berman says:


      I hear you about LI. I am the maximum of 50 groups so that I have the “reach” to contact people. I end up ignoring most of what comes through due to bandwidth constraints. One of the things that I do is make sure that my blog automatically posts to LI and Twitter.


  7. Hi Rob. Thanks for the comprehensive list. Not getting involved in too many networking sites is a biggie. There is no way to do them all justice and some are simply better than others depending up on one’s niche. I have scaled back considerably from many of the sites I joined. There are way too many where people aren’t talking TO you or engaging in any dialogue, they are simply there to talk AT you with their sales pitch. I don’t need that. I get plenty of spam emails as it is.

    As Keyuri pointed out, social media marketing takes time. It takes time to build a relationship – building an online relationship is no different. I think many people miss the entire point of social media marketing. It is not about making a sale and spamming the members; it is about networking, sharing, engaging and building relationships – period!

    • Rob Berman says:


      You said it, “the entire point of social media marketing. It is not about making a sale and spamming the members; it is about networking, sharing, engaging and building relationships – period!”

      I used your words since they are perfect.


  8. I like that I’ve balanced twitter and the blog as more the informative forums with a little touch of personality and that my facebook page is the more personal look into what I do and who I am. The friends and contacts I’ve made in the last year are a testament to the power of social media. But theres always room for improvement.

  9. Wow Rob. This is an extensive list and suddenly my “to do” list has grown. Engaging in social media in an effective manner is a time consuming process. For this reason alone, I appreciate your first point of not engaging in too many networks. Having a well defined target market, finding these individuals or groups on the internet and approaching them with value instead of demands seems a logical approach.
    Very valuable post. Thanks!

    • Rob Berman says:


      I agree that it is best to go deep on fewer networks than skim a lot of them. Social Media should be about branding you and/or your company. Finding people to engage with and then making the most with those relationships.


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