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Random Acts of Kindness? Great. Random Acts of Social? Not so much. Plenty of marketers have spent countless hours on resource-crushing social media tactics without anything to show for it. The analytics might show some activity here and there, but tying those actions back to brand awareness, leads, or loyalty oftentimes proves futile.

That’s because many businesses tend to treat social media as a tactic rather than a strategy. Let’s back up for a minute and look at the difference between the two.

Strategy: Long-term approach that aligns with your overall brand objectives and explains the ‘why’ behind your efforts. Building an engaged community of followers who are loyal to your brand is a strategy.

Tactics: Short-term actions that focus on a single objective. Running a Facebook ad for a discounted offer within a specific radius of your location is a tactic.

When you’re singularly focused on social media tactics, chaos is nearly inevitable. There is a scientific method to the madness that is social media marketing. And it starts with putting an end to those Random Acts of Social that aren’t getting you anywhere.

Here are 5 social media tactics that are a waste of your resources.

Resource-Crushing Social Media Tactic #1: Boosting Posts

You’ve probably heard that you need to put paid media efforts behind organic social media in order to reach a broader audience. And while that’s true, selecting random posts to “boost” or “promote” will only add to the chaos.

Boosting a Facebook post (or promoting an Instagram post or Sponsoring a LinkedIn post) seems like a fast, super simple way to reach a larger audience, but your organic post might not be well suited as an ad. So, while your instincts about needing a mix of organic and paid social media are spot on, the tactics you’re using could be not only a waste of time, but inadvertently hurting your brand. Before you invest in paid social media:

  • Consider your ad objective
  • Know your audience
  • Write your post copy with that audience in mind
  • Keep copy short to avoid truncation
  • Select creative that aligns with your content and your goals.

Let’s talk about goals for a moment. One of the problems many marketers face is knowing how to make sense of social media analytics and using that data to inform strategy.

Filling the editorial calendar is great, but you risk losing followers if you share content that isn’t relevant, timely, and educational (or entertaining). Every social media post should tie back to an objective. Set realistic goals and assign Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to each. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

Goal: Brand Awareness

KPIs: Engagements, impressions, reach, clicks, page views


Goal: Consideration

KPIs: Downloads, calls, trials/demos, time on page


Goal: Purchase

KPIs: Conversions, cost per acquisition


Goal: Loyalty

KPIs: Online reviews, referrals

[Discover 5 Tips for Stronger Paid Social Results]


Resource-Crushing Social Media Tactic #2: Chasing “Likes”

Vanity metrics are an important component of your overall social media analytics, but they should not be your sole focus. An audience of any size that’s engaged (commenting and clicking on, sharing and liking your content and posting reviews) is far more valuable than buying Likes and Followers. That doesn’t mean you can’t run FB Follower ads or Instagram Profile ads. But it does mean that as your follower count grows, you should also see a lift in engagements. These are the consumers who will pay more for your products and services, leave great reviews, and recommend you to their friends,

[Read: When X Doesn’t Equal ROI, Solve For Y]

Resource-Crushing Social Media Tactic #3: Social Shortcuts

You the know the stuff: hitting “retweet” on great content rather than taking the time to add a thought or two about why you’re sharing it. Or clicking the “connect” button on LinkedIn instead of sending a personalized email letting someone know that you’d like to connect – and why. These shortcuts might help you get things done faster, but they’re a waste of your valuable time that could be spent connecting in more meaningful ways.

If you see a post you want to share with your followers, but don’t have time to craft a thoughtful post to go along with it, save it as a ‘draft’ you can come back to later. A social media dashboard makes this much easier. In Sprout Social’s dashboard, you can save posts as a draft on specific dates in your editorial calendar, add notes to remind yourself when to post, collaborate with your team, and set up an approval workflow to catch erroneous typos that tend to happen when we’re moving fast and typing faster.

If you do share third party content, be sure to @mention the source. It’s just good form to give credit where it’s due. And bonus: if you’re not able to @mention in a LinkedIn post, it’s because you’re not connected to that person. This presents a perfect opportunity to build your professional network. Reach out (don’t use your smart phone for this – the app doesn’t allow you to send a message with your connection request) to the author via private message and let them know you plan to share their article and want to give them credit. Chances are good they’ll be appreciative and connect with you.


Resource-Crushing Social Media Tactic #4 Trying To Be Everywhere

Some brands want to have a presence on every social media platform to improve SEO rankings. Others want to be on the latest platform to prove they’re innovative. With multiple platforms to juggle, writing content that aligns with each platform’s audience can be overwhelming. To save time, we end up writing social posts for one platform and then hitting ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ to simplify publishing across all of your profiles. Here’s the problem with that method: each platform has a different audience make-up. And while you can argue that some platforms share common audiences (Facebook and Instagram, for example, or LinkedIn and Twitter)—and this is key—even the same audiences use different platforms for different reasons. What’s more, those reasons can change over time, or in the face of large-scale events, such as an economic crisis or a pandemic. We saw this happen last year and the brands who took the time to understand why and how audiences were leveraging specific social media platforms were able to pivot their messaging and continue adding value.

The lesson? Focus on the platforms where your customers are most active and engaged. And if you identify more than one, get granular about how and why they use the platforms differently so that you can meet their expectations and deliver value wherever they are.

[Here are 5 Ways to Make Your Brand Irresistible]

Resource-Crushing Social Media Tactic#5: Being Chained To Analytics

We can’t rely on gut instincts alone, and why should we when there is so much valuable data at hand? Still, trying to sift through all of it all the time is inefficient. Are your eyes crossing from staring at Google reports or graphs of retweets and mentions? Can you recite your influence and engagement levels in your sleep? Give yourself permission to step away from the analytics and immerse yourself in engagement.

  • Start conversations
  • Share valuable content
  • Comment on other posts
  • Say “hello” to new followers

Enjoy the social space and when you do check your analytics again, you might be surprised at the rise in all of those numbers.

Managing your brand’s social media profiles can be daunting and time consuming, but with some expert guidance you can avoid time wasters and budget crushers and build a stronger social media presence that leads to a healthier bottom line for your business. Interested? Have we got an offer for you!

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