The original version of this post ran March 2, 2017.

Here at Three Girls Media, we enjoy writing blog posts that offer insight and helpful tips and tricks to running a successful social media, marketing or public relations campaign. If you flip through our blog archive long enough, you will find many articles offering help such as:

While these help tell you what you’re supposed to do, they don’t get into the details of the things you’re supposed to avoid – the things that will hinder your campaign or make your customers run away. Keep reading for insights, tips and tricks that will help you avoid blunders along the way of your social media marketing strategy.

If you’re creating social media accounts for your business and don’t regularly use Facebook, Twitter or the other platforms for personal use, you may be engaging in bad habits or ignoring social media etiquette and not even know it. Bad habits on social media not only make you look unprofessional, but they can also scare away potential customers.

1. Auto-Posting Facebook Posts to Twitter (Or Any Other Social Media Account)

Auto-posting happens when your social media platforms are connected. Every time you create a post on one, it is automatically published on every connected platform. Some plugins can also automatically promote new content from your website, like a blog post, each time it goes live.

While this may seem like an easy and simple way to make sure you are generating content on all your platforms, it is important to write unique updates for each platform. You can use the same link, but change the language and share them on different days and times of the week. This will prevent anyone who follows you on multiple platforms from seeing the exact same update over and over.

2. Posting the Exact Same Content on Every Platform

When you send out a message on social media, do you copy and paste it into every social platform? Different platforms require different approaches. Instagram is the place to share images of your products, services and even behind-the-scenes shots of your business at work. Make each site a little different and unique for those followers.

3. Overusing Hashtags

Using too many hashtags can make your post look unprofessional and a little hard to read; #DoYouReallyWant #To #Read #An #EntirePostLike #This? Depending on what your update is about, it is appropriate to hashtag keywords in the post and to include specific industry or business hashtags you use. To learn more about hashtags, check out this article written by Emily Sidley.

4. Posting Too Much Content at Once

While you may want to share everything at once, customers can feel overwhelmed when you flood their feed. You want to maximize views and engagement, not lose followers or have customers hide your updates. Instead, spread them out. Learn when to post content on certain days of the week and what times here.

5. Asking People to Follow You Back on Any Platform

If there’s one that thing that’s sure to turn off followers, it’s for you to follow them and then immediately write, “Just followed/liked you! You can follow me too!” This may seem like a nice way to ask for a follow and build your connections, but it’s unprofessional and makes your account look like spam.

Instead, engage with your followers, respond when they ask a question or leave a thoughtful, personalized comment on a post and they’ll be more likely to follow you in return.

It is a dangerous idea to go into a social media marketing campaign without a plan.

6. Posting Without a Plan

It is a dangerous idea to go into a social media marketing campaign without a plan. Posting randomly can negatively impact SEO results and cause customers to miss your updates.

On social media, an editorial calendar is used by bloggers and social media managers to create a plan for their posts and updates. These calendars include notable events of the upcoming weeks and months that they want to include. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to stay organized and help you to not forget an important date.

7. Ignoring Customer Comments

This is crucial and cannot be overlooked! Customers expect and assume that a business will respond to their comments or direct messages in a short amount of time. Interacting on social media is important because it not only lets customers know you care, but they also expect it. A study by Eptica found the average response times for email, Facebook and Twitter are:

  • Email: 7 hours, 51 minutes
  • Facebook: 1 day, 3 hours and 47 minutes
  • Twitter: 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes

So that’s how long it generally takes for businesses to respond through email, Facebook and Twitter, but how long are customers willing to wait? The expected wait time is drastically lower than how long it takes a business to respond:

  • Email: 6 hours
  • Facebook: 6 hours
  • Twitter: 60 minutes

If you need more information on how and why to interact on social media check out this blog post appropriately titled, “The Importance of Interacting on Social Media.

What Not to Post on Social Media 

Now that you know the behavior and bad habits to avoid on social media, let’s review what NOT to post on your channels.

Now that you know the behavior and bad habits to avoid on social media, let’s review what NOT to post on your channels.

It is important to remember that your professional business’ social media pages are not the same as your personal profiles, and they should be treated separately. Check out this list of what not to post on your company accounts.

1. Offensive Content

There are so many types of posts that fall into this category. This can be anything from a divisive political comment or graphic image to crude jokes or swearing, just to name just a few.

Business owners may not think it’s a big deal to occasionally post a distasteful joke or questionable picture, but it should be left out. This lack of awareness and respect can cause irreparable harm to your brand.

If you’re not sure if you should post a link or image, it might be better to just skip it altogether. Take a look at these huge social media fails and how major enterprises have a hard time coming back after a controversy.

2. Attacks on Customers 

When someone says something negative or bad against your company, product or even employees, it may be tempting to lash out. But don’t do it! Social media is considered to be the new source for customer service, and handling complaints and concerns should be done the same way as a customer service desk in a store.

If you’re looking for tips on how to handle negative interactions, check out this blog post that outlines what to do: “Top Tips to Use Social Media for Customer Service.”

3. Not Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

If you’re going to share other people’s work, whether it’s images, articles or anything else, it is important to attribute the content to them. You can often tag their name in the post or link back to their original post; it’s fine to share, you just need to acknowledge the original author.

4. Speaking Negatively About Employees

Your business’ social media accounts are not the place to air dirty laundry about your company. No one needs to know about internal drama or who did what to who and when. Keep all your posts and updates professional and positive and relate everything back to your industry.

5. Sharing False Information

Before sharing a post or article that is meant to be sensational and eye-catching, always be sure you know what’s in the link. Sharing posts that end up being scams or ones that are just click-bait can send the message that you’re naïve or that you don’t care enough to fact-check. Snopes.com can be a fantastic resource for checking an article’s legitimacy.

6. Posting Content You Want To “Take Back”

When you put something on social media, you have to assume it’s out there forever. Followers take screenshots of blunders and there is no ‘taking it back,’ even if you’ve made a mistake and delete the update. Before you post anything remotely personal or sensitive, ask yourself, “Do I want this to be online forever? How will this impact the reputation of my business? How will it reflect my brand?” It’s also important to proofread your posts; spelling and grammar errors can make your business look sloppy.

Now that you know what not to share, it is time to get posting on social media!

Get to Posting!

Now that you know what not to share, it is time to get posting on social media! Running a successful social media marketing campaign does not have to be complicated or stressful, but there are certain guidelines to follow to make your pages look professional and engaging. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation with Three Girls Media’s CEO, Erika Montgomery, to learn about starting a social media marketing campaign and discover other ways we can help your business grow and succeed.

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