It seems like every week a new social media platform is born. Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest...the list goes on. Every platform has its own norms, rules of conduct and audience. This is just one of the reasons why so many advisers are hesitant to join social media. And when they do, they don’t see the results they were expecting. To help you on your journey to social media mastery, avoid these four major social mistakes.

Image: Bloomberg News

1. Worrying About Posting Too Much.

A vast majority of advisers worry about overwhelming their audience and saturating their social media feeds with irrelevant content. While this is a valid concern in some cases, the majority of advisers aren’t at risk of posting too much.

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You’ll see greater results with 50 engaged and active followers than 10,000 uninterested strangers and spam accounts.

First, consider what too much looks like to you. One of the beauties (and possible curses) of social media is that every user is different. That means that one individual may think one post a week is too much, while others post several times each day. As a general rule, Twitter users post continuously throughout the day — as much as several tweets per hour. Facebook and LinkedIn users are more likely to post once each day or a few times per week. That being said, the actual amount that you post will depend on how much content you have and how high-touch you want your outreach to be.

More important is your cadence. Cadence is how regularly you post and your posting pattern on which your followers can count. It’s more important to maintain a rhythm rather than try to stick to social media rules for posting. Prospects would rather engage with an adviser who consistently posts twice a week on Facebook than someone who posts every day one week and then disappears for the next month.

2. Focusing on Gaining Followers

We all want to get noticed. If you’ve worked hard on your content marketing, you may assume that the more followers you have, the better. However, a good content marketing strategy is about more than just the numbers. You’ll see greater results with 50 engaged and active followers than 10,000 uninterested strangers and spam accounts.

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It’s more important to maintain a rhythm rather than try to stick to social media rules for posting.

This is a relatively easy habit to kick. There are plenty of ways to find followers who are interested in what you have to say. For example, you can search hashtags on Twitter that relate to your practice, such as #financialadviser or #wealthmanagement. On LinkedIn, you can join groups of like-minded individuals who would appreciate your posts, such as groups focused on maximizing their company 401(k) account, managing a tight budget or retiring early. You can encourage new clients and prospects to connect with you on social media, and your network will evolve into people who value your content.

3. Neglecting a Call to Action or Lead Generation Opportunity.

As gratifying as it may feel to grow your number of followers, it’s more important to motivate your followers to take action. First, establish what your desired call to action is. Do you want your followers to schedule an appointment with you for a portfolio review? Share your posts with their networks? Read your most recent blog post? Too often, advisers see their social media feed as the end goal. This may be the case for aspiring thought leaders, but it’s more likely that you want to motivate your followers to take action in one way or another.

A simple fix is to make it simple to navigate from your social media profiles to your website, which is your marketing hub. A dynamic website houses lead generation forms, a collection of blog posts and other pertinent information. Once on your site, prospective clients can take that next step.

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A compelling and engaging social media profile should feature a 3:2:1 ratio of evergreen, topical and personal content.

4. Being Too Self-Promotional.

Just as your website shouldn’t merely serve as an online brochure, your social media platforms aren’t designed to be an extension of your website or a digital billboard. Advisers may be tempted to post content solely regarding their practice, but this will deter your followers from engaging with you and sharing your posts.

A compelling and engaging social media profile should feature a 3:2:1 ratio of evergreen, topical and personal content. Evergreen content is focused, informative, and educational. It never expires and stays “fresh” longer. Evergreen content is essential to utilize because it makes it easier for you to stay relevant. Topical content relates to a very timely piece, such as a news event, a legislative change that affects financial planning, or another topic that is worthy of exploration at that time. This is your opportunity to dive deeper into the issues that relate most to your specialties or followers’ interests. And lastly, personal content transforms you from a digital stranger to a real person.

By correcting a few common social media mistakes, you’ll have a stronger understanding of what effective social media marketing looks like. Instead of drowning in the web of likes and follows, develop a robust social media marketing strategy for your business and reap the benefits of increased leads and referrals.