7 Key Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

By: Sofie De Beule

October 20, 2014

So, what about the things you shouldn’t do on social media?

Used the wrong way, social media can have a negative impact on your business. One little error can set your brand’s reputation back for a long time.

Making mistakes is human and, therefore, inevitable. However, stay alert and make sure your brand clearly understands the most common slip ups.

Let’s take a look at these 7 key social media to mistakes mistakes to avoid.

Not Having an Engagement Strategy

How do you respond to both negative and positive feedback?

With billions of conversations on social media happening everyday, it’s often difficult to cut through the clutter. Delivering an effective message isn’t easy, and a lot of companies struggle to set measurable goals, create clear social media policies, and apply a distinctive brand voice. First, make sure you are able to track your brand’s activity and clearly understand what’s being said about your brand before creating an engagement strategy.

Not Being Consistent

In order for your brand to convey your message effectively, be cautious about the tone of voice you use. Find your balance: make sure you’re not sounding too robotic, but don’t become too chatty or friendly either. Your brand can obviously show off some personality, however, don’t get too personal and share your own opinions on sensitive topics.

Creating response flow sheets in advance will help you quickly determine the way you should reply to incoming mentions. Make sure around 80 to 90% of questions get a consistent, uniform reply.

Using Too Many Channels

Did you ever ask yourself why your brand has a Vine or Twitter account?

Some brands really could go without a Pinterest or Instagram account, for example. Clearing out the clutter also refers to ditching some channels to focus on the ones that are important to your brand. Although it’s good to be active on multiple accounts, you need to be most active where your audience will get your message.

Not Replying

The most common mistake brands make is spamming their audience’s feed like they’re part of an online sales pitch and using social media as a means of one-way communication. While not every mention about your brand needs a response, it’s important to build trust and make them feel connected by letting your customers know their voice is being heard. If they comment on a Facebook post, thank them. Reply to mentions beyond people ‘@’ mentioning your brand.

Sending Out the Wrong Links

Make it easy for your customers to gain access to the right information with just one click. Link directly to the right pages instead of referring them to your homepage or other non-related content. The more steps a customer has to go through, the less likely that customer is to buy a product, do repeat business with your brand, or recommend your product within their own network. Managing social media is, after all, part of providing a hassle-free service.

Not Using Social Media Management Tools or Multiple Tools at Once

Social media often seems like a daunting, time-consuming chore. With the help of social media management tools, you can easily scale your efforts to maximize your impact. However, using multiple tools at once doesn’t streamline your approach. Beyond monitoring and measuring, take the time to engage with your audience and tap into the conversations that matter the most to your brand. Use a tool that combines all of these aspects in order to optimize your social media efforts.

Forgetting About the Purpose of Each Network

Squeezing too much information into just one tweet?

Keep the purpose of each network in mind and clearly understand the in’s and out’s. Adjust your message to each channel, not the other way round. In some cases, after a customer has contacted you through your social media channels, handling a conversation offline (e.g. through the phone) to deal with more complex issues is the best way to go. Tailor your message for each specific social media channel.

To wrap it all up, it’s important to question whether you’re hitting the right marks. Your social media efforts should be continuously updated. Remain attentive to certain pitfalls and be cautious to avoid them.