5 Social Media Marketing Faux Pas to Avoid

Social media marketing is an excellent way to increase your brand recognition, reach more potential leads, and engage with your loyal customer base — provided you don’t make a huge faux pas, of course. The truth is that social media is fraught with perils; if a hastily typed tweet or an offensive status message can ruin the reputation of regular users, what do you think it will do to a brand?

Don’t fly (or tweet) by the seat of your pants; instead, just learn what mistakes to avoid so you can ensure your success. Here are five such mistakes.

Neglecting Your Visual Appeal

Nearly half of social media users respond better to content that includes a photo. With social networking sites like Instagram and Pinterest rising to the forefront, you have no excuse not to include imagery with your status updates and tweets. If you offer a particular product or a service that’s in any way photogenic, so to speak, you’ll increase your audience and share volume simply by sharing eye-catching photos. Look at pages for fashion brands, home decor retailers, and restaurants to see how you can use photos to your company’s advantage.

Forgetting Your Descriptions

You’re losing a lot if you don’t let your visitors know where they’re going. Your company’s website is probably streamlined and simple to navigate, right? There’s no excuse not to do the same on your social media pages. Visitors need to know where they are and how to find what they need. That’s why you need to fill out your About section on Facebook, your bio on Twitter, and your description notes on Pinterest.

You can also benefit from:

  • Creating hashtags relevant to your company’s pages, with special respect to Twitter and Instagram
  • Opening a Google+ circle for different sub-groups
  • Adding additional pages to Facebook, describing giveaways, deal, and events
  • Starting groups on Pinterest for specific categories

Getting Offensive

One of the worst things any company can do is offend its customers and fans. These days, reputations sometimes live and die on social media, especially for celebrities and businesses. If you aren’t eager to write a company-wide apology to your entire customer base, avoid getting offensive, vulgar, or provocative on social media.

It’s important to appear personal, likable, and like a real person behind that screen; people hate automated responses. However, your business pages are not your soapboxes, and your loyal consumers come from all walks of life. Avoid polarizing topics, such as politics, religion, race, and sexuality, and try to keep things geared toward the brand. If someone does make a slip, you can get past this major faux pas; advertising firms like Geary LSF can help you get your social media plan back on track.

Sharing Irrelevant Information

Sharing irrelevant information is another habit to avoid. It’s okay to share funny photos or videos, and you’ll notice a lot more comments and likes if you post a popular meme, but there’s a catch when you’re engaging in social media marketing. You have to keep it on point.

Some e-cards are everywhere, and a lot of them are incredibly funny. You may want to share one on the company’s Pinterest and Facebook pages, and that’s fine — just make sure it’s somehow relevant to what you’re saying or doing in regard to the brand. This is also a top reason to avoid sharing overly personal opinions or philosophies on anything other than your product or service. Above all, try to tell a story.

Failing to Engage

You have to treat your fans, follows, and subscribers like valuable customers — because they are. Just because you’re not face-to-face with a gushing or disgruntled fan, that doesn’t mean you can ignore customer service. Share with your followers by acknowledging what they say. You don’t have to respond to everything, but you have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly. The only exception is that you should not egg on hecklers or troublemakers.

Social media marketing allows you to get your name out there for free, so make the most of it by avoiding the biggest faux pas. Have you ever committed social networking sin?