Social Media or Bust: 5 Rookie Mistakes


In my previous post, I laid out four easy tips for getting started with social media.

  • Define your goal.
  • Choose 1-3 platforms to explore.
  • Sign up and complete a profile.
  • Watch and listen.

Congratulations. Now that you’ve dipped your toes in the social media pool, you’re ready to engage, share and build your connections.

Whether you’re looking for career opportunities, branding your business, sharing content, or searching for like-minded communities, avoid these newbie (and not-so-newbie) mistakes:

  1. It’s all about ME. Don’t be that brand who only shares their own promotions, webinars or original blog posts. Retweet, like, answer questions, reply and comment on others’ content just as much, if not more than your own.
  2. Overshare. I’m not talking about what you had for breakfast. I’d love to hear what you had for breakfast if you make it relevant and witty. I’m talking about excessive posting. 18 hilarious Youtube videos last hour is not hilarious, it’s annoying. Edit, cull, curate. Go for quality over quantity.
  3. Share all at once. A big part of the social media success formula is getting your timing right. Space out your contributions. If you always post at 8:35 am, you’re missing engagement throughout the rest of the day. Free tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Buffer make scheduling posts easy and efficient.
  4. Be stingy. Err on the side of following people back. Thank people when they share your content. Reply back to people who mention or tag you. Comment. Take a few risks and you will immediately notice the power of reciprocation.
  5. Expect too much too soon. Growing an authentic community doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself time before deciding “this isn’t for me”.

A little common sense and staying true to your individual/brand personality also go a long way.

What additional advice would you share?

Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. She’s made all 5 social media rookie mistakes and countless others. You can reach her on Twitter @MartaSteele.