5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2019

You’d think by now that, given how long* social media has been with us, we’d have mastered the medium already.

*The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created more than twenty years ago, in 1997; MySpace dates back to 2003; and Facebook followed soon after, in 2004.

Alas, there are still plenty of errors that marketers are likely to make along the way, even in 2019.

Here are the top five most common mistakes that businesses (in New Zealand and elsewhere) are still likely to make:

1 Only Talking About Yourself

There’s a time and place for bragging about yourself and your products but, mostly, social media ain’t that place. If you’re not serving up interesting, relevant, noteworthy content on your social media platforms, you’re simply calling out to be unfollowed.

As WeCan Mag notes:

If all you do is post spammy sales pitches non-stop, you’re wasting your potential. People see ads all day long — from the time they wake up and turn on the TV or check their phones to the time they go to sleep when the day is done.

Understandably, people are sick of promotional material. Instead, think about the pain points your customers deal with and address those with content meant to solve their problems.

2 Targeting the Wrong Audience

The really GREAT thing about paid advertising on social media networks is that you can finely target your audience. Only want NZ women aged 20-30 to see your advertisements? Select your prospects accordingly.

The really BAD thing about paid advertising on social media networks is that you can finely target your audience. If you don’t really know who’s buying your products, you might end up defining your audience incorrectly and pouring your advertising expenditure down the drain.

For example, women are often the primary purchase influencers (and in many cases dominant decision-makers) on men’s clothing, deodorants and other seemingly-gender-specific products. Market at males and you could be wasting your time.

You should also consider your choice of social network carefully. Facebook and Instagram dominate social media usage in New Zealand, but their appeal isn’t the same across all age groups:

Potential NZ Reach by Age Group as at February 2019 (Source: Facebook/Instagram)

3 Focussing on Vanity Metrics

When you aren’t measuring anything meaningful, it’s comforting to count up the number of followers you have, or the number of likes you’ve gathered, and think you’re succeeding in social media.

Unfortunately, those sorts of vanity metrics don’t mean anything. You need to drill more deeply, as this table from Plexxie shows:

4 #Too #Many #Hashtags

Hashtags are a handy tool on most social media sites. They get people who are already talking about things relevant to your business to notice you. A carefully-chosen hashtag can be a great way to bring the right people to your page.

However, as Plexxie observes:

Overcrowding your post with hashtags is setting yourself up to be that guy at the bar who says too much of all the wrong things. He is either ignored, ridiculed or thrown out. Don’t be that guy.

From our experience, 20 to 30 relatable hashtags on a post max.

5 Too Much Automation

Automation can be extremely useful for managing your social media management efforts, but don’t go overboard. As Rock Ridge Media points out:

Automation can be quite good for social media marketing, but it needs to be incorporated into a larger campaign strategy. If you are constantly using automated link posting, this will give your followers the impression that you’re spamming them, which doesn’t do much for your customer trust or engagement.

Automation can be used to boost your marketing efforts and alleviate some of the work for your team, but it should be used sparingly. Also, automation is detrimental if it’s done at random, so be sure any automated tasks you have are on a consistent schedule.

Effective social media marketing requires the right knowledge, tools, tips and techniques to help you get noticed and to encourage your audience to engage with you and your brand.

That’s where we can help.

We have a number of social media marketing courses available already but, in recognition of the combined strengths of Facebook and Instagram, we’ve taken the best of our popular Facebook and Instagram courses, and blended them together into a powerful thirteen-part Mastering Facebook and Instagram Marketing online training course.

This combined will bring you up to speed with what’s required to make your social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram really work for you in 2019.

Here’s what the Mastering Facebook and Instagram Marketing online training course covers:



In this first lesson we invite you to audit your current Facebook presence. Who have you attracted so far to your Facebook page, how much are they interacting with you and what do they get to see when they arrive at your Facebook Fan Page anyway? Then we show you some of the ways that leading brands and organisations have set themselves up on Facebook and identify the key elements you’ll need to include if you want to increase your success on Facebook. You may even find yourself rethinking your current Facebook activity entirely.


Know anything about Facebook’s algorithms? These not-very-well-known formulae determine exactly how visible you are on Facebook, especially to those who say they like you. We peek under the covers and show you exactly what you need to do to prosper under the algorithms — and how important it is to engage in particular ways with your fans and followers. A word of advice: don’t post anything more to Facebook until you’ve completed Lesson Two.


“Viral” is one of those magic qualities to which most marketers aspire. Alas, many are called but few are chosen. In this lesson we look at the principles behind some of the most effective viral campaigns of recent time — and show you how to harness those concepts to reach out to influencers and consumers alike. We’ll also discuss how you can (legally and legitimately!) make Other Peoples’ Content actually work for you!


The biggest challenge for any business using Facebook pages these days? Creating Facebook posts that get noticed and get shared.

So this lesson tackles this problem head on, identifies the secrets of effective Facebook posts and shows you exactly what you need to do to stand out on Facebook.


Even with what you’ve learned in Lesson Four about creating effective Facebook posts, you’ll still need to master the art of paid Facebook advertising — that’s just the reality of social media marketing these days. In this lesson we explore what you need to know to achieve significant success promoting your organisation on Facebook.


There’s a whole lot more to social shopping than just offering a drop-dead, deeply discounted deal and ending up with bargain shoppers who won’t spend a penny more than their coupons allow. We take a serious look at some of the best practices in this space and identify smart ways to help your customers spend more of their hard-earned money with you. Along the way we’ll discuss pre-commerce, augmented recommendations and how to turn existing customers into advocated (without them having to do anything). And we also take a look at Facebook Apps and how they can be of use to you.


