A few years ago social media was the new business frontier, strange as a faraway galaxy featured in your favorite Sci-Fi movie. Fast forward to the present, and social media is now the norm rather than a cool cutting edge exception.

Considering there really are no excuses for not being in the social media game, you need to get out there and start selling your business on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. But before you start Tweeting and Facebooking in hopes of pushing your profits to record levels, keep the following social media mistakes in mind.

  1.    Avoiding social media altogether

You’re probably thinking “I’ve got a great way to circumvent social media mistakes, I will just sit out this silly technology.” That’s a major mistake. Even if you do the bare minimum, it’s better than avoiding social media completely. Have a presence on LinkedIn, start a Facebook page and open a Twitter account. Don’t place too much pressure on yourself. Do what you can for the time being. Consider getting some outsourced help or employee to be your guide.

  1.    Hiring someone who doesn’t understand your brand

Social media is where you can differentiate yourself from your competitors to be unique. If you hire someone else to handle your social media accounts, make sure they comprehend your brand backwards and forwards. They need to know the exact message you want to convey and the tone in which you want it expressed. Outsourcing your social media isn’t a bad idea, hiring the wrong person is.

  1.    Being a bore

Attempt to be charming, engaging and likeable. Posting boring or repetitive material won’t garner you the right kind of followers — the kind of followers that will purchase from you. Let your hair down and have fun. Know your readers and provide them content that is relevant to them. Your followers will thank you for it.

  1.    Throwing down cash for followers

Paying people to follow you will lead to a dead end. If you post original, entertaining content, you will grow your base of fans organically. Followers who are genuinely interested in your brand will be more likely to spread the word to their friends and family. Many of the mercenary followers will do their job — follow you — but won’t go a whole lot further with their efforts.

  1.    Being a copycat

You have probably heard the saying “Content is king.” Well original content is downright royal while copied content is nothing but a court jester. You want your followers to trust you, tap into your expertise for advice and acknowledge you as an authority in your field. Hijacking someone else’s material does the exact opposite, transforming your social media account into a detriment to your bottom line. If you want your social media efforts to yield positive results, create original, compelling material.

  1.    Ignoring negative feedback

It may not be a walk in the park but when you get negative feedback you have to respond. Make sure your reply is professional and contains pertinent information. Do not use canned responses or anything that may be construed as an uncaring corporate response. Avoid getting into spats with your followers, always take the high road.

  1.    Overselling

You have a great product or service and you are beaming with pride. Sometimes though that pride leads to overselling. Try to mix in a little variety in your updates do not become an obsessive seller. If you post nothing but pitches for your products your followers will eventually tune out. Think of social media as like a cocktail hour, overt selling at a party will lead to loneliness.