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40 BIG Mistakes Brands and Companies Make On Social Media [MASTER GUIDE!]

Introduction

With social media, there are a few things brands should never share or do on the internet. It’s important to remember that social media is a public forum, so anything shared should be appropriate for a general audience.

When it comes to doing social media marketing or just straight sharing content on social media, brands should always think before they post. With so much noise on social media, it’s tough to stand out from the crowd.

By avoiding these common mistakes, brands can help ensure that their social media accounts remain safe and effective marketing tools for use on the web.

1. Sensitive data

One of the most important things to remember when posting on social media is that anything shared can be seen by a wide audience. This includes confidential information, as well as sensitive data. When sharing this type of information, brands need to be especially careful not to reveal anything that could harm the company or its clients.

Not doing so could cause harming your clients as well as yourself, losing customers, and ending up in court battling costly lawsuits.

2. Negative sentiment about the company or its products

Another thing to avoid when posting on social media is negative sentiment about the company or its products. This can include anything from complaints to outright bashing. Not only does this type of content reflect on the brand, but it can also damage to business relationships and cause customers to flee.

In order to protect your company’s image, it’s important to always keep social media content positive and upbeat. If there are problems that need to be addressed, do that doesn’t drag down the company’s reputation.

3. Copyrighted material without permission

Another thing to avoid when posting on social media is sharing copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. This can include videos, images, and even text. Not only is this a violation of copyright law, but it can also lead to legal trouble for the brand.

To avoid any potential legal issues, brands should always get written permission from the copyright holder before sharing any copyrighted material. This will help protect both the brand and the copyright holder in the event of any legal disputes.

 

Watch what you use and make sure it's your own content to avoid copyright issues

4. Anything inappropriate for a general audience

It’s important to remember that social media is a public forum, so anything shared should be appropriate for a general audience. This includes content that is obscene, violent, or derogatory. When posting on social media, brands should always keep these things in mind.

What may seem harmless or even funny to one person could have an inverse effect on another. So it’s always best to steer clear of anything that could be deemed inappropriate or offensive.

5. Politics or religion

One of the biggest no-nos for social media is discussing politics or religion. These are two topics that can lead to heated debates and cause division among people. As a brand, it’s best to stay away from these types of discussions to avoid any potential conflict.

Just like being at your friend’s house party, a social experience, it’s best to not engage in such controversial and divisive topics, as you’re only bound to piss somebody off.

6. Personal identification details

Another thing to avoid when posting on social media is sharing personal identification details. This includes things like your social security number, home address, and phone number. Not only is this information confidential, but criminals can also use it to exploit you.

To protect yourself online, it’s best to not post any personal identification details on social media. If you need to share this type of information, use a secure website or social media platform that is designed for sharing sensitive data.

7. Over sharing

One mistakes brands can make is over sharing. This includes sharing too much information about your personal life, as well as posting too many updates about your company.

When sharing content on social media, it’s important to balance providing enough information without overwhelming your followers. So make sure to only share the most important information and save the rest for another time.

Think about what your followers would find interesting and relevant.

8. Personal complaint and rants

Another social media mistake brands should avoid is posting personal complaints and rants. This can include anything from griping about a bad day to airing dirty laundry. Not only does this type of content make you look bad, but it can also damage relationships with your followers.

If you have something to say, say it constructively that doesn’t reflect on the brand. There’s no need to air your dirty laundry online where everyone can see it.

9. Blatant Self Promotion (B.S.P.)

Another thing to avoid when posting on social media is using it as a platform for sales and marketing pitches. This includes promoting your products or services, as well as trying to get people to sign up for your mailing list.

Not only is this type of content annoying, but we can also see it as spam. Instead, save your sales and marketing pitches for other channels, like your website or email newsletter.

Now does this mean you shouldn’t be promoting your product or business? Absolutely not! Just keep in mind, there’s a tasteful way to do it and there is a wrong.

While social media can be a powerful tool for marketing your brand, it’s important to avoid coming across as too sales-y. Instead, focus on providing valuable content your followers will appreciate. This way, they’ll be more likely to check out your products or services without feeling like they’re being pressured.

Tie in some cool visuals and humor for a chance at becoming the golden goose.

 

engage your audience, but don't blatantly self promote. Keep it quality.

10. Social media fails

One of the best ways to learn from social media mistakes is to read about others’ failures. Be keen on others mistakes and make sure to avoid them. Also, make sure your social media customer service is on point, as this directly ties into the success of your online presence being successful. Don’t feel like you’re walking on eggshells – the majority of what you’re going to share is probably OK.

11. Self-incriminating facts/ Self Defamation evidence

One of the biggest social media mistakes a company can make is posting self-incriminating facts. This includes things like admitting to violating social media policies or revealing confidential information.

When posting on social media, it’s important to remember that anything you say can be used against you. So if you’re not sure if something is safe to share, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself.

12. Negative or slanderous language

Another social media mistake brands should avoid is using negative or slanderous language. This includes things like making fun of other companies or employees, as well as spreading rumors and gossip.  It’s best you try and resolve matters behind closed doors and in private – LOL!

Not only does this type of behavior reflect on the brand, but it can also lead to legal trouble. So if you’re tempted to share some juicy gossip, be sure to think twice before hitting publish.

 

Mitigate social media mistakes and your gonna improve your social media marketing. Simple.

13. Scam giveaways and fake contests

One of the biggest social media mistakes brands can make is running scam giveaways or fake contests. This includes things like asking for too much personal information or requiring people to buy something in order to enter.

If you’re not going to go through with a contest, just don’t do it. There’s no need to waste your followers’ time and energy in a bogus contest. ”Even worse, show up at work to a stack of legal documents.

14. Neglecting your social media accounts

Social media mistakes can also include neglecting your social media accounts. This includes not posting updates or responding to comments, messages, and inquiries.

Not only is it important to be active on social media, but it’s also important to be responsive. This means responding to comments and questions in a timely manner. So if you’re going to be away from social media for a while, be sure to let your followers know.

The majority of platforms covertly monitor your response rate which in turn can potentially limit your reach and exposure.

 

Social media marketing mistakes don't include fraud, that's not a mistake

15. Irresponsible viral articles

Social media mistakes can also include reposting irresponsible viral articles or videos. This includes things like sharing content that’s inaccurate or offensive. There are plenty of quality trends going on in the world, and there are plenty of bad ones… or at least ones that don’t need reposting.

With social media, it’s important to be careful about what you share. So before hitting publish, take a second to read over the article or watch the video. If it doesn’t seem right, chances are it’s not.

16. Post a spelling mistake in a text

It’s easy to make a spelling mistake when you’re typing out a social media post. But if you’re not careful, thousands of people can see these mistakes.

Making a spelling mistake in social media can have some serious consequences. Not only will it reflect on your brand, but it can also lead to legal trouble. So if you’re not sure how to spell a word, it’s best to check with a dictionary or spell-checker before posting.

17. Messages from social media

When a company posts a message from social media, it can come across as unprofessional. This is because we often see social media platforms as informal spaces, while they perceive companies as formal organizations.

As a result, it’s important to be mindful of the tone and content of your social media messages. If you’re not sure if something is appropriate to share, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself.

18. Not having a social media policy in place

Another mistake that companies make on social media is not creating a social media policy.

This means that there are no guidelines for what employees can and can’t post on social media.

Not only is this a security risk, but it can also lead to negative publicity for your brand. So make sure you create a social media policy for your company and make sure all employees are familiar with it.

Social media policies are important for companies to have in place. This is because they help protect the company from any legal trouble that may come up as a result of social media posts.

When creating social media policies, it’s important to keep in mind the different social media platforms. For example, while a policy for Facebook may differ from a policy for Twitter, both policies should include things like guidelines for content and rules for using hashtags.

Social media policies should also include information on how to deal with critical reviews and complaints. So if you’re looking for some guidance on creating social media policies, be sure to check out our latest blog post.

19. Lacking brand consistency across social media

Another social media mistake that companies often make is inconsistency. This includes things like changing your social media profile picture or cover photo.

Not only does this make it difficult for people to know who you are, but it also makes you look unprofessional. So if you’re looking to create a consistent brand image on social media, be sure to stick to a few key elements and change them only.

A good common practice is designating a social media manager who handles all your social media marketing and can work within your social media campaign required guidelines to maintain your brand presence without and getting you more attention without the negative impact of brand inconsistency.

20. Including too much text in posts

With social media, less is often more. This means that you should avoid including too much text in your posts.

Not only is this difficult for people to read, but it also takes up valuable real estate on the social media platform. So instead of writing a long post, try breaking it up into several shorter ones. This will make it easier for people to read and they’ll be more likely to share it with their followers.

21. Posting without thinking

Social media is a funny thing. On one hand, it’s a useful tool for connecting with customers and prospective customers alike, sharing news and experiences, and staying up-to-date on current events. On the other hand, social media can be a mine field for your brand’s personal reputation.

One careless post can damage your relationships with these stakeholders. So before you hit “post,” take a moment to consider how what you’re about to share might be perceived by others. Because social media can make you look bad – really bad.

22. Not Following Social media best practices

As any social media manager knows, the landscape of social media is constantly changing. What worked last month may no longer be effective, and what was once best practice can quickly become outdated. This can make it tough to keep up with the latest trends, but it’s essential for brands who want to maintain a strong social media presence.

There are a few ways to stay on top of the latest trends. One is to follow social media influencers and thought leaders. These people are often at the forefront of new trends and developments, so by following them, you can ensure that you’re always up-to-date.

Another way to stay on top of social media happenings is to attend industry conferences and events. These gatherings often provide an opportunity to network with other social media professionals and learn about the latest things going on.

If you’re not sure what social media best practices you should follow, be sure to read our blog post on creating a social media marketing strategy for small business owners.

23. Buying followers

There’s no magic number of social media followers that will guarantee success for your brand. But there is one number that is almost guaranteed to lead to failure: zero.

Organic growth is essential for social media success, and that means building your following one follower at a time. Don’t be tempted by the shortcuts that promise instant results. These “quick fixes” are almost always more trouble than they’re worth. Buying followers is a prime example.

Sure, it might give your numbers a boost in the short term. But chances are, those purchased followers are bots or inactive accounts. That means they’re not engaging with your content, which means your posts won’t show up on Explore Pages or in your real audience’s newsfeeds. Purchased followers also make it difficult to measure your social media ROI, as we discussed earlier.

In short, buying followers is a social media mistake that’s not worth making.

24. Not measuring results

Social media metrics are important, but they’re not always easy to understand. For brands, social media success is often measured in terms of likes, followers, and engagement rates. But what do those numbers really mean? And how can you use them to improve your social strategy?

Likes, followers, and engagement are all important social media metrics. But they’re not the only ones. To truly understand the impact of social media on your business, you need to look at a variety of metrics. How many people are talking about your brand? How many people are clicking on your links? How much traffic is social media driving to your website?

These are just a few of the social media metrics that matter. By understanding and tracking them, you can improve your social media strategy and make sure you’re getting the most out of your social media efforts.

25. Not responding to comments or negative comments

Social media has given customers a powerful new tool to voice their complaints and praise for brands. And while some companies have been quick to embrace this new form of customer feedback, others have been slow to respond. Unfortunately, this reluctance can have some very negative consequences.

A study from Sprout Social found that not responding to customers on social media is linked to a loss of brand loyalty, an increase in anger from the customer and a lost chance to turn a negative into a positive. In other words, ignoring social media is not an option for brands that want to stay competitive.

Whether they’re good or bad, online reviews can have a significant impact on a brand’s reputation. And while some businesses choose to ignore them, the smartest brands see them as an opportunity.

When responding to negative comments, businesses should take the time to acknowledge the customer’s pain points and invite them to continue the conversation offline. This shows that you’re willing to listen to feedback and make things right. And when responding to positive reviews, businesses should express their gratitude and offer incentives for future purchases. This helps to create a cycle of positive reinforcement that can do wonders for your online reputation.

So next time you log into your Twitter or Facebook social media profiles, make sure you’re prepared to respond to your customers. It could be the difference between losing them or gaining a lifelong fan.

 

26. Not using social media to its full potential

While some companies are still hesitant to embrace social media, the truth is that there are many ways in which social media can help the business. For example, social media can be used to launch marketing and sales campaigns, connect with customers and potential customers, recruit new employees, promote brands, and provide training and development opportunities for staff.

In short, social media is a powerful tool that should not be ignored by any business. When used effectively, social media can help the business to achieve its goals and objectives.

