10 Fool-Proof Ways to Fail Miserably in Social Media Marketing

ways to fail at social media marketing

Almost every business is on social media these days. Regardless of the fact that a lot of them keep struggling with their social media, they still use it because they know that social media is important for their business. About 97% of fortune 500 companies use at least one social media channel. In 2022, more than 92% of marketers who work in U.S. companies are expected to use social media for marketing.

Entrepreneurs who are starting anew also consider getting a website ready and social media presence started as the very first steps of starting their businesses. However, social media marketing is not as easy as it seems.

The race for content consumption and content creation is getting more difficult every day. Social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithms, which makes it harder for businesses to keep up with the changes. Even when you have a good amount of audience on your social media profile, chances are you are not going to reach them all and you’ll probably end up going with paid social media in order to deliver your message to your audience.

10 Ways to Fail at Social Media Marketing ( and how not to)

While many people talk about things to help you succeed, this article is going to be the opposite. These are the top fool-proof ways to fail at social media marketing for your business while also sharing how you can avoid doing that.

1. Praise yourself (your business, product, or service)

I get it, you’re proud of your business and what you have to offer. But constantly talking about how great you are is not going to make people want to buy from you or use your services. In fact, it will probably do the opposite.

People don’t want to be sold to, they want to be helped. When you’re creating content, you should focus on how you can help your target audience and not just sell them your product or service.

If you talk about the “features” of your product/service only and don’t talk about its benefits or the value that your customer can get out of it, you’re likely going to scare them away.

People can see through self-promotion and it’s a major turn-off. Don’t be that person or business who is always talking about themselves. Share something that gives them value, create helpful resources, give tips and advice, and generally just be helpful.

However, you can surely share content where your customers are praising you.

2. Post a lot of links

Social media platforms want all the eyeballs for themselves and they don’t like it when you’re trying to send their users away. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even YouTube are some examples. They are designed to get maximum screen time from you.

If you’re constantly posting links to your website or blog, you’re not going to get much engagement. The social media platform is very likely to limit your post’s reach just because it has a link. A lot of people also cross-post their social media content with links and that is one of the practices that make sure you get nothing out of those posts.

When you’re creating content for social media, make sure that the vast majority of it can be consumed without having to leave the platform. If you must post a link, make sure that you’re providing enough context and value around it so that people will actually click on it. Never cross-post between your social media pages, post content natively.

3. Don’t post images and videos ever

dont do it

Your social media content should be interesting and engaging. If it’s not, you’re likely to lose your audience quickly. Posts with images and videos tend to perform much better than text-only posts.

With social media platforms giving more weight to multimedia content, if you’re not posting them, you’re missing out on a lot of engagement and reach. People are also likely to stop scrolling when they see something that catches their attention and is visually appealing.

People are visual creatures and they want to see things that are interesting and engaging. Don’t post text-only content only, post images and videos too.

4. Post content when you feel like it

If you’re not posting regularly, you’re not going to build an audience. People want to see new and fresh content on a regular basis. If you only post when you feel like it or when you have something to promote, people are going to quickly lose interest in your social media profile.

You should be posting on a regular basis. The exact when and where depends on your target audience but you should publish content at least a few times a week. And, schedule the content using a social media scheduling tool to keep things under control.

5. Don’t interact with your audience

Your audience is not going to interact with you if you’re not interacting with them. It’s as simple as that. If you’re not replying to comments, answering questions, or even just liking and commenting on other people’s posts, don’t expect anyone to do the same for you.

Twitter, for example, requires a lot of engagement from your side. If you’re not active, you’re quickly going to get buried under all the tweets.

Make sure that you’re interacting with your audience on a regular basis. It doesn’t always have to be a lot but show them that you’re there and paying attention. Best if you do it every day.

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6. Pay no attention to analytics

Your social media analytics are there for a reason. They give you insights into what’s working and what’s not. Not paying attention to them means you’re missing out on a lot of valuable information. If you’re not going to measure your social media results, there is no point in doing social media.

Analytics can answer a lot of questions about your social media performance. The content that gave you the most exposure, your audience activity, the people you reached, the engagement you get, and so on.

Most social media platforms have built-in analytics now so there’s no excuse for not using them. At the very least, you should be looking at your analytics once a week.

7. Say no to consistency

Consistency is important everywhere. If you’re not consistent with your social media posts, it’s not going to give you anything. Being consistent also means your social media content should be consistent with your overall branding and messaging. If it’s not, you’re likely to confuse your audience.

Social media takes time and effort. If you’re not willing to put in the work, it’s not going to give you anything in return.

Make sure that your social media posts are consistent with each other and with the rest of your marketing materials. Your tone, style, and approach should all be the same.

Pro Tip: To get the most out of your social media presence, it’s a good idea to use scheduling tools to post consistently.

8. Have no plan or strategy

When you’re doing social media marketing without a plan or strategy, you’re just winging it. And, that’s not going to get you very far. You need to have a plan and a strategy for your social media marketing if you want to succeed.

Your social media strategy should be aligned with your business goals. Without that, you’re just shooting in the dark and hoping for the best. It should be closely aligned with your other marketing efforts. What you’re doing on social media should support and complement what you’re doing offline or off-social.

9. Buy likes or followers

This is a huge social media no-no. You might be tempted to do it. Having a lot of likes or followers doesn’t mean anything if they’re not real people who are interested in your brand.

They are going to badly affect your engagement ratio and because of that, your content will likely be punished by the social media algorithms. If your so-called followers are not seeing your content or engaging with it, that means your content is not worthy enough. And, those bots you bought won’t see or engage with your content so you have just shot yourself in the foot.

It’s much better to take the time to build a real and engaged audience than to have a big number that means nothing. If you’re thinking about native social media ads, they target real people and not bots, so that is still fine.

10. Automate too much

When you automate your social media posts, it’s easy to lose the human touch. Your audience can tell when you’re being inauthentic and they don’t like it.

Ever messaged a Facebook or a WhatsApp business for something critical and urgent only to receive an automated message that welcomes you in the most unattractive way ever?

Automation is very efficient when done right. It’s fine to use content scheduling tools but it’s not fine to automate content publishing in a way that it all looks like spam spaghetti.


So, if you don’t want to fail at social media marketing, avoid the mistakes I talked about – and, try the suggestions that come with them. It may take a little more effort on your part, but it will be worth it in the long run.

P.S. Start using SocialBu if you’re not doing that already.

Did I miss any fool-proof ways to fail at social media? Let me know in the comments below!

Usama Ejaz
Usama Ejaz
I lived as a full-stack software engineer in the past. Now I am the captain of the ship known as SocialBu. And, I love building things.

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