Are you making these 5 social media mistakesNetiquette – the set of informal, ‘best practices’ of social media behavior that can shift your brand from hero to zero if you’re not careful.

In order to keep your netiquette positive, here are 5 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid:

1. Attempting to be an Expert in Everything

While it’s certainly commendable to present expert, thoroughly researched and supported views in every social media communication you put forth, it’s likely an unattainable goal.

Your friends and followers don’t expect you to be an expert either – they just want something of value from you about the niche that you represent. It’s always okay to say “I don’t know”, even in a Tweet.

2. Providing Vague information about Giveaways

Customers love contests. But be careful – they’ll often assume they’re getting a mile even when you’ve specifically posted that they’ve won an inch!

The problem lies when businesses forget to clearly define the parameters of an offering before they launch the promotion, as evidenced by the misunderstanding that ensued when a spa offered a “Free Massage” as the prize for a lucky commenter on their Facebook Page.

The winner showed up at the spa expecting a 90 minute therapeutic treatment, while the prize had only entitled him to a 15 minute sampler massage. $225 later, the company regretted running the contest and would have saved $200 (and their reputation) by providing a little more detailed information.

3. Trying to Reach Everyone, All the Time

Defining and targeting a specific market segment has always been a difficult task, and the scope and reach of today’s Web environment has made this whittling down process even more challenging.

While contact with people who are searching or “Liking” things directly related to your business can be a positive thing, trying to reach out to and win over an unmanageable number of people can severely damage your online presence.

Instead, consider communicating with no more than a realistically manageable number of new contacts each day.

4.  Trying to be Perfect

The essence of social media is that it’s an organic, casual conversation between interested parties. Not only will over-refining your content give it a sterile, contrived feel, but it’s also a massive waste of your time that could be better spent on analytics or operations.

5. Spending Time That you Simply Don’t Have

There are some amazing new programs out there that will enable you to, among other things, time your content to be released whenever is best for you.

Instead of scheduling dozens of 15 minute sessions for yourself in a week, block out three 1 hour chunks where you will create a ton of posts and tweets , timing their release so that your public receives them at regular intervals or opportune moments.  Check out Sprout Social for the latest in scheduled posting and tons of other social media management features.

What do you say?

Are there other social media stumbles to avoid? Have any social media horror stories you’d care to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below and you could be featured on Fan Friday!