5 social media faux-pas to avoid


Social media is now firmly part of the marketing mix for most consumer-focused businesses but there are some pitfalls to avoid if you want to hold on to your loyal following.

A recent survey from Sprout Social warns that consumers are intolerant of five key social faux pas of the brands they follow with 75 per cent of respondents unfollowing a ‘brand that has embarrassed them’.

 1 – Too many promotions

There are still too many brands that believe the way to win on social media is with a stream of offers and promotions.

Wrong! Your followers want relevant, useful content.

Instead of using social media to sell, use it to engage. Give your followers things they can use; information, how-to guides and tips.

You can still promote on your social feeds but do it sparingly once you have built up trust. Engaged consumers are more likely to respond to your promotions and to seek them out on your website/in-store.

2- Watch your language

Consumers hate slang and jargon. There may be industry terms that are commonplace in your world but will your followers understand?

Remember that some of your followers may be hoping to learn more about the products and services you supply, they may be new to some of the language you use.

Using jargon doesn’t prove you know what you’re talking about. In fact, the opposite could be true!

3 – Personality fail

In every business sector there is some scope for personality and followers like that.

Decide what your ‘businality’ is. How can you show a human side to your business?

Remember that personality does not mean turning into a game show host. You can show a seriousness if that’s appropriate but it can be done without sounding cold.

4 – You think that’s funny huh?

While showing personality is a bonus according to social media followers; being the brand equivalent of an embarrassing parent is not.

Social Sprout’s survey reveals that trying to be funny when you’re not is a mistake.

As with anything you post, consider whether it is funny, appropriate, and within your brand values.

5 -Is there anybody there?

Social media shouldn’t be a one-way street. It’s meant to be interactive, a conversation.

Part of the ‘deal’ of using social channels for your brand, is that your followers get an easy way to connect with you.

You can’t sit back and enjoy the likes, shares and retweets while ignoring messages. If you do, your followers will lose interest.

Those messages should be dealt with on the social channel, at least initially.

What to do now

Have a think about how your business is using social…

  • Are you promoting too much?
  • What content of value could you share with loyal followers?
  • Do you have clear brand values which can translate to your social media personality?
  • Are messages being responded to efficiently?