Is Your Small Business Making These 10 Major Social Media Mistakes

Social is any small business’s secret weapon. Not only does it enable you to connect with your audience, the powerful advertising features on social media platforms allow your brand to connect with new audiences. In the case of some platforms, like Instagram, you can even sell your product directly from the app!

Whether you’re an experienced social media marketer or just getting started, there’s always room to improve your digital marketing strategy. Platforms, trends, and algorithms are constantly changing and being updated, so it’s crucial that you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest developments. While there’s nothing wrong with making social media mistakes (don’t worry, everyone does it!) it’s vital you realise it when mistakes are made—and more importantly, know how to fix them.

Read on to find out what the top ten most common mistakes small businesses are making on social media, and how you can fix them.

1. Why Facebook & Instagram Engagement is So ImportantNot Posting Often Enough

At first glance, social media management and content creation might seem easy enough. After all, it’s probably something you already do in your personal capacity. But, when it comes to business, the rules of the game are different.

While you can get away with posting on your personal account once every three months, keeping your brand relevant means posting regularly and consistently. If you forget to post, your audience will probably lose interest, or worse: think your brand is out of business. Once you’ve lost a follower, it’s incredibly challenging to get them back, so keeping your existing followers engaged should always be top of mind.

Our quick fix: Set aside some time once a month to plan and schedule your social media posts for the upcoming month. You don’t have to post every day, but you should be consistent. So, if you decide to post twice a week, make sure to stick to it.
If it’s possible, designate someone on your team to be responsible for your social media accounts and support them with the time, resources, and scheduling tools they need. Some of our favourite social media scheduling tools include Hootsuite, Later, and Buffer.

2. Posting too much

On the other side of the spectrum, posting too frequently can also lose your business followers. While most social media users don’t mind seeing the odd post or advert from businesses, they may become frustrated if their feed is filled with too much promotion and not enough posts from friends and family. The result? They’ll hit ‘unfollow’ on your business, and you may never get them back again!

Our quick fix: Have a look at your past month of social media content and analyse how frequently you’re posting on each platform. While the ideal posting frequency isn’t set in stone, posting multiple times a day is often considered too much. Unless you’re running a campaign, even posting daily might be too much. Have a look at your social media platform’s analytics to see when most of your audience is online, and tailor your posting schedule to their most active hours.

3. Posting Irrelevant Content

Say a major current news story or cultural event just happened. You might think it’s in your business’s best interest to post about it as quickly as possible to stay on top of the latest trend, but before you do, consider whether it’s truly relevant to your audience. For example, an athlete breaking a world record at the Olympics might be relevant for an energy drink brand—but it won’t be relevant to a business that sells pet care products. If your content is too general and not related to your business or audience, it’s likely that they’ll lose interest.

Our quick fix: Make a list of topics relevant to your business. For example, a small business that does flower delivery may want to post on major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.) and share tips on home decor, relationships, and celebrations. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for topics related to your business, have a look at what your competitors are doing and track keywords relevant to your audience.

4. Not Engaging With Your Followers

Too many businesses operate on social media as though it’s a one-way street. They want to gain followers, receive likes, and get comments—but they never do the same for their audience. While replying to every comment or query you receive is a good start, it’s simply not enough to keep your brand competitive in the social media space.

Our quick fix: Take some time out of each day to scroll through your business’s social media news feed and like, comment, and share content from your followers. This will help you strengthen your relationships with your existing followers, and help expose your brand to more potential customers. 

5. Not Reporting on Your Results
Social media is such a fast-paced environment that it can be easy to forget what you did last month, or even last week. If we asked you right now, “Which image post performed best last month?” would you be able to answer? Keeping track of your results helps you ensure you’re getting a healthy return on investment from your social media efforts, and acts as a roadmap for future planning to ensure you’re creating more high-engagement content.

Our quick fix: Use the native tools on your social media platforms to keep track of your results, or use a third-party platform like Sprout, Hootsuite, or Buffer for more in-depth analytics. At the end of each month, you should have a clear idea of how much time and money you have invested into social media, which content types performed well, and how many new followers your brand gained.