27. Focusing only on vanity metrics

Social media data is often dismissed as “vanity” metrics—meaningless figures to avoid when trying to prove ROI. However, social media data can actually be quite useful for brands. For example, social media data can help brands understand how their customers interact with their content, what kind of content is most popular, and where their customers are located.

In addition, social media data can help brands track their customer acquisition and retention rates. While social media data may not be the most important metric to track, it can be a valuable tool for understanding your customers’ and your brand’s performance.

28. Not using social media for customer service

Social media has become a necessary evil for brands. On the one hand, it’s an incredibly powerful way to connect with customers and build relationships. On the other hand, it’s a 24/7 customer service channel that can be a bit of a headache to manage.

But social media doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, when used correctly, it can be a great customer service tool. By monitoring social media channels and quickly responding to complaints and concerns, you can show other customers that you’re dedicated to keeping them happy. And that’s worth its weight in gold.

29. Not engaging with fans and followers

Social media has become an increasingly important part of the marketing mix for brands. In fact, social media is now considered being one of the most effective marketing channels. The reason for this is social media provides brands with an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with their customers.

Through proper use of their social media presence, brands can connect with their customers on a more personal level, which can lead to increased brand loyalty. Additionally, it provides businesses with an opportunity to increase word-of-mouth referrals. When customers have a strong relationship with a brand, they are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.

Finally, social media can also lead to increased sales for brands. When customers have a strong relationship with a brand, they are more likely to make a purchase from the brand.

So if you’re not engaging with your fans and followers on social media, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to connect with your customers and increase sales. Remember, it’s a two-way street.

30. Posting the same content on all social media platforms

One such mistake is cross-posting, or sharing the same exact post on multiple platforms, such as using the same text on Facebook and Instagram. When the content being posted is not appropriate or relevant for its intended audience, it can make the brand appear careless and unintentional. Worse yet, it can alienate potential customers and damage the brand’s reputation.

So before you hit that “post” button, think about whether the content you’re sharing is truly appropriate for both Facebook and Instagram. If not, it’s better to share it on just one platform.

31. Not measuring the ROI of social media

In order to make the most of social media, it is important to make an effort to first calculate how much you are spending on it. This includes not only the direct costs of running social media accounts but also the opportunity cost of time spent managing them.

Once you have a clear understanding of the costs, you can then define clear social objectives that connect to overall business goals.

Finally, track metrics that align with your objectives and create an ROI report that shows the impact of social media on your bottom line. By following these steps, you can ensure that social media is working for your business.

 

Social media marketing means your keeping the negative impact of negative comments of users in check. Handle your customer service correctly.
Negative comments require more attention from your social media customer service

32. Not using social media for recruitment

It’s no secret that social media has changed the way we do business. From networking to marketing, social media has transformed the way companies operate. Now, it appears that social media is also changing the way companies recruit new employees.

There are several reasons social media is an excellent tool for recruiting. First, social media allows companies to reach a wider pool of candidates. In the past, companies were limited to advertising open positions in local newspapers or job boards. But with social media, companies can post open positions on a global stage. This gives them access to a much larger pool of applicants.

Second, social media allows companies to get a better sense of who candidates are as people. In the past, companies had to rely on resumes and cover letters to get a sense of who candidates were. But with social media, companies can see how candidates interact with others, what kind of content they share, and what their interests are. This allows them to get a better sense of whether candidates would be a good fit for the company.

33. Not using social media to build relationships with customers

Social media has changed the way that brands and customers interact. In the past, companies would rely on customer surveys and focus groups to get feedback about their products and services.

However, social media has created an environment where customers are much more likely to provide feedback on a brand’s performance. In addition, social media has also made it easier for customers to find and contact brands.

As a result, social media has improved Customer Relationship Management by making it easier for customers to interact with brands and providing more opportunities for feedback.

34. Not using social media for marketing

You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed when you see a post from your favorite clothing store. They’re having a sale on items that are just your style. You click the link and check out the items, but decide not to buy anything today. Little do you know, by clicking that link, you’ve just given that store valuable information about yourself.

See, social media networks are open to all, giving businesses a chance to follow their consumers’ activities or potential buyers. This helps marketers be more informed about their target audience, likes, dislikes, and interests so they can create a better marketing strategy to attract such customers.