Lesson Seven: Getting Established on Instagram

In this lesson, we discuss how important both pictures and video have become when it comes to getting noticed. We then explore the specifics of Instagram, including its background, the demographic profile of those most likely to use the social medium and how Kiwis are using  Instagram.

We also look at some of the leading Kiwi Instagram practitioners (a topic which we will return to in more detail later in the course) and how they are using Instagram effectively.

Lesson Seven includes:

  • The Power of Pictures
  • Instagram: a History
  • Who Uses Instagram
  • Instagram in NZ
  • Your Ideal Instagram User Name
  • Your Optimised Profile Picture
  • What You Should Feature in Your Instagram Bio

Lesson Eight: Instagram for Business

Do consumers actually connect to businesses on Instagram? Yes, according to at least one study, 80% of users follow brands on the Instagram platform.

Why? The usual reasons that consumers give:

  • they like the brand and want to show their support
  • they want deals and discounts
  • they like to receive insider knowledge about the brand
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

In Lesson Eight we discuss how to set yourself up with a Business Account on Instagram, we show you the stats on the percentage of businesses currently using Instagram, and we reveal some of New Zealand’s most popular brands on the platform.

Lesson Eight covers:

  • Setting Up a Business Account on Instagram
  • What You Need to Know about Instagram Stories
  • New Zealand brands on Instagram
  • What you need to know about Instagram Shopping


Lesson Nine: Posting to Instagram

Why do some Instagram posts go massively viral (effortlessly, it seems) whilst others are just meh? We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to, identifying more than a dozen secrets of powerful Instagram photos and videos.

We also discuss the best ways to attract followers, and how to really engage with them.

Lesson Nine features:

  • The Most Effective Instagram Creative Approaches
  • The comparative effectiveness of photos vs. videos
  • The photo content types that attract 38% more likes
  • Posting Mistakes to Avoid
  • How often you should post
  • The strategic importance of Location Tagging
  • The power of emojis
  • How to Set Up and Use Instagram Live


Lesson Ten: Hashtags

Hashtags are the lifeblood of Instagram. They’re the equivalent of keywords on Instagram, except even more so: they’re a way of getting found, a rallying point for people, brands and causes and a way to reach out to your constituency in a highly-targeted and shareable manner.

In this lesson, we examine the hashtag phenomenon, show you how brands and leading Instagrammers are using them effectively and help you to identify the best hashtags for your products and services.

Lesson Ten includes:

  • Optimising Hashtag Usage
  • Choosing Hashtags
  • Hiding Hashtags
  • The ideal number of Hashtags on each post
  • How to Follow Hashtags (and encourage others to do so)


Lesson Eleven: Instagram Advertising

If you want to take full advantage of Instagram, then at some point you will find yourself buying advertising on the platform.

Lesson Eleven to the rescue, with the key facts you need to know about advertising on Instagram, to ensure that you achieve maximum effectiveness.

Lesson Eleven outlines:

  • The Mechanics of Instagram Advertising
  • Instagram Advertising Options
  • Best practices for using video in Instagram ads
  • Boosting Instagram posts
  • Effective Targeting
  • Using Facebook Ads Manager


Lesson Twelve: Instagram Influencers

Did you know that 78% of social influencers prefer to partner with brands through Instagram, according to recent research?

That statistic makes it more important than ever to learn how to use Instagram effectively.

In this lesson, we talk about how to use Influencer Marketing effectively (and monitor results) and also sound some alarms to ensure that your influencers comply with their legal obligations.

In Lesson Twelve, you’ll also learn:

  • Why Use Influencer Marketing
  • Most Effective Influencer Marketing Strategies
  • Finding Kiwi Influencers
  • Notifications and Disclaimers you MUST use
  • Influencer Marketing Measurement & ROI


Lesson Thirteen: Instagram Tips, Trends, Tools

Finally, we cover some of the key tips and techniques that you need to know about to make the most effective use of Instagram, along with some of the recent Instagram developments and new feature testing.

In Lesson Thirteen, we cover:

  • Identifying the best times to upload to Instagram
  • How to Remove Inappropriate Instagram Comments
  • What you need to know about Instagram Rights Manager
  • The Best Instagram Tools
  • Instagram Trends to Note


Any Kiwi marketer, or anyone who is responsible for marketing for their organisation, who is considering using Instagram or Facebook (or probably both) to promote their products/services.



Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
  • I found this course fantastic, i started off knowing very little about facebook (just how to run my own personal page) to now having a thorough understanding of ALL the things you can (and there is a lot). The course format was great and allowed knowledge to be built up over time. Course length was great and this will definetly be something i come back to constantly as we develop our facebook pages more within my company. Aleisha H
  • I have really enjoyed the course and the way it was structured. It was informative and interesting – liked the way you incorporated slide-shows, video, statistics and different forms of media to provide information. Lisa C



This online training course begins on Wednesday 24 July, 2024.



If you were to take the Facebook and Instagram courses separately, it would cost you up to $1194+GST. Sign up for this combined thirteen-part Mastering Facebook and Instagram Marketing course and pay just $897+GST. However we offer a $100 Early Bird Discount — the course is just $797+GST for bookings made and payment received by Wednesday 17 July, 2024


Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this Mastering Facebook and Instagram Marketing course and SAVE $100, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

Register Now for the next course

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to bookings@socialmedia.org.nz with your requirements.


You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Mastering Facebook and Instagram Marketing online training course.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at info@socialmedia.org.nz

Michael Carney Written by: