If you have never used a social media networking site before, your first time entering the online platform can be pretty overwhelming. The first time I signed up for Facebook, I felt the intense desire to stick my head in the sand and wait for help to arrive. However, in a fast moving society where new social media platforms pop up like daisies in the sun, you can’t really take the time to study the rules of the game before you have to get out there and play it. This is why so many business owners make marketing mistakes left and right. It’s hard to keep up with the rules of a constantly changing market, and social media sites don’t come with their own marketing guide. Luckily, the fans, and your consumers, have helped us to pinpoint the most common mishaps that many business don’t even realize they’re making.

1. Don’t Focus On Numbers

When Facebook had merely thousands of users instead of the 1.5 billion users it has today, numbers meant everything. The more Facebook friends you had, the more popular you were. This isn’t the case anymore. If you have 100 big brand advocates following your page and helping to advertise your business, you’re doing better than John Doe and his business with 1,000 inactive Facebook friends. Big numbers doesn’t equal big business on Facebook anymore. If you buy your followers, the only thing you’ll gain is a tarnished reputation and a dozen dead accounts. With billions of people across dozens of social media platforms, it’s okay to focus on quality, not quantity

2. Don’t Spam

The quickest way to get your advertisements blocked is to start spamming your consumers with nonsense. Spamming your advertisements, phishing, and any other type of misleading and false advertisement is the quickest way to get deleted from the social network.

3. Take Out The Trash

Dozens of companies these days make the mistake of creating multiple social media profiles to advertise their brand, and then leave them inactive. The point here is to make lasting relationships with your consumers. If you’re off to a slow start, don’t give up. Abandoning the project half-way says you’re not committed.

4. Don’t Be A Sitting Duck

The point of social media networking is to be social and network! Invite people to answer questions, offer feedback, and stir up the conversation amongst your current and potential customers. If you never get out there, you won’t get seen. The point is to get out there and connect!

5. Don’t Be Vain

In every post you ever make, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Tumblr, make sure you’re not always talking about you. People are interested in more than what you have to offer. They want to know your business on a personal level. Offer helpful tips and links, provide your followers with your insights, and spark up a real-life conversation with your consumers. This helps you to get more shares and consumer generated content, and increases your fan base.

6. Don’t Copy And Paste Across Platforms

There are dozens of different social media platforms for a reason. While some people enjoy lengthy status updates on Facebook, others may prefer the 140 character limit that Twitter enforces. Some users like to see lengthy blog posts, while others prefer links and pictures. The point is, don’t say the same thing on one platform that you said on another—or at the very least ensure this is not your typical strategy. Cater your posts and updates to fit the platform you’re currently using. You want to give the people what they want so they’ll follow you and generate more traffic to your page.

7. Don’t Be Boring

There are millions of viewers on social networking sites that spend hours a day reading posts and updates. If your company is posting the same quick update by the same person each day, it’s likely your posts will be skipped over every time. If you don’t post often enough, your users might even forget that you are there. Post daily, don’t limit yourself, and change it up each time.

8. Don’t Ignore The Public

Social media marketers use multiple platforms, which can be difficult to keep up with. The problem here is that people need quick responses to feel like they aren’t being ignored. It may be smart to have a team or person who is designated to responding to your fans. If you don’t have an internal team, hire experts who will live and breathe your brand for you online.

9. Don’t Isolate Your Followers

Give your followers somewhere to go. Provide updates and statuses with links to your website. Without direction, your posts will get read, but it is unlikely that someone will go out of the way to search for your website on Google.com.

10. Use Proper Grammar and Avoid Errors

You want to represent your business in the best way possible. Spell check will only get you so far, so double and triple check spelling errors and grammar before you post.

Social media marketing requires you to pay constant attention to changes in websites and trends. Fortunately, there is proven statistical success from using social media platforms as a marketing strategy. If you avoid these common social media mishaps, you should increase your fan base, broaden your viewership, and even get more Facebook “likes” that can boost your marketing efforts.