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Social media has become an important component of a company’s online marketing strategy. Most companies today have a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page. These are great ways to keep in touch with customers and attract prospects; however, social media beginners tend to make the following common mistakes on their companies’ social media pages, which can be easily avoided with a little attention:

Promoting the company too much. There will always be a good dose of self promotion, but problems arise when everything you post on your social sites is nothing but promotional updates. The point of having a social media page is so that you can interact with people, answer people’s questions and personalize your brand identity. If you constantly spam your customers with promotional material, they will eventually lose interest and un-follow you. So, make sure to add content, related to your product or service, that your customers will find valuable, in addition to information that is directly and/or solely related to your product.

Just posting information, but never really interacting with followers. You have to converse with your followers, which means you have to reply to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn comments. Be professional and timely in your responses. Engage with your followers; don’t just run Q&A sessions. You can almost treat your Facebook and Twitter profiles as customer service platforms.

Not knowing what to do with negative comments and ignoring them. If you do this, you’re indirectly telling your customers that you don’t care about what they have to say. Good social media users see this as an opportunity to serve their customers even better and win them over. If you engage in regular conversations with your customers, you will come across good and bad ones. So, accept it, don’t ignore or delete it, and use it to improve your product and/or service in the future.

Not having a social media plan. A lot of companies these days jump into social media without a real plan or a marketing strategy to execute that plan. Don’t just ask someone who’s skilled with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to manage your social media efforts. Experts can help you understand these platforms better, but they might not be the best people to carry out a social media campaign for your company. Also, remember that everything on the internet is permanent, so before you deep dive into it, make sure to think through your plan, determine if you need to hire someone to manage your accounts and go in with some idea about the type of content you want to share with your networks. A good plan will help you stay focused on your goals, even when you are trying out new things.

Getting too up and personal. Just because it’s Twitter or Facebook doesn’t mean you can post updates about anything and everything. Keep it friendly and professional. If you’re not sure about something, just keep it work related.

Check out Forbes’ The Best-Ever Social Media Campaigns.