Did you know that social media is really like having a casual conversation with your neighbors. It’s also like getting that unexpected Skype message or phone call from a friend that just wants to find out whats going on. It’s a communication medium that you can use to be conversational online. With this said, many companies entering the social web simply gets it wrong from the start and treats it as a one way communication medium.

Here’s a couple of common social media marketing mistakes that you should try to avoid at all costs.

Promoting your own content: Not providing any value and only promoting your own content is a big mistake on the social web. As you enter the social media arena it’s all about engagement and the conversation going on. We all see people going onto Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ just spending all their energy on themselves. This is a sure way to get people to turn away.

Not listening: Social media is all about engagement. This means that two or more people are busy interacting and listening to what is being said. If your focus is on promoting your own content and broadcasting, then you are not yet at a social media level to succeed in this area. Building relationships requires you to understand and listen.

Over controlling your presence: Never try to over control your own point of view. One of your objectives is to listen, understand, and build trust on the social web. Yes it’s natural to voice your own opinion, but avoid offending and criticizing. Interact and make your personality show.

Valuable update: Don’t update your social media profiles every minute of the day. I really don’t care what you had for lunch or that you are going to the toilet now. Provide valuable updates that your target audience will find entertaining and interesting. This can also help spark a conversation and help you build relationships.

Don’t give up: The social web is all about sustaining and creating relationships. It takes effort and time and doesn’t happen over night. Be prepared that when you start with social media, it’s a long journey to get good results.