deadly social media marketing sins

7 Deadly Social Media Marketing Sins

Table of Contents


Once upon a time in the digital realm…

Social Media Marketing was the magical elixir that could solve all the eCommerce marketing strategy woes of CEOs, founders, and marketing gurus.

But, as with any potion concocted by mere mortals, there were bound to be some side effects.

To save your eCommerce purchase funnel from a fate worse than a broken “Buy Now” button…

We’ve identified the 7 deadly sins you must avoid at all costs.

social media marketing

With billions of active users across various platforms, social media offers unprecedented opportunities to reach and engage with potential customers.

In fact, according to a recent study, 54% of social media users discover new products on social platforms, making it an essential avenue for eCommerce growth.

One such success story is that of fashion retailer ASOS.

By leveraging a data-driven approach and consistently engaging with their audience through user-generated content.

ASOS has built a massive social media following and achieved remarkable growth in eCommerce sales.

Their strategic use of social media marketing not only increased brand awareness but also fostered a loyal community of customers and influencer marketing to advocate for the brand.

Moreover, a survey conducted by BigCommerce revealed that 51% of online shoppers make purchases through social media, emphasizing the potential impact of a well-executed social media marketing strategy on an eCommerce business’s bottom line.

However, while the potential rewards of social media marketing are significant, so too are the risks if not managed carefully.

To save your eCommerce DTC brand from a fate worse than a broken “Buy Now” button…

We’ve identified the 7 deadly sins of SMM you must avoid at all costs.

Sin #1: Neglecting Social Media Engagement

The first sin, dear reader, is forsaking social media engagement.

As an eCommerce marketer or shop owner, you may be tempted to focus on creating dazzling content or meticulously planning your posts.

But beware, for marketing to your target audience without engagement is like hosting a party and ignoring your guests.

Take, for instance, the cautionary tale of a once-popular online clothing store.

This brand had amassed a sizable following with their eye-catching visuals and trendy products.

However, they failed to engage with their audience.

Leaving facebook comments and messages unanswered, and rarely sparking any meaningful conversations.

Over time, their once-vibrant community lost interest and moved on to more responsive brands.

On the flip side, consider the success story of Glossier.

A beauty brand that has cultivated a fiercely loyal fan base through its dedication to social media engagement.

By actively responding to comments, reposting user-generated content, and even involving their audience in product development.

Glossier has created a sense of belonging that has translated into a thriving business with a dedicated community of advocates.

To rectify this transgression, start by:

  • Responding to comments and messages in a timely manner
  • Encouraging discussions and asking questions to spark conversation
  • Sharing user-generated content to make your followers feel valued and heard

Remember that genuine engagement builds trust, loyalty, and ultimately, conversions.

By consistently interacting with your audience, you’ll foster strong relationships and create a community of brand advocates who’ll happily spread the word about your eCommerce brand.

Sin #2: Overindulging in Social Media Advertising

Ah, the sweet temptation of social media advertising.

While investing in paid social ads is indeed a crucial component of a well-rounded social media plan, excessive indulgence can lead to diminishing returns and an empty wallet.

Let’s take a look at a real-life example:

Bob’s Boutique, a small eCommerce store selling handmade jewelry, had a modest advertising budget.

social media engagement

Eager to see quick results.

Bob allocated his entire budget to Facebook ads.

Promoting every single product in his store.

Sure, he gained some visibility, but his audience soon grew weary of the constant ads in their feed.

Then there was Suzy’s Chic Boutique.

Another small eCommerce store selling similar products.

Suzy decided to be more strategic with her advertising budget.

She carefully selected a few high-ROI campaigns to promote her best-selling items and limited-time offers.

To keep her audience engaged, she also shared organic content.

Such as behind-the-scenes looks at her creative process and user-generated photos of happy customers wearing her jewelry.

The result?

Suzy saw a significant increase in sales and customer engagement.

While Bob’s Boutique struggled to maintain its relevance in the crowded digital marketplace.

To maintain balance, make sure to:

  • Allocate your advertising budget wisely, focusing on high-ROI campaigns
  • Continuously test and optimize ad creative and targeting
  • Blend organic content with paid promotions to keep your audience engaged and entertained

By being strategic with your social media advertising, you’ll reach the right audience at the right time, without breaking the bank.

