Are your Facebook followers leaving your pages in droves? Are you struggling to gain new followers? Perhaps you have thousands of fans, but your posts are barely getting a handful of likes?

What are you doing wrong? Check these common mistakes to ensure you aren't committing social media sins and compromising your marketing potential.

Paying to grow your likes

Patience is a virtue and one some social media managers do not possess. There are no sure and fast shortcuts. Social media companies that promise to boost your likes are renowned for using underhand tactics and fake profiles. Aim for quality, not quantity. Adding a huge influx of followers to your page won't help improve your level of interaction on your page and it will skew you potential for making a post go viral. Fake profiles won't be contributing anything of value to your channel.

Listen to your followers

Your followers on your pages can tell you a lot about the content you post without even saying a word. The like, share and retweet buttons say it all. A non-profit who gives a shout-out to another business for their help may be the polite thing to do as a way of acknowledgment, but if it's being met with little to no response by the people following you - stop doing it. What is being shared, liked and commented on is a good way to judge what kind of content your fans want to see. Don't be afraid to experiment a little, because what works for one company, may not work for you.

Know the difference between controversial and offensive

A good controversial post is the key to getting good engagement on your page. If your followers are passionate about the topic, they will have an opinion. However there can be a fine line between being controversial and being offensive. Offensive posts may come back to bite your brand and land you in hot water. If you are unsure whether or not a post is offensive run it by a few colleagues before posting it.

Choose hashtags carefully

If you are savvy enough to know what a hashtag and pride yourself on your ability to sum up a post with a witty or clever hashtag in a jiffy, you need to be careful what you #. People are turned off by using an onslaught of hashtags at the end of posts - #annoying #Mostannoyingthings #lookatme #icanhashtag. However while they can be a great way to cash in on viral social media marketing, they could also be detrimental to your brand. Qantas used a seemingly innocent hashtag #qantasluxury which resulted in hundreds of people sharing photos of their airline nightmares. Or what about therapist who used the simple hashtag #therapist? It caused a social media storm.

Absence makes the heart wander

If you rarely post on social media, you may lose followers from simply being absent. The old adage absence makes the heart grow fonder is not true in the context of social media. You can schedule posts in advance if your lack of sharing is a time-management issue or diarise social media as part of your daily work tasks. You should be appearing at least twice a day on Facebook, even more on Twitter.