Social Media is an ever-changing medium for communication. Brands rely on these platforms now more than any other time since their inception to reach their audiences. It’s easy to become lost in the mix when these platforms constantly introduce new tools or enhancements to their software, and many brands fall behind the technology and subsequently lose their audiences. Brands easily fall victim to social media mistakes, which can lead to fewer conversions or, even worse, being blacklisted by their customers.

Mistake #1 Always Marketing

Social media, like any other form of communication, requires a give-and-take; that’s why brands who only post marketing materials around the clock distance themselves from their followers. Customers want to know we’re human and not an automated script posting tweets with catchy marketing buzzwords. Use real language and less marketing; your audience will thank you.

Mistake #2 Ignoring Your Audience

Audiences differ across social platforms and industry. You cannot market to a student the same way you would someone over sixty-five. It just doesn’t work. It’s important to know your audience, their motivations and needs, and market directly to them. All too often, we see brands posting quite a bit of content, but their content is disjointed from what would resonate with their target audience. This is where analytics tools and services come in. See what works, what your audience likes, and tweak your posts accordingly.

Mistake #3 Using The Same Social Strategy Across Platforms

Have you ever seen a brand that posts the same content on every platform? We have, and it’s one of the worst mistakes a brand can make in all of social media. The is the reason: Users respond to various kinds of content depending on the platform. For instance, your Twitter users may respond to pithy, informative posts, while your Facebook users generally prefer more content. In order to accommodate users on these separate platforms, you must design individual social strategies. If you don’t, you might find yourself with more unfollows and less interaction.

Mistake #4 Mishandling Negative Feedback

Negative feedback is brutal on social media. As soon as the notification comes in, you go into panic mode threatened by the potential audience of the post and worried about how to respond. Instead of addressing the customer’s complaint, you attempt to diffuse the situation by shifting the blame back to them.

This is the wrong way to handle negative feedback.

In fact, negative feedback can turn an angry customer into one of your most loyal fans, but it’s a delicate situation. It’s important to address the problem, apologize profusely, and do everything in your power to go above and beyond for the customer. You’ll find that if you really show the customer you care and work hard to resolve their situation, most of the time they will appreciate your hard work—and they might even reward you by becoming a life-long customer.

Mistake #5 Refusing To Use Social Media

This is the big kahuna. Many brands still refuse to use social media—yes, even in 2015. This is a travesty, a loss so great it could potentially ruin a business. Imagine not having the tools to respond to customer complaints. This happens all of the time with brands who refuse to manage their reputation online. In this technology age, reputation is king, and a few negative reviews can mean steep drops in revenue. If you don’t have a social media strategy, get one today, even if that means signing up for a Facebook Page and working on that one profile until you’ve mastered it. Your customers and your business will thank you. If you’re not sure where to start with managing your company’s social media, we can help. At Organically Interactive, we take care of it all for you—social media, reputation management, content writing—and you don’t have to lift a finger.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve seen a brand make on social media? Let us know in the comments, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more social media tips, tricks, and news.