Social Media

Social Media Marketing Rookie Mistakes

October 21st marked the second birthday of our social media team! It’s hard to believe we began this journey just two years ago. In honor of our birthday, we’d like to share the top 5 “rookie mistakes” we made during our first year in hopes that we can spare you from making them yourselves.

  1. Trying to conquer every social media platform at once

We are big dreamers, so naturally, we attempted to master Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube all simultaneously. As a result, we produced redundant and mediocre content in lots of places. Realizing our mistake, we scaled back and took the time to figure out which platforms were the highest priority for our business. We dropped YouTube for a while and expanded our team so each of our remaining platforms could be given more attention. As we got a handle on a few platforms, we added Pinterest and YouTube to our social media arsenal.

Take the time to figure out which platforms are best for your business and focus on those! It’s okay to claim your username on various platforms in case you decide to use them in the future, but don’t feel like you have to actively post to all of them in the beginning.

  1. Neglecting to track web traffic

After we started posting to social media, web traffic followed. That was really exciting for us, but we quickly realized we had no idea which of our posts were driving traffic. Something was working, but it was impossible to know exactly what was working.

In our research for a solution, we found this awesome article from Buffer that includes a free UTM tagger template download. Combining UTM tags with Google Analytics has been a game changer for our tracking. We now know which campaign each of our web visits came from and can gain insight into what type of content is best for our audience.

  1. Scrambling to post all social media content manually

Our early social media days were filled with manually posting content to each social media platform. We learned about Facebook’s post scheduler and used it for a while, but we knew we needed one place to schedule all of our content.

Shortly after we tired of Facebook’s scheduler, we were introduced to Hootsuite. We were really excited to have everything in one place. It worked for a while, but we quickly outgrew it as we took on social media management for new clients. HootSuite can be great for individuals or small businesses, but the layout wasn’t as intuitive as we would have liked and the analytics weren’t quite what we needed them to be.

We continued our search for a post scheduler and discovered Buffer. It was literally love at first sight. Their support team is highly responsive, innovative, and they have a solution to all of our social scheduling needs. We are still Buffer fans and have yet to find another platform that fits our needs as well.

  1. Using 100% curated content… or 100% original content

When we first started posting to social media, nearly all of our content was curated from outside sources. It took so much time to get a content schedule going, we neglected to create our own content.

After we realized we were using too much outside content, we switched to creating 100% of our content on our own. This took SO much time. Later, we realized that our strategy was not only costing us time, but we were losing some credibility only sharing our own resources. Validating others’ credible material provides shows that you aren’t completely biased to your own material.

Take time to figure out what curated to original content ratio works best for your brand. Some prefer 20:80 percent while others are more 40:60 percent. It varies from brand to brand, but a mix of curated and original content is best.

  1. Getting caught up in “vanity metrics”

One key step in your campaign planning is to set key performance indicators (KPIs). Don’t try to measure everything, not all of the info is relevant to your brand. Choose KPIs that directly relate to your goal. If your goal is to have a specific ROI, likes and comments probably don’t matter much for your campaign. We tried measuring it all, and it came out to be a lot of information with not a lot of relevance. Be strategic with your KPIs.

Avoid getting caught up in having a large audience and a high number of likes and comments. We quickly learned that quality is better than quantity.  There’s no sense in having an enormous audience if none of those people will ever genuinely interact with your brand. Don’t buy followers, don’t mass follow and unfollow accounts. Genuinely engaging with your followers and others in your community often results in real people engaging back.

There’s a lot more to learn, but these are our top five recommendations. For more information, we highly recommend the following resources. We use them frequently and have found them to be helpful.


Buffer Blog (free)

Hootsuite Webinars (free)

SkillPath Seminars Social Media Marketing Conference ($199)

Social Media Marketing World Virtual Ticket ($299)

These are just a few of the things we’ve learned along the way. What is the #1 tip or resource you would share with someone new to social media marketing?

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