Sin #3: Winging It Without a Social Media Plan

Launching into the social media marketing fray without a plan is akin to setting sail on the high seas without a map.

Sure, you might stumble upon an island of engagement, but more likely, you’ll find yourself adrift in a sea of wasted time and resources.

Let’s dive into a cautionary tale:

Meet Tom.

The owner of Tom’s Tech Toys, an eCommerce store specializing in gadgets and gizmos.

Tom decided to try his luck on social media without a plan, posting sporadically and without direction.

His content was all over the place, and his audience had no idea what to expect or when.

On the flip side, there’s Sally.

The owner of Sally’s Savvy Tech, a similar eCommerce store.

social media plan

Sally took the time to develop a clear social media plan, outlining her goals.

Creating a content calendar, and regularly reviewing analytics to refine her omnichannel strategy.

Her audience knew what to expect and eagerly awaited her informative and engaging posts.

The outcome?

Sally’s Savvy Tech gained a loyal following and increased sales, while Tom’s Tech Toys languished in obscurity.

To chart a course for success, develop a social media plan that includes:

  • Clearly defined goals and KPIs A content calendar with a mix of promotional, educational, and entertaining content
  • Regular analytics reviews to monitor progress and make data-driven decisions

Having a solid plan in place not only keeps you organized and focused but also helps you measure and optimize your social media marketing efforts over time.

Sin #4: Ignoring Social Media Optimization

Think of social media optimization as the secret sauce that catapults your content into the stratosphere.

Neglecting it is like cooking a five-star meal and forgetting the seasoning.

Picture this:

Joe’s Fitness Gear.

An eCommerce store selling workout equipment, set up profiles on various social media platforms but failed to optimize them.

Joe’s content, while well-crafted, got lost in the algorithm due to lack of optimization.

Potential customers struggled to find Joe’s Fitness Gear, and engagement remained low.

Now, consider Jane’s Gym Gear.

A competing eCommerce store.

social media optimization

Jane optimized her profiles with relevant keywords, utilized platform-specific features, and monitored analytics to refine her strategy.

Her content reached more users, and her store enjoyed increased visibility and engagement.

To add flavor to your social media marketing efforts, make sure to:

  • Optimize your profiles with relevant keywords and calls to action
  • Utilize platform-specific features, such as Instagram Stories or LinkedIn polls, to boost visibility
  • Monitor analytics to identify optimal posting times and content types

By optimizing your social media presence, you’ll increase your chances of reaching your target audience and maximizing engagement.

Sin #5: Treating All Platforms Equally

While it’s important to maintain a presence across various social media platforms, not all channels are created equal when it comes to eCommerce sales.

Treating them as such is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it simply won’t work.

Meet Bob, the owner of Bob’s Trendy Threads.

An eCommerce store selling stylish clothing.

Bob assumed that every social media platform was equally valuable for his business and posted identical content marketing across all channels.

As a result, his Pinterest followers were unimpressed with his text-heavy posts, while his LinkedIn audience found his fashion tips irrelevant.

Conversely, Lisa…

The owner of Lisa’s Chic Boutique, took the time to understand the nuances of each platform.

social media advertising

She created visually appealing pins for Pinterest, targeted career-oriented fashion tips for LinkedIn, and shared behind-the-scenes content on Instagram.

The outcome?

Lisa’s Chic Boutique saw increased engagement and sales, while Bob’s Trendy Threads struggled to gain traction.

To avoid this pitfall, be sure to:

  • Identify the platforms where your target audience is most active and engaged
  • Tailor your content to each platform’s unique features and audience preferences
  • Allocate your resources according to platform performance and potential ROI

By customizing your approach for each platform, you’ll maximize your social media marketing impact and drive better results for your eCommerce business.

In the ever-changing world of SMM, staying current is not just a virtue – it’s a necessity.

Failing to adapt to new trends and features is like driving a horse and buggy on the information superhighway.

Picture Sam.

The owner of Sam’s Sneaker Shack.

Who stubbornly refused to adapt his social media marketing to new trends.

