Making mistakes as a social media marketer is SCARY to admit.

But there’s good learning that comes from it – so I want to share what I learned from those mistakes so you don’t have to.

Let’s get started…

Here are 6 Mistakes I made as a new Social Media Marketer and how you can avoid making them yourself.

Mistake #1: Thinking I’m using the wrong scheduling tools

I used to think: “I’m not growing on Instagram because I’m using the wrong social media scheduling tools.”

The reality is this: It doesn’t matter which social media scheduling tool you use.

Based on my experience, they more or less have the same features that include: scheduling, calendar view and basic analytics. If you want more advanced tools for engagement and detailed post insights, you’ll typically have to opt for a paid plan.


After all, it’s the content you share and how you interact with your audience that helps you grow. Try a few planning tools to find out which one you like to use and stick to it.

If you’re a beginner, I’d advise you to start with FB Creator Studio.

Want something better that includes detailed analytics? Check out my current social media scheduling tool of choice: Pallyy.

Mistake #2: I focused too much on my clients and didn’t set goals for my marketing

Most new social media managers think that creating content is an easy way to earn freelance income.

And you’re not wrong.

Starting an agency is one of the easiest businesses – it doesn’t cost a lot and you don’t need any special skills nor qualifications.

But that doesn’t mean that you can skip having a business plan altogether.

I often find that new marketers focus too much on planning their clients’ goals and forget about planning their own goals.

An effective marketing strategy always starts with setting goals.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before your start:

  • What do you want to achieve from social media marketing?
  • Who are the people you’re trying to attract to your profile?
  • What do you want your audience to do after they consume your content? (eg. visit website? leave a comment?)
  • Where do you want to be in 6 months’ time?
crop unrecognizable woman writing goals for upcoming year in notepad
Photo by Marko Klaric on Pexels.com

When you plan your goals you’re going to find it easier to come up with content ideas and choose the right metrics to track your performance.

For example:

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, a good metric would be the no. of clicks on links to website.

If your goal is to increase engagement rate, you need to track the no. of comments, likes, etc.

Over time I realised it’s super important to plan your business goals.

So I wrote a few articles on setting goals and crafting social media strategies.

Learn more about setting SMART goals for social media in this post.

Mistake #3: Not following a process for creating content

Staying organized in your work as a social media manager can help you save time.

Since your no.1 limitation to growing your social media business is – time! – you should learn how to work efficiently from the start.

Over time, I have learned that planning my month in advance is what works for me best.

For example, each week I allocate 1 day for content research and coming up with ideas for blog articles and social media posts. I also allocate days for CEO tasks (like invoicing, billing, etc), content creation, video editing, client calls, etc.

Tip: Working in batches at a time and using productivity tools and apps can also help you stay organized and work smarter.

You can learn more about my favourite apps, tools and how I organize my month to save more time in this post.

Mistake #4: Focusing on pretty visuals but forgetting about copy

We all love seeing pretty pictures on social media – especially on Instagram.

But beautiful images without a story usually don’t perform so well – and it would be a waste for people not to notice your hard work.

That’s why you need to learn a few caption writing techniques in this guide.

I usually create and save my caption into templates based on different content formats:

  • Captions for promotions
  • Captions for telling a personal story
  • Captions for sharing 3 tips
  • Captions for memes
  • Captions for sharing link to blog post

Pro tip: If you only have time to learn 1 caption writing technique, I would suggest you learn about AIDA (attention-interest-desire-action) method.

Mistake #5: Not having a portfolio of past work

Now that you’ve had your first freelance job, you’re excited to work with more brands.

But you forget to create a portfolio of your past work.

And this is one of the mistakes I made as a new social media marketer.

Now I regret it because the first few brands I worked with (more than 3 years ago) have since changed their name, website domain, and logos and I cannot find links to my work anymore.

That’s why my advice is to take screenshots and save them into an online portfolio.

I save my past projects in a case study format on my website.

You can see an example here:

Social Mediaa Services for ACG TAX SERVICE
https://alexandraceambur.com/portfolio/acg-tax-service/

Client portfolios can include the following:

  • Screenshots of graphics I created
  • Screenshots of captions
  • Screenshots of insights (analytics)
  • URL links (if project is live)
  • A short testimonial from your client
  • A description of services you provided them
  • Achievements (growth)

Mistake #6: Not investing in branding

If you’re like me, you may think that paying for a professional logo, brand colors and identity is not necessary for startups.

BIG mistake!

I used to think that my face is enough for people to recognize me and want to work with me.

But as the competition is growing on social media, you need to find ways to stand out and be recognizable as a brand. With no clear branding, I struggled to form a strong visual identity and it led me to continuously reinvent myself – changing my colors and fonts every few months.

And as I expanded to more social media platforms, I found it difficult to keep up.

Eventually, investing in a logo and brand palette has really helped me save more time and have a consistent image across all platforms.

The Takeaway – Mistakes I Made as a Social Media Marketer

The takeaway is – we all make mistakes.

Starting a career in social media marketing involves a lot of learning as you go. But if you’re able to lay out a proper strategy from the start you’ll it easier to reach your goals and grow a successful business.

These are some of the mistakes I made as a social media marketer.

There are many others – but might share again in another post!

Your turn: What is a mistake you made in your business that has taught you a valuable lesson?