We Made These 10 Social Media Mistakes so You Don’t Have To

But, despite building a product that helps people succeed on social media, we have committed a good number of social media mistakes ourselves. When we posted less (once or twice per day) to our Facebook Page, our reach and engagement increased by three-fold. Once we discovered these findings, we started posting more square videos and images on our Facebook Page and Twitter profile. Now, we can share Buffer content to a bigger engaged audience. It was fun trying all those Instagram strategies, but few people were interested in the content we posted. By curating photos that our target audience is interested in (and posting a few Buffer news), we have been able to grow a large engaged following on Instagram—with whom we share social media and marketing tips through Instagram Stories and live videos. This is the technique we use to quickly find and share UGC on our Instagram profile: Mistake 7: Not uploading videos onto social media platforms Native videos are shared five times more than YouTube videos on social Quintly analyzed over six million Facebook posts and found that videos uploaded onto Facebook receive more engagement and shares than YouTube videos on Facebook. Mistake 8: Not targeting specific audience for our content Setting preferred audience made our content more relevant Whenever we have a meetup or workshop, we used to share about the event on our Facebook Page with all our fans. At the same time, our fans outside of Philadelphia wouldn’t have seen this post, which was likely to be less relevant to them. 75% of people are likely to share a good experience on their own profile.

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This might sound contradicting — and it’s scary for us to admit.

But, despite building a product that helps people succeed on social media, we have committed a good number of social media mistakes ourselves.

Mistakes that have cost us reach and engagement, maybe even fans and customers.

Now that we have learned from many of those mistakes, I would love to share our top 10 and how you can avoid committing them yourself.

Let’s get started…

10 Social Media Mistakes We've Made (And How to Avoid Them)

Learn from These 10 Social Media Mistakes We’ve Made

Here’s a quick overview of the social media mistakes we’ve been making until recently:

Interested in listening to this post in the podcast format? We invite you to check out an episode on this topic in Buffer’s very own podcast – The Science of Social Media!

Mistake 1: Focusing on quantity over quality

Posting less 3X our reach and engagement

We were posting way too much.

Just last year, we were posting four to five times to our Facebook Page and tweeting up to 14 times per day.

As we have been producing a lot of content on our blogs and podcast, we had many things to share. So we shared — a lot. Also, to fill our Buffer queue, we might have included content which was good, but perhaps not the best.

When we posted less (once or twice per day) to our Facebook Page, our reach and engagement increased by three-fold.

Limiting our Facebook posts to just one or two per day forced us to share only the best content. These quality posts resonated with our Facebook fans, and the Facebook algorithm surfaced them to more people.

Increasing average Facebook daily engagement
Average Facebook Daily Engagement Graph

Small business owners and solo social media managers usually don’t have the time to create or find enough high-quality content to post five times a day on Facebook or tweet 10 times a day on Twitter. By reducing the number of times you post each day, you can focus on the quality of the posts rather than the quantity of posts.

Mistake 2: Being on all social media platforms

Fewer channels, more focus, better content

As a social media management company, we feel a duty to test out all social media platforms so that we can understand how each platform works and can share what we’ve learned about succeeding on each platform…

…what we’ve not been so great at is deciding when to stop using a certain platform.

Only after we took a break from Snapchat and after Instagram introduced similar Stories features, we gradually stopped posting to Snapchat and focused on Instagram.

We weren’t getting the results we want for the time and effort we put into Snapchat and most of the users on Snapchat aren’t our target audience. Whereas Instagram provides several advantages such as better discoverability, analytics (including audience insights), and audience targeting through ads.

Instagram audience insights
Instagram audience insights

Every additional platform your business is active on means additional time and effort required to create great tailored content for that platform and engage with your fans on that platform.

Take stock of your social media profiles and consider which channels are performing for your business and which are not. By moving away from social media platforms that might not suit your business or not be performing well, you can double down on those that are.

Mistake 3: Posting the same content across platforms

Tailored content for each platform increases reach and engagement

We often recommend people to share unique content for each of the social media platforms because the platforms are set up differently and people have different expectations for the content they want to see on each platform.

For instance, on Instagram, hashtags can help to increase your reach, but they don’t quite have the same effect on Facebook.

To help solve this problem, we recently improved our product so that you can customize your posts for each social media platform and share them to your profiles all at once.

Customize your social media posts for each platform with Buffer
Tailored Posts – Customize your social media posts

We would love for you to give it a try if you haven’t had a chance to! Just compose a post on your Buffer dashboard or through the Buffer extension to try this new feature.

Mistake 4: Using only landscape videos and images

Square videos have higher average views and engagement

We were used to posting landscape videos and images because that was the ideal image size for most social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

1,024 pixels by 512 pixels.

But that might not be true anymore. As square videos and images are no longer cropped on Facebook and Twitter, they take up more real estate on someone’s feed — 78% more, in fact.

A square video takes up 78% more space than a landscape video on the News Feed
Landscape vs square video on the News Feed

After spending $1,500 on experiments, we found that square videos actually generate higher average views and engagement, especially on mobile phones, than landscape videos.

Square videos get higher average engagement than landscape videos
Average engagement for videos

Once we discovered these findings, we started posting more square videos and images on…