One of the greatest things about social media marketing is its ease and accessibility. It won’t take you long to establish a profile on your chosen platform, and to start posting updates. Platforms like Facebook even offer a comprehensive advertisement program, whereby business owners can run ad campaigns without a large investment of time or money.

But beware… looks can be deceptive. Yes, it appears easy to start up a social media profile (and technically it is), but using the tools correctly is another story. Remember, everything you post on social media can be viewed by your target demographic. So, while organizing your social media campaign responsibly can be rewarding, accidental blunders can likewise be costly.

Here are the top 5 social media marketing blunders that you should avoid:

Spamming your subscribers
You know that feeling you get when you open your mailbox to find stacks of promotional materials every single day? That’s how your email subscribers might react if you overdo your sales pitch. It’s important to strike a good balance between educational messages and sales “call to action” messages.

Too much self-promotion
Remember that the primary reason people use social media is to access entertainment and useful information. If all of your posts come off as self-promotion, rather than providing relevant or helpful content, you will find yourself quickly muted and ignored by followers.

Neglecting to use a schedule
The world of social media moves fast, with users bombarded with new information. So without overwhelming them, you do want to appear regularly and consistently in their news feeds. The best way to accomplish this goal is to use a schedule to plan out your posts.

Sharing only your own posts
Only sharing your own updates looks a bit self-promotional, and it limits your audience. Strive to share useful or entertaining content from a variety of relevant sources. Doing this will help you to broaden your audience, and you will come off as an involved participant rather than simply a salesman.

Ignoring comments, shares, and likes
Each comment, share, or like is an opportunity to interact with your target audience. In fact, this interaction is exactly how you turn your social media campaign into profits. Take the time to reply to questions and comments, crack a joke or two, and thank your audience for their likes and shares.

People like to do business with those they know, and social media gives you the opportunity to forge these relationships. Treat social media as you would a real-life gathering, by avoiding obnoxious messaging, interacting with a diverse crowd, and using friendly manners. As these relationships grow, so will your business.