5 Social Media Mistakes That Sabotage Engagement

By: J. Arthur

Legions of people from all walks of life are spending more time on social media, as the line between the news feed and daily life becomes increasingly blurred. This is good news for businesses with hopes of improving engagement with potential customers. 

After all, increasing social media engagement directly improves the chances of your content showing up in people’s news feeds. According to Statista, in 2024 the total number of social media users is projected to be 5.17 billion people! Every year, this number grows by about 300 million users per year. If your SMB isn’t utilizing social, there’s a lot of missed opportunities to be had.

So, how exactly does one work to increase engagement without sounding like a desperate car salesman trying to meet their quota?

Let’s review five common but damaging social media mistakes that inevitably hurt engagement.

social engagement

Posting Once in a Blue Moon

It’s unfair to expect people to follow along and engage with your company’s page if you are posting inconsistently. Social media news feeds are constantly stocked with new and engaging content, so sparse publishing will make it easier for people to forget you. On the other hand, posting too much can end up painting your brand as annoying. In other words, social media publishing is a balancing act.

Your end goal should be to find a happy medium where you can consistently craft useful content that engages followers. Try releasing posts during times of the day that garner the most attention— consider when your ideal customer is most likely to be online. Take some time each week to look at your analytics and try to find a common pattern. Once you have honed in on a good timeframe, create a schedule for consistent posting.

It’s helpful to have a few non-time-sensitive posts on reserve, for the times when you need to work more on developing killer content— this way you won’t have to sacrifice quality during a time crunch.

HubSpot offers a great scheduling tool that allows you to pre-plan your social media posts, setting a schedule for consistent distribution. The average person spends about 145 minutes on social media every day, it’s a safe bet you’ll reach your audience at some point! (Forbes)

Reeking of Desperation

Whether it’s an individual or a business, everyone seeks attention for their latest post— without rabid eyes to soak up your content, what’s the point?

Yet, once again there is a balancing act between being captivating and being desperate. In other words, your quest to establish a brand image should not cross any boundaries that could potentially damage your business’s image— don’t ask for action on something completely out of line with your industry. So yes, that means you shouldn’t farm for likes by manipulating people’s emotions. If you are aiming for a post that appeals to the user’s emotions, be sure it directly relates to your business.

Social media users have become more savvy each year and they can smell desperation like a basset-hound.

You’re Too Edgy, Bro

Although it’s important to elicit responses from fans, you should avoid long-winded political rants, bad mouthing competitors, or posting overtly offensive content. We get it: it’s the age of outrage, but consumers don’t care how “edgy” you are. If you want to spur engagement, spark a light-hearted debate to get your fans talking, but be sure to stick to friendly, positive content. What you do on your personal account is your own business— if you want to be an edge lord, that’s your opportunity.

Trying to Dominate Every Platform

Commonly, businesses get over-enthusiastic when it’s time to ramp up a new campaign. While you should shoot for the stars, this doesn’t mean that you need to distribute your content on every popular platform. There’s a time and place for everything, including how to best reach your target audience.

Many companies create accounts and build business pages, neglecting to consider the difference between social networks. It may seem obvious, but Twitter is not LinkedIn; and Facebook is not Instagram.

There’s an implied design for successful posting on each platform— they have specific rules and don’t necessarily fit your brand identity and marketing purposes. Don’t try to be on every social network unless you have the content and time to craft posts that are worthwhile.

“Most marketers’ social network preferences vary depending on the type of businesses they work with. About 94% of B2C marketers prefer Facebook, and about 94% of B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn.” (AgoraPulse)

Inconsistent Voicing Is A Turn-Off

One day your company sounds like a Supreme Court Judge, the next your posts are littered with friendly slang. While some might find this a refreshing change of pace, many people might view your company as inconsistent and an unreliable source of credible information.

It’s in your best interest to agree upon a company-wide style philosophy that will serve as the foundation for all future posts regardless of who does the posting. Simply, you and your social media team need to agree on a tone that will influence all posts, regardless of the writer/poster.

J. Arthur | Social Media Management

Does your social media marketing strategy consistently fall short of your organizational goals? Knowing the answer to that is half the battle. If it’s time to rethink your strategy, all is not lost. Do research on what others in your industry are doing in social media: what works, what doesn’t and their tone. Take the time to get to know what type of content your potential clients, customers, and community want to see from you.

We understand that social media can be overwhelming, and it’s not always easy to change with each update or refresh. If you are looking to boost your social media marketing, then you may want to take a step back and reevaluate the online presence you already have.

Interested in running a social media audit? Contact us to find out more about our comprehensive Digital Marketing services.