He missed out on the rise of TikTok, losing potential visibility and engagement as his competitors embraced the platform’s short-form video content.

On the other hand, there’s Amy.

The owner of Amy’s Awesome Kicks.

social media marketing strategy

Amy eagerly adopted emerging social media trends, including creating engaging TikTok videos and exploring Instagram Reels.

Her willingness to adapt helped her stay ahead of the competition and reach new customers.

To stay ahead of the curve, make sure to:

  • Regularly research and experiment with emerging trends, such as new formats or platform features
  • Monitor industry news and competitor activity for insights and inspiration
  • Participate in relevant online communities to stay informed and connected

By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices, you’ll ensure your social media marketing strategy remains fresh, relevant, and effective.

Sin #7: Neglecting to Measure and Analyze Performance

The final deadly sin is turning a blind eye to the fruits (or lack thereof) of your social media marketing labors.

Without proper measurement and analysis, you risk sailing your eCommerce ship straight into the rocks of irrelevance.

Consider the story of John.

Who ran a thriving eCommerce store selling unique home decor items.

John spent hours creating and posting content on various social media channels but never bothered to measure the results.

Consequently, he had no idea which posts drove traffic to his website or influenced purchasing decisions.

In contrast, Jane

A savvy marketer for a competing home decor store, religiously tracked her social media efforts.

She used Google Analytics and native platform insights to monitor engagement, traffic, and conversions.

By analyzing this data, Jane discovered that certain types of posts consistently outperformed others, and she optimized her strategy accordingly.

The result?

Jane’s eCommerce store experienced a surge in traffic, engagement, and sales, while John’s store stagnated.

To avoid this catastrophic fate, commit to:

  • Setting up proper tracking and reporting tools, such as Google Analytics or native platform insights
  • Regularly reviewing your data to identify what’s working and what’s not
  • Adjusting your strategy based on your findings, and continuously optimizing your efforts

By measuring and analyzing your performance, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions that help you achieve your social media marketing goals and drive success for your eCommerce brand.

Repenting for Your Marketing Sins

Now that you’re aware of the 7 deadly sins, it’s time to repent and seek redemption for your past missteps.

Fear not!

For there is a path to salvation and it begins with making amends and improving your efforts.

Follow these steps to find your way back to the righteous path of social media success:

  1. Conduct a Social Media Audit: Begin by taking stock of your current social media presence. Evaluate your profiles, content, and performance across all platforms. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Set SMART Goals: Establish Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals for your social media marketing efforts. These goals will serve as a guide and a benchmark for evaluating your progress and success.
  3. Leverage Analytics: Use analytics tools like Google Analytics and native platform insights to monitor and evaluate your social media performance. Analyze your data to understand which content resonates with your audience, drives traffic, and converts visitors into customers.
  4. Create a Content Strategy: Develop a content strategy that caters to your target audience and aligns with your goals. Plan a mix of promotional, educational, and entertaining content. Maintain a content calendar to help you stay organized and consistent.
  5. Optimize Your Profiles: Ensure that your social media profiles are complete, up-to-date, and optimized with relevant keywords, calls to action, and links to your website.
  6. Engage with Your Audience: Prioritize social media engagement by responding to comments and messages, encouraging discussions, and sharing user-generated content. Genuine engagement fosters trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to conversions.
  7. Stay Current with Trends: Keep an eye on emerging trends, platform features, and industry news to ensure that your social media marketing strategy remains fresh and relevant.

By following these steps and repenting for your marketing sins.

And, you’ll find yourself on the path to redemption and success.

Embrace the lessons learned and continuously optimize your efforts, and your eCommerce business will thrive in the digital realm.


And there you have it.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you’ll not only save your brands soul from eternal damnation.

BUT you’ll also set yourself up for divine success in the digital marketing realm.

So, don your marketing halo and prepare to ascend the heavenly heights of social media marketing glory.

And remember…

With great power (or, in this case, great marketing strategies) comes great responsibility.

Use your newfound knowledge wisely, and your eCommerce empire will surely prosper.

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Sam sprague
Sam Sprague

Founder @ Sprague Media.
I'm the one who comes up with all this snarky & cynical Marketing nonsense ;)
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