04/08/2014 03:08 pm ET Updated Jun 08, 2014

Is Your Social Media Failing?

You've attended conferences, webinars, and workshops and even asked for advice from all your friends and co-workers, but your company's social media just isn't working the way you need it to and you don't know why. Hmm, what should you do now? Here's an idea. Summer's coming soon and maybe a dose of hot, sunny weather will somehow heat up the traffic on your social channels. Wishful thinking, But, ah - no.

There are probably lots of you out there that are already overwhelmed with social media and just don't know what to do. Let's face it, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram, Vine and many others are all screaming for more attention and you know they need it. Ugh -- help!

Warp Speed

Social media is moving at warp speed and most people who are charged with managing the content and distribution are not well equipped to handle the ever-changing social eco-system. I have seen this over and over again and was in that position once myself. Then, I started investing time, resources and energy on how to best utilize the resources I have to figure out what are my obstacles in my may that are preventing me from succeeding.

Integration - Efficiency and Purpose

Imagine this; there's a social media pop-quiz coming soon and it's not just the failing letter grade that you won't like. It's the realization that your potential and existing customers are not visiting and interacting with your social channels. Wait, it gets worse. You really have no idea how to create integration, efficiency and purpose all at the same time. Suddenly social media sounds like a nightmare, not just a pop-quiz.

Social Media Audit

Let's say a social media expert was secretly auditing your company's social channels. The audit will analyze all aspects of your social-sphere, and grade your strategy and execution just like a professor would on a college pop-quiz. Are you ready? Here's the big question; what grade do you think your social media would get? I know this can be stressful to think about, however, your social media is rather important for your sales and marketing. You know it impacts your sales team positively and negatively and social media is a serious lead-generation channel that if not used effectively can actually hurt your brand. A failing grade requires more than just a make-up quiz; it requires some serious problem solving to discover what needs to change and fast.

Common Mistakes

If you're not sure about how to prepare for the social media pop-quiz, I came up with a few common mistakes that many brands make when they use social media. This is your social media study guide so pay attention. Let's take a look at my top 25 reasons why social media is failing.

1. Not using hashtags
2. Trying to squeeze too much in one post
3. Misspellings
4. Too many acronyms that users don't understand
5. No links to your brand website in the post
5. Writing a post without knowing your specific audience
6. Not understand your goal for writing a post
7. Not posting frequently enough (sorry, once a week is not good enough)
8. Using too many hash tags in one post
9. Mixing personal preference that has no relevance with brand content
10. Using images and videos that are just plain ugly
11. Using curse words
12. Using obvious sales speak
13. Saying "Retweet" too much
14. Over-posting so that your audience just doesn't pay attention any longer
15. If you are fighting a crisis PR battle, do not show a photo of your corporate
disaster and say you "really are a good company." - that sounds desperate
16. Not using an editorial calendar, which helps with post frequency, post topics
and relevance
17. Being overwhelmed - no rhyme or reason as to what you are sharing
18. No up-front planning
19. No content strategy and goals
20. Failure to understand that social media is a lot more than just a "blast my
message out" channel.
21. Keywords and SEO are not even thought about
22. Not understanding the customer path and how social media fits in
23. Failing to engage in a dialogue when your posts are getting responses
24. Copying content from other posts and not creating original content
25. Using personal social media habits for business purposes

Recently the Huffington Post published an article titled Transform Personal Social Media Talent to Business Social Media Talent. I have seen many times that people in roles that require them to manage social media think their personal social media habits work perfectly for the brand social channels - wrong. This is a huge mistake that is one of the main reasons why company social media channels are failing. Don't let these 25 mistakes above cool-off your social media efforts. Stay away from them, and your social media traffic will soon be heating up, even more than a squelching late-Summer afternoon.