Avoiding the Most Common Social Media Mistakes

Even the biggest brands on the internet have a nasty social media gaffe or two under their belt. These include placing a hashtag in a light-hearted tweet that was unfortunately intended to represent a national controversy, attaching links to inappropriate content, sending rude messages to unhappy customers… We’ve seen it all, and we don’t want you to damage your reputation by making the same common social media mistakes that we’ve observed over and over. It doesn’t matter if you are a social media superstar or a Twitter trainee, everyone can benefit from keeping the basics in mind:

Stooped Typooz –

Nothing screams “lack of professionalism” louder than a careless effort on your social media feeds (especially if you only have 140 characters to deal with)! Take a moment to proofread every outgoing post for typos, poor sentence structure, and misplaced punctuation while editing as needed so your followers receive high-end posts. If you want to include an eye-catching image, video or GIF, make sure it’s a quality piece of content, or don’t publish it at all. Whoever your audience is, putting the extra effort into your copy and presentation will have a positive impact on your followers.

Update Appropriately –

If you’ve placed yourself on a mailing list of one of your favorite brands only to find your inbox swamped by a deluge of annoying messages, chances are good that you can’t remember the contents of the email you scrolled through to click its unsubscribe link. When someone’s social media feeds are flooded with posts from someone they follow, you will see a similar reaction. You don’t want to under-post either, as fans may forget that they’ve subscribed, or worse – unsubscribe due to a lack of content!

The best course of action is to plan out your social media copy at least a week in advance and post on certain websites at specific times of day. Below is a list of suggestions for the best hours to post content, so your messages will have a greater chance of being viewed, shared and liked:

Facebook – 1pm – 4pm

Twitter – 1pm – 3pm

LinkedIn – 7am – 9am & 5pm – 6pm

Google+ – 9am – 11am

Pinterest – 2pm – 4pm & 8pm – 1am

Go the extra mile by using bit.ly to shorten URLs and track exactly how many times your links are clicked to learn what works for your evolving social media strategy.

Sounding Like A Corporate Robot –

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“BUY OUR STUFF. HERE IS A COUPON FOR BUYING OUR STUFF. PURCHASE STUFF, NOW!”

No one likes to see their Twitter and Facebook feeds littered with bland corporate messages that hound everyone to buy their wares, so don’t chase your fans away by being that soulless robot by posting like a human being would. Engage your followers and promote interactions by asking questions, discussing feedback, and highlighting positive comments. Combat negative remarks with suggestions and offer to help change their perception of your social media efforts. Note that all replies should have a personal touch; automated direct messages give off an uncaring, mechanical feeling to readers.

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries, have fun with fans, and use social media to build upon your brand’s image, not simply to push product.

#Failing #To #Understand #Hashtags –

In a nutshell, hashtags are used to categorize messages on social media sites so it’s easier for users to see what other people are saying about the subject. While hashtags are an excellent way to share your message on a larger stage, make sure to use them properly or you’ll risk annoying users (or getting in trouble with the social media sites themselves)! If you’re creating your own hashtags, make them simple, unique, and easy to remember, but research your hashtag ideas first — you don’t want to link your brand to something undesirable by mistake. Don’t load down your posts with hashtags, and stick to one or two per message. Remember that hashtags aren’t only for Twitter. If you are running a campaign around your custom hashtags, it wouldn’t hurt to mention them on your other profiles to raise awareness.

Social Media Without A Battle Plan –

Perhaps the worst thing you can do regarding social media and your platform is not having a core strategy before you begin, as there are plenty of little issues that will add up along the way for the unprepared. For example:

  • Dedicate your brand to a single social media platform or two, and master them before moving on to additional sites. Otherwise, you will likely spread yourself too thinly across all of your profiles.
  • If you have a social media presence, you are missing a huge opportunity if you don’t link back to them from your other web properties.
  • Fill out social media user profiles completely. Use this opportunity to insert your logo, corporate links, contact information, and other helpful data wherever you can to give people another way to learn more about you.
  • Use the same “voice” across all of your platform’s various social media sites, but adapt content accordingly. After all, fans expect a different experience on Facebook than they would on Twitter or Pinterest.

It’s always good to be prepared for the worst, but mistakes happen… Nobody’s perfect! If you goofed, be honest with your followers, own up to the mistake, and apologize. Whatever you do, just don’t shoot yourself in the foot by claiming that you were “hacked” unless you actually were! Keep in mind that honesty is always the best policy with social media mistakes. The good news is that the most common social media mistakes are on your radar now, and you’re far less likely to make these silly slipups in the future!

Got any ideas about Social Media mistakes we might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Arnold Carreiro

Arnold Carreiro

Between a decade of freelance writing experience, and his adventures exploring the expansive worlds of the videogame industry for his upcoming book, Arnold knows exactly how to deliver the right message for any audience. He is a Floridian who totally loves his job, and when he’s not penning top-notch material for his clients from his sunny jungle home, he’s off cruising the town on his pet dinosaur.