7 Sins of Social Media

7 Sins of Social Media

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This article is part of SWOT Team, a series on Mashable that features insights from leaders in marketing, brand-building and public relations.

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Remember when social media was a new, unchartered territory for brands?

Consumers flocked to platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn overnight and marketers knew that, in order to stay relevant, they had to follow suit. Fast forward to today: 97% of marketers use social media to connect with buyers. The problem is, most still haven’t figured out how to leverage social to create a personalised, relevant and enjoyable experience for their audience.

Socially awkward brands aren’t just pushed to the sidelines, they miss out on building valuable relationships, or in some cases, end up on a viral list of social media blunders. Whether your brand is too boring, too tone-deaf or too promotional, your social media approach can’t be an afterthought. Here are seven deadly sins of social media marketing to avoid at all costs to keep your audience engaged, interested and loyal.

1. Being all talk

The key to social media content is to show, not tell. Audiences prefer engaging with visual content over text any day; did you know that tweets with image links get an engagement rate 200% higher than those with just 140 characters? Flooding your feeds with line after line of text could cause you to miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with your buyers. Instead, we should be emulating brands like Oreo, whose Twitter feed is addicting thanks to charming illustrations, clever videos and mouth-watering images.

Lucky for us, it’s easier than ever to share visual content, thanks to free design tools like Canva and seamless embed options on social platforms. For marketers, a picture really is worth a thousand words — act accordingly.

2. Putting on a one-man show

Trying to apply your advertising approach to social is a big mistake. In fact, one of the reasons social media is effective is because so many people tune out traditional media and mass messaging. On social, it’s even easier to mute brands that talk, but don’t listen — with a quick click, consumers can unfollow or remove your content from their feed for good.

Instead of talking about yourself nonstop, make your audience the center of attention by highlighting their interests, like Monster Energy on Facebook, or sharing their content on Instagram like Sharpie. Your social following isn’t a captive audience, so take a break from broadcasting and start sharing content they’ll actually want to click on.

Read the other five sins here.

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