6. Skipping a Social Media Strategy

If content is king, then there’s no stronger contender for the queen’s crown than strategy. Without a strategy, your brand is likely to end up posting repetitive content, random content, or content without a purpose. It’s impossible to see results if you don’t know what your goals are, and a social media strategy is crucial for goal-setting and achieving.

Our quick fix: If putting together a social media strategy feels overwhelming, start with the basics. How many followers do you currently have, and how many do you want to have six months from now? What is your current engagement rate, and how do you plan to improve it?

Every step of your strategy should be aligned to a goal. For example, setting the goal of “Post more content” is a good starting point, but it’s only half a strategy. Consider why you want to post more content—do you want to increase brand awareness? Gain more followers? Make more direct sales?

Setting targets is always the most important aspect of your social media strategy. Once you have done that, you can start looking for ways to achieve them. Say you’ve decided your goal is to increase direct sales. Now that you know what your goal is, you can consider running a competition, offering a discount, or partnering with an influencer to help drive sales.

7. Not Using Social Media to its Full Potential

Using social media platforms for business used to be pretty simple. You could post an image and a caption to your feed and you were done! But much has changed over the past few years and today, almost every social media platform offers numerous different ways to reach your audience. If you’re only posting images, or only posting to the feed, you’re missing out on a variety of ways to connect with and engage your audience.

Our quick fix: Research all of the various content types on each social media platform to see which will be most effective for your brand. For example, a decade ago, Instagram only allowed you to post images to the feed—but now you can post images, videos, and shoppable images to the feed, along with Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Reels! Trying to post on every ‘feed’ within each app can feel overwhelming for a small business owner, so start small, experiment, and gradually figure out which ones reach the widest audience.

8. You’re Not Promoting Your Content
Figuring out how to create ads on social media can be tricky, and it is quite a specialised field—but just because you aren’t a paid media specialist, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the promotional tools social media platforms offer! Social media has, for better or worse, become a “pay-to-play” space. If you’re only posting organic content without promoting it, you’re reaching only a fraction of your potential audience.

Our quick fix: Instagram and Facebook both offer intuitive ‘Boosting’ tools that allow you to promote the content you’ve posted, no matter how old it is. Simply find the post you want to boost, and tap the button! Remember, you’ll need an Instagram for Business or Facebook Business account to access boosting. You can also partner with an influencer who shares a similar audience to cross-promote your content on their platform, or partner with brands that share your philosophy for a co-branded giveaway.

9. You Aren’t Taking Advantage of Social Media Trends

Anyone who spends time on social media, either in a personal or professional capacity, has undoubtedly watched countless trends go by over the years. Remember the ice bucket challenge? How about the planking challenge? There are countless challenges, memes, and cultural events that take place on social media. If you want to show your audience that your brand is engaging and on-trend, it’s time to start participating!

Our quick fix: If you see a meme or trend that’s relevant to your brand, jump on it to promote your content. There are so many trends constantly popping up on social media that it’s impossible to jump on each one of them. So before doing this, make sure the trend is relevant to both your brand and your audience. If you aren’t sure where to start looking for the latest trends, check the trending topics on Twitter, have a look at local influencers’ profiles, or track trends with Google Trends.

10. You Ignore Criticism or Negative Feedback

Getting negative feedback (especially on a public platform like social media) is never pleasant, and it can often be quite upsetting. It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and try to pretend it never happened. In a worst-case scenario, a business owner might even respond to a negative review while they’re still emotionally heated—and this never reflects well on the brand.

Our quick fix: Develop an internal protocol for responding to negative reviews. Think about it this way: If you left a negative review for a business, how would you want the owner to respond? The most successful responses to negative reviews are those that apologise, acknowledge responsibility, and offer a solution. Remember, when you respond to a negative review, you’re not just responding to the person who left it—everyone else can see your response too.  


The fast-paced world of social media is constantly evolving, and tried-and-tested strategies that worked two years ago may no longer work. To keep your business shining on social media, it’s important to consistently check in with social media best practices, your digital marketing strategy, and your company’s goals. Everyone makes mistakes on social media, but the important thing is knowing how to fix them.