10 Social media content mistakes you need to avoid (at all costs)

Posted by Julia McCoy on 22 Jul, 2015
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Social media is a great tool to use for businesses but you can also see some horrible mistakes people make. Don't fall into those traps! It is very possible to avoid these mistakes simply by learning what they are, and applying the lessons. Let’s see what they are.

social media

Here is a list of some of the top social media mistakes I’ve seen on the web. Use it as a resource to help stay on the trend of creating excellent social media content.

1. Purchasing your likes and/or followers

When it comes to social media, many people think it is a numbers game, and that you need to appear to have a lot of followers. Because of this, many businesses will buy likes and followers to make their following look bigger. This is incredibly dangerous for your brand because it can severely limit your reach, and minimize the actual client base you want. Work to get followers naturally, and you will have a significantly more successful social media experience than if you buy them.

2. Responding incorrectly to negative client feedback

Ah, the bad gets worse. Getting bad feedback is never something a business wants, but your business will get them, no matter what. This can be really annoying, and, depending on the day you’ve had, can make you upset. You need to remember never to react out of emotion when a client gives negative feedback. The best option is to read the negative review, take a step back, and then look into the claim. When you respond, respond professionally, aiming to help the client as best as possible. This will help you look professional to other clients, and might even turn that negative client review around into a positive one.

3. Only posting one type of content

It can get tedious to publish several different types of content, which makes it easy to fall into the trap of just posting one format and type. However, this can make your brand come across as boring to your followers, which will limit the amount of engagement you will receive. Make sure you vary the type of content you share and share things like videos, podcasts, and anything else that can make your business stand out.

4. Over-promoting your content and services

Another terrible mistake many businesses make when it comes to social media is over-promoting content, products, and services. Over-selling your business can make people unfollow you social account quickly because it comes across as spam, even if it isn’t. This means you should be sharing a mix of your blogs and products while also sharing industry related content. This goes perfectly with point three and posting different types of content, as well.

5. Responding to clients in a canned, impersonal way

Engagement on social media is great, but when your clients engage with you, you need to respond in a personal way. This means that you should avoid typical canned responses and create something new and unique for each comment you respond to. This will help build a stronger relationship with your clients and also help promote more engagement from them and others in the future.

6. Being on too many social media channels

There are many social media channels out there, which means that there are many you might want to use for your business. It can be tempting to get on each and every social media channel, but this can stretch you too thin, and lessen the impact you want to have. You need to make sure that whatever channel you are on will benefit your business. For example, if you don’t have many visuals for your business, Instagram is probably not the place for you. Just research each channel and see how they would or wouldn’t fit with your business.

7. Not monitoring who runs your social media channels

Having just anyone do your social media management can be detrimental to your brand. Bad tweets and posts could get out, or you might have someone who only posts for the first few days and stops later. You need someone you can trust, as well as someone who is an expert is social media. A great way to ensure you have an SMM who is trustworthy is to hire expert SMMs who have training in social media, and are always professional with their posts.

8. Not having a secure social site

Spam sites love to try and hack real accounts to get their spam out to more people. If this happens with your business, you are going to be looked at as someone who is not trustworthy, as well as unprofessional. There are many ways to avoid getting “hacked” by a spammer by not clicking on links from sites you don’t know and having a secure password. “Password123” is NOT a safe password for your business; make it something only you will know, and make sure it is difficult to guess.

9. There is such a thing as too personal on social media

As I mentioned earlier, you want to make sure that you respond to clients in a personal manner to build relationships. However, you need to make sure you aren’t getting too personal. This means that you need to respond to clients on social media the same way you would if they were in your store or office. Don’t say anything that discusses your personal life such as referencing marriages or personal relationships, sharing information about where you live, and anything else that you wouldn’t ever tell a random stranger on the street.

10. Focusing on written content and ignoring visuals

We live in a very visual society, which means you need to be approaching your content with visual content on your mind. Not all content needs to be visual, but you need to make sure you aren’t only focusing on written content for your social channels. Business2Community points out that tweets with images see a 35 percent re-tweet increase and videos get 29 percent more. That’s an incredible amount of increased engagement, wouldn’t you say?

Examples in action: Three major brand social media fails

Now that I’ve given you a few social media mistakes to avoid, I am going to give you a few real world examples. There are several well-known businesses that have had some terrible social media snafus, and you can easily learn from them on what you need to avoid in your social media postings.

1. US Airways and the NSFW Tweet

Back in 2014, US Airways had an incredibly embarrassing social media mistake that made the whole Internet world laugh, and cringe. A very inappropriate, and not safe for work (NSFW) image, was posted to their channel, which created a terrible few days and weeks for the company. It was deleted about an hour later, but the damage had already been done. Their excuse was that an employee was trying to flag the image as inappropriate, yet somehow copied, pasted, and posted it instead. This came across as a very weak excuse, but US Airways worked to remedy the situation.

2. Black Milk and the horrible, no good social media approach

Black Milk, an Australian-based clothing company, is known for their fun, geeky clothing. But last year on May 4th, they made a tasteless joke about the very women who purchase most of their clothing: geek girls. Black Milk should have apologized and aimed to rectify the situation. Instead, they deleted Facebook comments from clients pointing out how negative the image was. They also defended themselves and the image for a while. They did follow up with what many believed to be a “non-apology,” continuing to anger fans. This is a great example of responding incorrectly to negative client feedback. If they had issued a decent apology, taking the blame, many clients would have been appeased. Instead, they did the direct opposite.

3. Best Buy and the missed point

A few months ago, there was a very popular podcast called Serial that followed a real life murder. It attracted many people and gained a huge following. One of the aspects of this murder was that the young woman’s boyfriend killed her and then used a pay phone at a nearby Best Buy. However, police questioned if the payphone existed at all. It was this particular point that the Best Buy Twitter account decided to focus on and use as a “trendy” pop culture reference. They missed the point of the entire show, and used a real life murder and details from that murder to joke and promote. This is an excellent example how not to use humor in your copy; it can be done, but not with something as serious as a murder, no matter its “pop culture” relevance.

Avoid these mistakes for a powerful social media presence

Having a powerful presence is vital to social media, and avoiding these mistakes will help with that. One way to avoid all of these mistakes (if you have the budget) is to hire a social media expert who is not only trained in social media, but is always professional with their postings. Of course I can recommend Express Writers :) we can help create content for your channels, providing epic, engaging content for all of your followers.

As always let us know about your experiences with social media, have you made any of these blunders yourself?

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