Top Fifteen Mistakes That Social Media Managers Make

Social Media, done correctly, can increase brand awareness and sales, but when done poorly, it can wreak havoc on a brand. We share 15 key mistakes that are often made.


Bill Arnold

12/11/20236 min read

Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can be one of the most personal and effective methods to engage prospects, customers, and brand advocates. All too often it is treated as a second-class citizen by both business owners and marketers. I recently had the owner of a large international marketing agency tell me that he does not believe social media marketing works! I am used to getting that comment from CEOs and company founders, but for the head of a marketing agency to not understand the power of social media is disturbing.

This blog is an introduction to a series of articles on social media. We decided to have some fun before we drill down and provide a deep discussion on the following:

  • The size and importance of social media marketing

  • When and how to use both organic and paid social engagements,

  • Strategies, best practices, and processes we have proven highly successful

  • How to maximize the benefits that each platform provides

  • Pros and cons of several software programs designed to help you create, schedule, and post your social content

In short, we are going to have a full conversation on how to create a social media program that has a discernable ROI. But for now, let’s have some fun at the expense of Social Media Managers

Top Fifteen Mistakes

1. Failure to Get Buy-in – In many cases, the “mistakes” made by the social media manager are not due to a lack of knowledge. It is because they lack the support of senior management to do it properly. Far too many executives still believe that social media does not contribute to generating leads.

In-house marketers need to treat members of the C-suite as another client who needs to be educated and nurtured. Founder CEOs often have a fixed mindset on what works based on poorly run social media programs they implemented years ago.

You need to educate them on the power that omni-channel marketing. It continually shares and reinforces the benefits your brand has to offer. However, the real CEO conversion will take place when you can show them actual touchpoints and conversations that your social media outreach created.

2. Ignoring Buyer Personas – Because social media speaks to the masses, sometimes social media managers fail to utilize the information the marketing department learned about their buyer personas. This will show the messaging that each buyer persona needs to see to engage with the company. The need to use this same messaging approach does not get thrown out the window simply because you can control which persona may be viewing it. It means you either use a parent persona approach or create enough social media engagements that will cater to all your known personas.

3. Lack of Strategy – Your social media program should not be operated independently of other marketing and sales programs. It must serve to amplify every other initiative being created. If you create a piece of content, (e.g., blog, premium, guide, infographic), share it on social media.

Your entire social media calendar needs to be coordinated with your marketing campaigns. If you have a robust content creation program, you will often find that at least 50% of your social posts are sharing that content.

4. Lack of Omnichannel Marketing – An omnichannel marketing approach is essential for achieving success in social media. With the rapid growth of various digital platforms, businesses must establish a consistent and seamless presence across multiple channels to effectively engage with their target audience. By adopting an omnichannel strategy, companies can create a cohesive brand experience and maintain a strong online presence.

As your prospects move from one platform to another they will be continually reminded about the benefits your brand has to offer.

An omnichannel marketing approach also enables businesses to gather valuable insights and data from multiple sources, resulting in a better understanding of customer behavior and preferences. Ultimately, by embracing an omnichannel approach, companies can maximize their reach, build customer loyalty, and achieve remarkable success in the competitive realm of social media marketing.

5. Ignoring Platform Specific Features - Each social media platform offers unique features and functionalities that can enhance your content's reach and engagement. However, many social media managers make the mistake of using a one-size-fits-all approach, disregarding platform-specific features.

The same messaging can and should be used across each platform daily to take full advantage of the omnichannel marketing concept. However, the strengths of each social media platform must be recognized, and your content tailored to them. For example, TikTok and Instagram favor short-format videos. If you want to get traction on these platforms, you cannot post the same content you would on LinkedIn or Twitter, which are more focused on written text.

6. Inconsistent Branding - Social media managers, in order to create a fun and entertaining experience, often forget that the brand's voice and look should not be lost in the process. Inconsistent branding across platforms can confuse your audience and dilute your brand's message. It is crucial to maintain consistent visual elements, tone of voice, and messaging across all social media channels.

Before you begin any marketing, develop brand guidelines that outline your visual identity, tone of voice, and messaging. Ensure that these guidelines are followed consistently across all social media platforms. If there is a need to adjust, make sure it is done with the consensus of the marketing team.

7. Neglecting the Power of Visuals - Visual content is a powerful tool to capture attention and convey your brand's message effectively. However, many social media managers make the mistake of neglecting visuals or using low-quality images. Compelling visuals can significantly increase engagement and make your content more shareable. Invest in high-quality visuals, such as professionally designed graphics, captivating images, and engaging videos.

8. Poor Social Listening - Social media is not only a platform for broadcasting your message but also a valuable source of insights and feedback. Neglecting social listening, which involves monitoring conversations and mentions of your brand, can result in missed opportunities for engagement and reputation management. Actively engage in conversations, address customer concerns, and leverage feedback to improve your products or services.

9. Not Engaging with the Audience - Engagement is the key to building and maintaining relationships with the audience on social media. Engagement can include liking, commenting, sharing, replying, asking questions, and providing feedback. Not engaging with the audience can make them feel ignored or unappreciated and reduce their loyalty and advocacy. If someone engages with you in any form or fashion (except trolls), always hit the ball back with a comment and thank them for participating.

10. Inconsistent Posting Frequency - People like predictability. If you are random in your posting practices, you will find it more difficult to gain traction. Inconsistency in posting frequency will not only result in a decline in engagement but can hurt your credibility. Develop a content calendar and establish a consistent posting schedule. Find the right balance between maintaining a regular presence and not overwhelming your audience. Monitor engagement metrics to determine the optimal posting frequency for each platform.

11. Over Promoting - People are not going to social platforms to be sold something. They are looking to learn and be entertained. Constantly bombarding your audience with promotional content can be a major turn-off. This will lead to a decline in engagement and, ultimately, damage your brand's reputation.

Follow the 80/20 rule - 80% of your content should be informative, entertaining, or educational, while only 20% should be promotional. Provide value to your audience by sharing relevant industry insights, tips, and engaging content.

12. Strict Top-of-the-Funnel Focus - While only 20% of your content should be trying to sell your product or services, that does not mean you only promote top-of-the-funnel content. If you have content that would be focused on the consideration or decision-making stages (e.g., case studies, testimonials, etc.), that content should be shared on your social platforms.

13. Buying Followers -Buying followers may seem like a quick way to boost the numbers, but it can backfire in the long run. Fake followers can damage the credibility and reputation of the brand, lower the engagement rate, and violate the terms of service of some platforms.

14. Failure to Measure -Another mistake is failing to track and analyze social media performance metrics. Analytics provide valuable insights into your audience's behavior, engagement, and preferences. By monitoring key metrics, such as reach, engagement rate, and conversions, you can optimize your social media strategy and make data-driven decisions. Each month, review and analyze your social media analytics to identify trends and understand what content resonates with your audience. Make adjustments to improve performance.

15. Failure to Keep Current - Social media platforms and trends evolve rapidly. Failing to stay updated with the latest changes, algorithms, and best practices can hinder your success as a social media manager. It is essential to stay informed and adapt your strategies accordingly. To stay updated with industry news, follow social media blogs and participate in relevant webinars or conferences. Continuously educate yourself about new features, trends, and best practices to stay ahead of the curve.


Avoiding these common mistakes can significantly improve your effectiveness as a social media manager. By developing a clear strategy, leveraging analytics, maintaining consistent branding, engaging with your audience, and staying updated with platform-specific features and best practices, you can maximize the impact of your social media efforts. Remember, social media is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape, so continuous learning and adaptation are key to success.