• Ashley Butler

If you make any of these three mistakes, your social media marketing probably sucks.

I’m tired of seeing sucky social media marketing


In a world that seems to revolve around influencers and followers, it’s no surprise that everyone and their mom has turned to the wild beast that is social media to market all the stuff they want to sell.


Our Facebook timelines are inundated with paid ads every 4 posts (seriously, count them!), although most are entirely ineffective (aka, you scroll right past without a second thought).


It seems like every post I see, ad or not, has a hidden agenda that’s trying to get me to sign up for the latest trend I’m missing. (No, not everyone should create an app for their business).


I’m not saying we shouldn’t use or see ads, but I am under the firm belief that if you’re going to spend so much time and money trying to get your ad in front of my eyeballs, the very least you could do is to make it worthy of my time.

So - for your sake and mine - here you go:


Sucky social media marketing mistakes I’m sick of seeing. (Say that 5 times fast!)


1. Stop telling your story


Wait wait wait. Let me clarify - don’t stop telling your story. Stop telling your story like a self-centered egomaniac. Storytelling is an incredibly effective way to get people’s attention & ultimately get people to take action. BUT (and this is a big but) if you tell your story in a way that’s only about your experience, your transformation, and your results… you’re missing the boat.


The people reading your posts want to see themselves as the hero of the story. Not you. Yes, it’s your experience, but there’s an art to telling your story in a way that allows the reader to see themselves in your shoes.


These tiny shifts make a huge difference:


Instead of focusing on what you did, focus on how you felt (emotions are universal).


Instead of telling a story about how you helped someone, try to tell the story from the perspective of who you helped - what did they experience, learn, feel?


And lastly, use language that invites your reader into the story.

Questions are a great way to do this (“Have you ever felt like…”).

Or can also directly tell them (“Imagine you were…”)



2. Don’t take that tone with me!



Seriously, though. This is a mistake I see made entirely too often. The tone of your posts should be strategically aligned with your ideal reader/customer. If you aren’t speaking to someone, you aren’t speaking to anyone. Wait, what?


There are two extreme ends of the spectrum here; and both are troublesome.


First, if you’re too robotic. Posts that are boring (or worse, apathetic!) lose your chances of action before the reader gets to the last sentence.


“Look at these new templates I made.”


Wow. You really outdid yourself with that one. If your posts look like an AI generator is trying to compute what you do or what you are trying to sell… you’ve lost me.


I’m an energetic and excited talker, writer AND reader. People want to *feel* something - especially like you’re talking directly to them. Like you can see into their soul and that your post spoke to them exactly when they needed it. NOT like you only put up a caption at all because someone said you had to.

Every post you make should have a story (see point #1), a connection to your reader, and a call to action. These can be short and sweet (they should rarely ever be over 100 characters anyway).


The opposite end of the spectrum is being so overly nice or excited that it starts to come off as fake. I am not your “new BFF” and I don’t appreciate you calling me that (you’ve got to at least take me on a date first!).


Trying to hype up your messaging so much that it isn’t even believable anymore can be a huge turnoff. In summary, don’t be a robot or a phony.


Here’s a quick fix to BOTH of these tone mistakes:


Say it out loud before you write it. Literally, think of what you’re trying to convey and then SPEAK it aloud before you type it out. This will naturally make the words you use more conversational, and it’ll let you hear what your reader will hear.


Never outsource the copywriting of your social media posts until you have a clear distinction in the tone, emotions, and brand reputation you’re trying to establish.

And remember, each post should bring the reader on a journey. If you get the connection right, responding to your call to action will be their natural next step.


3. Used Car Salesman Syndrome


I can’t be the only one who sees certain people’s names pop up and thinks “What are they trying to sell me now?”.


Social media marketing is a two way street. Yes, you want people to buy things from you (especially if you’re doing paid ads), but you should be equally (if not more) focused on the value you’re giving them in return.


No one wants to feel like they’re being sold something. It feels slimy. And icky. It feels slicky. And you don’t want that. You don’t want to be confused for one of those stereotypical used car salesmen, do you? Of course you don’t.

So, chill out a little. You don’t have to be pushy or aggressive or constantly in the face of the person you’re trying to target. Instead, push out valuable content, advice, and good ole’ fun.


Focus on giving more than receiving, and people will WANT you to sell to them.

Quick fix: for every one post you have selling something, create two more that are about providing value and connection with your audience.


So there you have it! Three super easy (but oh, so annoying) mistake hacks to improve your social media marketing effectiveness.


Are one of these three your biggest pet peeve as a reader? Or is there something else that drives you bonkers? I’d love to know! Comment below.


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