Most companies and their brands are now waist deep in social media engagement. But mistakes, both well-intentioned and not so much, are being made. Since avoiding mistakes is a lot easier than correcting them, here’s 10 sure-fire social media slip-ups to sidestep.

1. All Specials All the Time
Everybody likes a deal. But discount everything all of the time and you look more like a huckster than a marketer. Your brand and your customer’s relationships with it will both suffer.

2. All Contests All the Time.
Likewise, everybody likes a little fun. But unless you’re an online game site, endless contests are going to dilute customers’ engagement and take conversion metrics along on the downward spiral.

3. No Promotional Motion.
So you’ve set up a social media site? Congratulations. But don’t expect customers to look for you. Actively publicize and market your site. Remember, the first step to a sale is letting people know what you’re selling.

4. Nothing but Good News.
Nobody bats .1000. Not even your brand.  If someone makes a negative comment on your site don’t just make it go away. When you do, you diminish the value of positive comments. Be sure you also address the problem and talk about your fixes.

5. Going on Too Long.
Highly-detailed press releases and long-form videos have a place. But your social media site isn’t it. Too much content runs counter to the short-attention-span the Web encourages. Long messages usually make for short visits.

6. Take Your Time.
Don’t undervalue feedback on your site. Consumers ask questions when they’re interested. If you’re lucky, they’ll call a CSR. If you’re not so lucky, they’ll just go somewhere else

7. Mixing Your Signals.
A discount from one division or department means the same discount from another division or department. Make sure there’s a way to unify promotions and discounts on a company-wide basis. If you don’t, expect to do a lot of explaining.

8. First Spy, Then Ambush.
Everybody follows consumer behavior on their site (or should). But when you pursue visitors by email or phone after they visit you online you’re not marketing, you’re intruding. Lots of hang-ups and deletes are sure to follow.

9. Get Too Comfortable.
Once online, some brands assume their work is done. You know what they say about sharks that stop moving.

10. Fall in Love with Likes.
Everybody wants to be liked. But a “like” button isn’t the same as a “purchase” button.  Concentrate on being liked and you’ll almost certainly lower your return-on-investment.

Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. Avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to harnessing that power.

Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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