They say that social media is the new SEO. While that might not be the whole truth, it is safe to say that the power of social media is something to be reckoned with. A staggering 74% of adults are on social media, so it’s no wonder that companies are breaking down the door to get into this lucrative advertising universe.

The problem is that like many other industries, there are many people doing it but few doing it right. Social media is a different animal than what you might be used to, so easy-to-avoid mistakes are commonly made even by seasoned marketing pros. The 3 most common mistakes that we’ve found in our experience are:

  • Dedicating too much time and money to the wrong networks

As a business owner, you often need to make some tough decisions in order to decide where and how your marketing budget is best spent. This is especially true when it comes to your social media strategy. Compare these numbers:

· Women surpass men on Facebook by 10%, on Tumblr by 8%, and Pinterest by 25%
· Women are more likely to interact with brands including showing support, commenting, and accepting offers.
· Women outrank men on all visually-dominated social media sites like Instagram by 5-25%

So if your product is targeted to women or you are selling other visually-enticing goods, you need to defer money from fruitless networks and put it in to places where it can give you the best returns.

On the flip side, a network like Linkedin actually boasts a majority of male users and is less visually oriented. If you have a professional service, a business news outlet, or blog, then you should be concentrating your resources there.

Tip: Analyze which networks are bringing the best ROI, do an analysis of your demographic, and figure out which niche fits your product best.

  • Focusing more on content than on the bait-in ads on Facebook

They say that content is king. Well they are wrong, at least when it comes to your social media marketing ads. The world of social media ads on Facebook requires a well-constructed headline, image, and targeted description. The average CTR (click through rate) is between 2-3%, which means that the few people that are clicking through are probably very interested in what you have, and probably don’t need to be hooked any further. Your goal is to get them to click through.

Tip: When running an ad on Facebook, spend most of your time and money on crafting an ad that will get the right people to click. That is your #1 goal.

  • Not monitoring or engaging fans/commenters

The word-of-mouth effect of large social media networks is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal, and it is almost free. Thank users for positive comments, and show that you care about their negative reviews. Surprisingly, a study showed that positive news circulated much more quickly than negative news. When you provide a great experience and follow it with helpful, friendly, and personal reactions via social media, this creates a great customer experience.

Tips: Don’t just create your social media pages and campaigns, then sit back and simply manage them. Interact with your customers. If they had a bad experience, then rectify it immediately for the world to see. If they had a positive one, then give them sincere thanks and plaster their name all over your page.

Social media, despite being saturated and full of people who really don’t know what they are doing, is still a veritable treasure trove of possibility for businesses. Literally hundreds of millions of people log in daily, sometimes multiple times to find news, interact with friends, and most importantly, to buy things. A well-run campaign is the secret to getting great returns, and by avoiding these 3 common mistakes, that should be well within your grasp.