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If you use it correctly, social media can be a powerful marketing tool. Social media marketing allows you to reach a vast number of potential customers in a short period. For example, Facebook alone has over 2 billion active users, according to Statista.

The downside of social media is that there is intense competition to attract, engage, and convert prospective customers. Just one blunder in your social marketing strategy can mean the difference between being successful or getting left behind. Here’s a look at six lethal social marketing mistakes that you don’t want to make.

Not Regularly Posting

Don’t make the fatal mistake of creating social media profiles and then forgetting about them. The main point of using social media is to have an effective platform to connect and engage with prospective customers. Without regular posting, setting up a social media business page is just a waste of time.

Instead, you want to make your presence known on social media. Use your platforms to update customers, inform readers, announce upcoming events, and promote your brand. Come up with ideas for social media posts to create. Start by creating a comprehensive social marketing strategy that determines when, where, and how often you plan to post to social media.  

Buying Reviews

The last thing you want to do is to purchase fake social media reviews. At first, it might seem like a good idea to buy some reviews to boost your profile’s rating, but the reality is that buying reviews can have serious ramifications on Facebook. Podium states that if you’re caught using fake reviews, it will destroy trust and credibility with the consumer, and your business may never recover.

The fact is that people trust reviews as long as they are legit — and many consumers can spot a fake review a mile away. The best way to boost your social media rating is to encourage actual customers to leave a review on social media.

Ignoring Negative Feedback

Chances are that you’re not going to please every customer every time. Sometimes, these disgruntled customers are going to post their grievances to social media. Your initial instinct might be to ignore or even delete these comments, but that would be a mistake. If you ignore the post, then customers might assume that you don’t care, and if you remove the post, they might believe that you have something to hide.

Naturally, if the comment is obviously fake, out of line, or offensive, you can delete it without further action. Otherwise, your best course of action is to face the negative feedback head on. Respond by expressing your concern that the customer was dissatisfied with your goods or services and encourage that customer to contact you directly to discuss the matter. Do not get into an online fight with the customer, but, rather, try to work the issue out privately.

Not Updating Profile Information

You’d be surprised how many businesses forget to update their business information on social media. This can be a huge mistake. Whether it’s your company’s phone number, website address, business hours, or physical address, customers expect to find the most up-to-date information on your social media profile.

Unfortunately, this can be an easy mistake to make if you are not careful. Be sure to make regular social media profile updates as part of your marketing strategy. This step will make sure that your contact information remains consistent across all online mediums.

Failure to Build a Following

You can set up a business profile on social media and post every day, but without a following, no one will read it. One of the first steps of any social media marketing strategy is to build a following. Start by asking your current customers to follow you on social media and provide the link to your various social media platforms on your website page.

The next step is to post content that encourages your audience to comment, like, or share your posts. Once your followers react to your online posts, their entire circle of friends can see it, which expands the reach of your online presence. Holding contests on social media that require followers to share, like, or comment on your posts is a suggestion from Hootsuite.

Not Tracking Analytics

Most social media platforms offer a wealth of analytical data. You’d be making a big mistake to ignore this valuable insight. Social media analytics, according to The Manifest, can tell you how many followers you have and what their engagement level is. You can find out which posts your followers are responding to and which ones they aren’t. This information can help you shape a social media marketing strategy that maximizes your online potential.

Three-fourths of all small businesses are on at least one social media platform. Don’t get left behind or lost in the crowd. Instead, avoid the “post it and forget it” strategy and these other lethal social marketing mistakes and build a marketing strategy for success.