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Canadian Marketing Insights

Share your thoughts on marketing trends and best practices, and maximize your marketing impact.


5 Social Media Mistakes


If you are planning your Social Media strategy and want to get some tips on what not to do to get better results, find 5 common social media mistakes that companies make, that were shared by Róisín Bonner, our Microsoft Canada social.

Share your thoughts and feel free to add more! 


Five social media mistakes



  1. Not participating
  2. One-way communication
  3. Hard-selling everything
  4. Using jargon & cliché
  5. Impatience

#1 Not participating

Yes, that’s right—not using social networks to connect with customers is probably the biggest mistake Canadian businesses (including Microsoft partners) make. For a whole number of reasons—inexperience, fear, disinterest, competing priorities—companies don’t do social networking at all. That’s a big mistake. Why?

Your audiences expect it. Your potential customers and employees are there—literally. And, believe it or not, they look for you. They research your brand, reputation, services, products, and competitors online. If you do not show up in their search results, you’re just not as credible. And that’s especially true of young IT talent.

#2 One-way communication

When companies first launch their brand on social networks, many start by posting ads, product, and special offers. They push messages outward but never socialize. Sharing updates, blog posts, tweets, and other social content isn’t enough to engage users of those platforms. You can engage by following, liking, re-sharing, commenting, and debating topics.
Don’t get me wrong. Any activity is better than none. So, share your content! Remember, people respond best to a social opportunity on social media. They follow people, ignite conversations, and exchange ideas. Go ahead, join in.

#3 Hard-selling everything

While social networking and self-promotion go together, “hard-selling” services or products may not. I believe that some of the most successful social campaigns intrigue, inspire, even provoke action. TINT has assembled a cool collection of social media campaigns here. For something closer to home, check out Communicatto’s list of the 2016 best Canadian social campaigns.

From sponsorships and social causes, to user-content competitions, you see how organizations and causes experiment with social. Above all, these campaigns are sharable. Your marketing should do the same. Take note: many social media users routinely ignore/skip ads. Get creative, think about provoking participation, not just creating awareness.

#4 Using jargon & cliché

Almost every tech pro I meet uses tech acronyms (CRM, ERP, ISP, etc.) and buzzwords (big data, Internet of Things, consumption, etc.). Forget coffee, our industry seems to run on jargon. It’s like a convenient shorthand amongst technology professionals that saves a lot of time.
But, what if your business depends on reaching general business people? Then, jargon hurts and hinders your sales and marketing.

While some companies have amazing in-house talent in charge of technology strategy, most do not. That means you may have to win over a business generalist/owner/manager. This person may have absolutely no idea what ERP or IoT means. The more jargon you use, the less sense your message makes, and the more confused the prospect becomes.

#5 Impatience

Don’t expect immediate results. Social networking takes time. Your first tweet isn’t likely to go viral and your blog probably won’t take off like Perez Hilton. Instead, get strategic and long at the big picture. Establish a presence on one or two platforms, connect with employees, customers, allies, vendors, friends, and move forward.



Not applicable

Thank you for this post! All of these are very common mistakes, I would say that impatience is one of the worst things when it comes to Social Media. People expect results right away and that's simply not possible, it takes time to build a community and followers. Patienece is a key factor to mention when coming up with a social media plan, the results are medium to long term.


Totally agree @Anonymous! Patience is a key. And also, I'd add the fact of having always on campaings/motions are key as well, if we want to get better and more accurate results.