If someone tells you social media isn’t important for your brand they’re either being sarcastic, lying to your face or they know nothing about marketing. Today, social media is an integral part of your branding. But have you been posting, tweeting and pinning for the past few months and you’re not seeing the results you so desperately desire? Well, that’s probably because you are making some costly mistakes on social media. Here are four signs you are misusing your social media accounts in the worst way.

1. You #hashtageverything

Hashtags can be tricky. They are meant for Twitter and Instagram, but Google+ is still trying to make them happen and Facebook failed at integrating hashtags all together. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not use hashtags on Facebook and especially not on LinkedIn. Hashtags do not belong on LinkedIn. People will mock you from behind their computer screens if they see you using hashtags in your LinkedIn updates or blog posts. Leave the hashtags to Twitter and Instagram.

So now that you know which social media networks hashtags belong on, you need to know how many are appropriate and what words or phrases you should include in a hashtag. Fun fact, you do not need to create a hashtag for every word you mention in your tweet or Instagram caption. Not necessary. If the number of hashtags in your post exceeds the actual content you have written, you’re in trouble. Do your research beforehand. Actually search the hashtag you want to include and see what pops up. Is the content similar to yours? Is it totally off track? These are things you need to take into consideration before you load up your post with hashtags galore. Find a few key words that are commonly searched and pertain to your content. Honestly, I prefer to only use one broad hashtag on Twitter (sometimes I’ll use more than one if I’m tweeting about something random and am trying to be funny). But on Instagram you can use up to five. Any more than that and you’re post is just going to be a mess of blue hashtags and no one is even going to take the time to read it.

2. You Have Zero Consistency

Sticking to a schedule when it comes to posting on social media is key to a successful social media strategy. You want your followers and fans to be constantly aware of your brand and what you’re working on. If you don’t have a set schedule for posting or sharing on social media you’re not doing it right. I like to use Hootsuite to schedule tweets ahead of time and then sprinkle in some random tweets throughout the day. But when I know there is a steady stream of content being shared on Twitter every single day, I don’t have to worry about it and I can focus on something else. Create tasks for yourself to share on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages as frequently as you would like, but then stick to that schedule. Whether that is twice a day or twice a week, find what works best for you and stick to it.

3. You’re Unresponsive

The whole point of social media is to engage with people who are interested in your business. Ignoring comments or tweets from customers is a big mistake. You need to be responsive. If someone is unhappy they are going to voice their opinion on social media and if you do not acknowledge the situation, other people are going to notice. The same thing goes if someone compliments your business on the outstanding customer service they received. Say thank you! Your customers want to feel appreciated and if they took the time to write a stellar review of your services you should take the time to respond to them. The point of social media is to connect with new people and engage with those who are already fans of your business. Ignoring your followers will turn people away and you definitely don’t want to make that mistake.

4. You only share your own content

While it’s great to promote your own content (i.e. blog posts, special promotions, downloads, etc.), your social media timelines shouldn’t just be a long list of continuous plugs for your business. The Internet is full of information your followers are interested in discovering, so share information from other companies as well. Do you receive a lot of referral business from other companies? Share the love and link to some of their blog posts. Check out what your competitors are doing for inspiration if your social media accounts are feeling a little stale. Share links to community events or volunteer opportunities. Sharing links to information other than your own content makes your social media accounts feel less like a robot and more personable.

If your social media accounts aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for, don’t just delete your accounts in a moment of rage. Step back and make sure you are not misusing your accounts. If you are guilty of committing one of these social media sins, fix it and see what happens. Also, read this post about the steps you should take before posting on social media to really cover your bases.