Stop Making These Five Social Media Mistakes In a world inundated with social media accounts, channels, and emerging trends, maintaining both relevance and customer loyalty is more crucial than ever.

This pressure can (unintentionally) lead to annoying, self-absorbed social media mistakes.

But let’s face it: No one wants to be friends with the bratty, conceited girl on the playground.

Even if that playground is online.

Retain and grow your social following by mastering the art of proper online etiquette.

If partnering with an integrated digital marketing agency isn’t in the cards for you, make sure you avoid these five social media mistakes.

Posting Too Much

I get it—FOMO is real.

No one wants to feel left out of the conversation.

However, the desire to stay relevant online is often confused with the need to post about everything, all the time.

While there isn’t a hard and fast rule about posting frequency, you can determine the best share volume for your brand by monitoring:

  • Engagement per channel (likes, favorites, comments, shares, retweets)
  • Follower growth
  • Direct feedback (positive or negative)

As a general rule, most people expect Twitter to be a place for frequent posts (up to 14 per day), whereas Facebook is meant for one to two posts per day.

But whatever you do, don’t fall into that trap of treating your social media accounts like your diary.

There’s a fine line between being informative and annoying on social media, and where you stand can make or break your brand.

Not Posting Enough

Too much content is overwhelming, but too little content is equally as damaging to your brand. Why?

Going dark on social media (even just a few days) can push your audience to seek information elsewhere.

And before you know it, your brand will become irrelevant online.

That’s the gut-wrenching truth.

Rule No. 1: Don’t panic.

Rule No. 2: Don’t apologize for not posting.

Most likely, no one will have hurt feelings from your lack of Instagram posts, so try not to call more attention to your infrequency by mentioning it yourself.

If resources are an issue, rely on user-generated content until you can curate original, interesting pieces.

Also, consider using an automated scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite to plan in advance and prevent future lapses.

Giving Your Audience the Cold Shoulder

Social media is a unique platform for building personal relationships with customers, regardless of their location.

But only if you take full advantage of it.

Far too often, brands post and run, leaving audience engagement up to chance.

Will I receive comments? Likes? Shares?

Will my audience stick around for the long run?

Not if you slap a sales-pitch on an Instagram caption without encouraging discussion around a broader topic.

Foster engagement, promote brand loyalty and keep your customers happy by:

  • Responding to comments, questions, and mentions
  • Asking for audience participation, such as questions, content submissions, or contest entries

Brands such as Starbucks and Southwest Airlines have mastered the art of audience engagement.

For Starbucks, their focus is more than just the coffee.

The java giant runs an annual #RedCupContest, promotes community events, acknowledges holidays and seasonal events (hello, Pumpkin Spice Latte), and regularly responds to posts.

Southwest Airlines is famous for their fast and personal responses on Twitter, particularly when dealing with negative feedback.

During a recent crisis with 2,000 cancelled flights, the airline took to social media to communicate with customers.

They acknowledged the inconvenience for passengers and owned the situation, proving that, once again, honesty reigns king. 

Using Canned Responses

This one is simple: Do not—I repeat—do not write spammy, automated comments on other users’ posts.

If you’re going to comment (as I suggest you do), write relevant, thoughtful responses that show you actively read the content they shared.

But in order to do that, you first must actually read the content.

It’s easy to fall victim to automated messaging, especially with Twitter auto-replies and the ease of writing, “Like it!” or “Yum!” on Instagram.

Yet social media is built around conversations and relationships, not spam.

Take it from some of the worst Twitter fails, such as Bank of America appearing tone-deaf in a reply to an Occupy activist: The easy way out is not worth it in the long run. #embarrassing

Also, never send direct messages such as, “Thanks for the follow!” That screams autobot.

Mixing Up Their and There

Good grammar should be a given, but it’s often neglected due to the immediacy demanded by social media.

Trust me: That extra minute of proofreading is worth it.

More than just punctuation, make sure you double-check sentence structure, subject-noun agreement and the meaning of words (like further and farther, affect and effect, and—PLEASE learn the difference between their and there).

Download the plug-in Grammarly to help you catch any sneaky writing errors.

Social Media Mistakes Be Damned!

The writing’s on the wall: Social media will continue to play an integral role in both daily life and marketing strategy.

What will you do to avoid these social media mistakes?

How will you craft your online etiquette strategy?

Emily Joseph

Emily Joseph is a content marketing coordinator at Sparxoo, an integrated digital marketing agency based in Tampa, Florida.

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