Open Mouth, Insert Foot: 5 Social Media Mistakes You Never Want to Make

open mouth insert foot social media

When it comes to harnessing the power of social media, doing things incorrectly can be far worse than doing nothing at all. In this highly Tweetable age, news – both good and bad – spreads faster than Kim Kardashian can Instagram a selfie, and that’s no joke. Whether you’re running a network of technical writing websites or selling the latest in cat fashions, avoid wasting your time on ineffective marketing strategies and protect your brand against costly mistakes by steering clear of the big-time boo-boos listed below.

Relying on Non-Actionable Posts

When you talk at people inside of with them, your litany of self-promotion fades into the background as more interesting posts steal focus. Fight the monotony by sharing stories and links with introductions that open up the lines of communication, like “These are our five favorite movies of 2014. What are yours?” or as for reviews of recently released products or current promotions. Don’t go too far, though – linkbait headlines that promise life-altering content only to deliver yet another cat video are a sure-fire way to make your readers mad.

Ignoring Posts

When a customer or potential client posts on your page and you don’t bother responding, you might as well be sitting in the office giving clients the silent treatment. If you’re lucky enough to have people reaching out to you, be smart enough to respond. The more you engage with your fans or followers, the more likely they are to remember your brand and start to feel a rapport, which ultimately leads to loyalty and, in turn, profit.

Deleting Negative Comments

It’s tough to read negative feedback about your business, but if you delete it you’re wasting an opportunity to get valuable feedback and to make a bad situation into something positive, for both you and the person behind the complaint. Suck it up and post a response acknowledging their dissatisfaction, and then offer a solution. Whether it’s a simple “I’m sorry” or a full refund, it’s amazing how quickly a heartfelt mea culpa can deflate someone’s ire.

Giving the Wrong People Access to Your Account

Your new intern might be the youngest, hippest chick in the office, but just because she’s on social media all day doesn’t mean she’s an automatic expert. Your voice on social media needs to be consistent with your company’s message, speak to your target demographic and stay on point. Work with your content writer or social media manager to make sure they understand your business well enough to answer questions promptly and accurately, and make the line between professional banter and highly personal oversharing very, very clear.

Failing to Proofread

If spelling and grammar aren’t among your biggest strengths, step away from the keyboard and hand it to someone who knows what they’re doing. A professional writer can shrink your message to 140 characters without losing the intent or irritating your readers, and that kind of talent is invaluable.

Alana M is waging a one-woman war against the ravaging effects of autocorrect. When she isn’t hard at work writing all kinds of witty and engaging content, she enjoys long walks on the beach, lion taming, nuclear physics and lying about her hobbies


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