 

Keep users interested without sacrificing quality

35. Not using social media to learn about customers

With the vast amount of data that social media produces, brands can now get a more accurate picture of who their customers are, what they want, and how they feel about the brand. However, social media is not a silver bullet; it takes strategy and careful execution to use social media effectively to understand customers. Here are three social media strategies that brands can use to better understand their customers:

Pick the correct channel:

With research, you’ll discover that certain social media platforms are used by certain demographic groups. This is important information for brands because it allows them to choose the social media channels that will reach their target audience. For example, if your target audience is teenagers, you’ll want to focus on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

Use social listening:

Social listening is monitoring social media platforms for mentions of your brand, product, or industry. This is important because it allows you to track how customers feel about your brand and what they’re saying about your competitors. It also allows you to quickly respond to any bad reviews.

Analyze social media data:

In order to effectively use social media to understand customers, you need to use audience insights and analyze the data that it produces. This data can be used to understand customer sentiment, identify influencers, and track the success of marketing campaigns hand help you better understand your target market.

36. Not using social media to create a community

Social media has become an increasingly important part of marketing for brands. However, many companies make the mistake of not using social media to create a community. This means that they’re missing out on the opportunity to connect with customers and get feedback from them. 

For example, on Facebook you can create a Facebook page for your company and invite customers to join. This is a great way to connect with customers and learn about their brand loyalty. By using social media to create a community, you’ll be able to get feedback from customers about your products or services. 

37. Not using social media to drive traffic to your website

These days, social media is said to be the primary source for generating eCommerce traffic. That’s because social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have such a large reach, and they’re only getting bigger. Plus, social media users are much more engaged than traditional media users, making them more likely to click through to your website and purchase something.

Small business owners in particular can benefit from this approach, as they often don’t have the budget to invest in paid advertising. So if you’re not using social media to drive traffic to your eCommerce store, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

38. Not using social media to create engaging content

Social can be used for more than just promoting your products or services – it can also be used to create engaging content that will resonate with your audience.

Think about the kind of content that would be interesting or useful to your target audience, and then use social media to share it. This could include blog posts, infographics, images, videos, or anything else that you think would be valuable to your audience.

39. Not using social media to monitor your competition

Sure you can be using your Instagram account to post your photos from the company holiday party yesterday, or you can use Facebook to help build your funnel and get more sales, or even be on Pinterest pinning pins that engage other users, but are using it to spy on competitors? No? Well, maybe you should!

Make use of the possibility you have with social and do some research on what the other brands in your niche or in your industry are up to.

Now does this mean you need to make fake accounts (create another social media handle) just to do this research? N

On Twitter, you can follow your competitors and see what they’re up to. By using social media to monitor your competition, you’ll be able to get an edge over them and stay ahead of the curve.

40. Posting at the wrong time

By posting at the right time, you’ll be able to reach more people and get more engagement.

If you post updates early in the morning, they might get lost in everyone’s newsfeeds. Or if you post updates late at night, people might be too busy to see them.

This means that they’re not taking advantage of the opportunities that social media provides for timing their posts.

For example, on Facebook you can use Insights to see when your fans are online and schedule your posts accordingly.

In order to get the most out of your social media marketing, you need to post updates at the right time. So do some research to find out when the best time to post on each social media platform is.

Conclusion

So there you have it, 40 of the biggest social media mistakes that brands should avoid. By being aware of these mistakes, you’ll be able to create social media content that’s both effective and safe.

Brands should avoid making these common social media mistakes in order to protect their image and avoid any legal trouble. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your social media posts are both effective and safe. Posting the right content at the wrong time can be just as harmful as not posting at all!

If you need help with your social and want to avoid these mistakes and more with your brand, contact us to help you and your business achieve its best possible results.

Alex Tarlescu

Alex Tarlescu

Co-Founder and Social Media Strategist

Alex Tarlescu is a Romanian-born head social media strategist and the co-founder of Good Smart Idea.

When he isn’t eating, breathing, sleeping, and sh*tting digital marketing, he root, root, roots for the the home team, because yes, he is a die-hard Cleveland Browns and Cavs fan. In fact, he just about loves all things Cleveland.

Alex is also an avid sports card collector and enjoys traveling to new and unique places, both some would consider a waste of his income. He would disagree.

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