5 Social Media Mistakes Executives Make (And How To Avoid Them)

February 19, 2013
February 19, 2013 Markitors

Executives are prone to making social media mistakes because of a lack of understanding.

Social Media Mistakes Executives MakeThis post lists out 5 social media mistakes executives commonly and make, with action items on how to avoid making these mistakes.

Lack of A Strategy

Too many executives have created a Twitter account without a social media strategy. Social media is not a website. You can’t set it and forget it. Instead, when executives create their social media profiles, there should be a plan in place that will produce a variety of content to engage followers.

Action item: Develop a social media strategy before you create a Twitter profile, Pinterest account, or Facebook page. The social media strategy should include:

  • Tone and Voice of the executive
  • Digital outreach plan of attack
  • Content schedule
  • Concepts for connecting with customers
  • Tracking your digital success: Key Metrics | Competitors


Executives have a natural tendency to broadcast sales messages on social media. While pitching products can be expected of an executive who promotes their business or themselves online, there has to be a healthy variety of messages to keep your following engaged.

Action item: Make sure that only about 10% of all your outgoing messages are “sales focused.” This will keep your following more engaged, because no one likes to be sold to all the time.

One Way Communication

Social media offers an incredible opportunity to get close to your customers. But, a lot of executives continue to use social media as a one way street. The executives that do use social media as a two way street have more loyal customers and enjoy innovative ideas from their community.

Action itemCheck out Arizona Diamondback President Derrick Hall’s monthly chat that he holds with fans. Then, take a look at how Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band uses Twitter. These are two excellent examples of executives who use social media well.

Consistent Personal Branding

People research executives online before they decide to do business with them. The social media mistakes executives make is not having a consistent brand across their social media channels. If business owners filled out their Linkedin profile completely and developed a consistent bio for Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, they’d improve their personal and company brand.

Action item: Develop a consistent bio that fits into 160 characters. Use the bio for every social media account. Fill out each profile completely with links back to your website, or whatever you’d like to promote. Use the same headshot across all platforms. Make sure things are consistent.

Overestimating The ROI

Another social media mistake executives commonly make is thinking that social media will bring immediate results. In fact, the impact social media has on sales is pretty minimal in most cases. The better reason for being on social media is for branding purposes. Social media has the ability to shape the perception people have about the organization.

Action item: Do a gut check as to why you want to use social media. The fact is, people are curious about the people who make up the company they support. If your motivation to be on social media is to increase the transparency of your company by being visible, then we’d say that’s a good reason to get started.

Markitors is spelled with an “i/o” for input output. We’re an analytical digital marketing agency in Phoenix that blends marketing and auditing to help executives improve their online presence. Contact us to see how Markitors can help create an executive branding strategy for your organization.

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