(This post was initially published as a LinkedIn Pulse article.)

Social media has been hailed time and time again as the big player in marketing and brand engagement. The reality has shown that the vast majority of brands, individuals, and even social media managers don’t actually find themselves successful in cultivating a large following.

Here are a few mistakes that keep marketers from ever reaching their maximum potential and what to do about it.

1) Not being a creator. The people who have the biggest social media followings on the planet, or even just within whatever niche(s) you find
yourself marketing, are people who create something to offer. They are launching something new. Their tweets, posts, and pictures carry weight because they’ve got something solid to back them up. Too often, people ask for “follows” and other social media engagement without giving anyone a good reason to actually do so.

Solution: If you’re begging people to retweet your link, you better have
something on the other end that delivers true value if you want those
who get curious enough to continue engaging with you. This is in whatever field, including the performance arts.  Casting Director Amy Jo Berman has been quoted as saying, “Lead with Value.”  Offer something of value, and that value does not need to be physical and tangible. It can even come in the form of observations and insights to cultivate the relationship.

2) Mistaking social media to be a one-way channel of communication.Someone may even have great content on their blog, but does not have much luck getting people to engage on social platforms. One of the reasons this happens is that people assume self-importance too early. People need to remind themselve that their social media marketing is like any kind of marketing
that isn’t in its infancy anymore: You don’t get widespread recognition just for “doing it,” or even doing it well, because the market is too saturated.

Solution:

So, how do you stand out? Taking some liberty with an Abraham Lincoln quote, you must begin talking to the people, with the people, and for people —
rather than at the people. Make sure that you’re giving out what you’re asking for:

  • Be engaging with others you find interesting
  • Ask them questions.
  • And comment on their content. And I mean, real genuine and substantive comments, not the simple and superficial variety like, “wow, great read!”

Some of the biggest names in social media still take time throughout the day to respond to people messaging and asking them for
advice.

3) Automating.  Gary Vaynerchuk, who has a mind that’s built up companies based almost exclusively on social media expertise, has an interesting stance on automation; it’s a stance you can learn from:

Many people get caught up in automating their social media endeavors far too early. They haven’t really maxed out their time. They don’t really need to back away from active engagement. They’re just lazy or maybe they’re just putting the cart before the horse and are reallocating themselves to other tasks prematurely.

Solution:

Automation isn’t inherently bad, but it is when you try and hide the fact that you’re doing it. Another way of putting this is that it’s fine to automate simple tasks that don’t involve direct customer interaction, but you shouldn’t fake interaction. Customers know that the mass email you sent out wasn’t personally directed to them just because their name is in it. They know that your auto-direct sales message to them on Twitter  is not genuine when they follow you back. Don’t be fake, people will see through it.

While social media isn’t intensely complicated, it’s also not hard to end up doing it wrong. Make the time to strategize and account for factors like these before you actually put your fingers on the keyboard of your laptop…or your tablet…or your smart phone,etc.

If you’re looking for a powerful software tool (that runs right in WordPress) that tracks your social media metrics including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinteresst & more, then you’ll want to check out  WP Signal Tracker.

Check it out now by clicking HERE.

Thank you. If you found value in this post, please share it with others.

Roberto Ragone

Business, Nonprofit, Arts Consultant
Actor, Writer, Producer

Ragone Enterprises and Productions
Ragone Strategies and Initiatives

Transforming Vision to Value

Roberto Ragone has over 25 years experience in government, nonprofits, and business, working with them on strategic planning, marketing and public relations, fundraising, and outreach. He has also worked on literary, film, and theatre projects.

One of his guiding principles is a determination to help you attract popularity, prosperity, and prestige — fans, friends, funds, and fame. He helps define and disseminate the uniquely compelling story about you, transforming your vision to value so you “REaP” the benefits of your hard work.