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Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Executing a social media marketing campaign involves more than just setting up a Facebook page. From formulating a time management plan to learning how to communicate with prospective clients, there's a lot of work that goes into the art of getting social marketing right. Unfortunately, there are many things that are often done wrong, bringing about disappointing results. Here is a list of behaviors you may want to avoid in order to maintain an effective social media marketing presence.

Social media icons.

Behavior #1: Assuming Social Media Marketing is Free

Simply because there's no cost to establish a Facebook page, Twitter feed or Tumblr blog doesn't mean having a social presence comes free. An effective social marketing strategy requires time and effort, which invariably equals money. Before getting started, small business owners should determine how much time they're able to devote to social media. Tracking time will also come in handy later when it comes time to analyze the campaign's effectiveness.

Behavior #2: Failing to Develop a Plan

One mistake anyone can make in the operation of a social media campaign is to wing it. Rather than taking the path of least resistance, business owners should know what they hope to accomplish and have a detailed plan on how to go about accomplishing it.

Behavior #3: Not Engaging Your Audience

Just as nobody enjoys having their email inbox stuffed with marketing pitches, social media followers may have an adverse reaction to continuous self-promotion. Engage your audience of online followers by asking questions and encouraging conversation instead of constantly plugging goods or services. To encourage business, try to connect with customers on a personal level.

Behavior #4: Ignoring Negative Feedback

Receiving positive feedback and glowing recommendations from social media followers can go a long way, but publicly responding to negative feedback can sometimes win even more followers when done right. Not even the most customer-oriented business in the world is immune from receiving complaints from dissatisfied customers. Instead of viewing these occurrences as P.R. nightmares, business owners could use them as an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one. When the act of saving a relationship is made public for the world to see, this can go a long way toward winning over lifelong customers.

Behavior #5: Neglecting the Analytics Angle

Performing analytics can help business owners determine when it's necessary to make adjustments to their strategy. If a social media marketing campaign is either failing or underperforming, this may be an indication that it's time to look into whether changes should be made. Without analytics in place to measure performance, however, it's difficult to determine how things are developing. Most social media platforms—including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr—offer free analytics tools to collect metrics and help users make sense of the data returned.

Social media marketing can be a powerful advertising tool, when used properly. Learning to avoid some of the more common pitfalls is just as important as learning to master this marketing method.

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