Social media has become the one-stop-shop for staying connected with the world. From posting your vacation selfies to sharing your thoughts on the latest trends to becoming the most used space for marketing, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives. They help us forge connections, spark conversations, and even shape our online identities. However, the world of social media has its share of twists, turns, and tricky pitfalls that can turn an enjoyable online experience into a digital roller-coaster.
In this blog, I’m here to help you navigate the maze of social media successfully.
We’ll start by delving into the universal social media no-nos, such as oversharing personal details, stealing content, and the lure of clickbait. These are the digital hiccups that can trip anyone up, whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned netizen.
I’ll also list out a few platform-specific taboos like Instagram’s vanity trap of buying followers to Twitter’s etiquette of acknowledging mentions, and Facebook’s ethical dilemma of handling negative comments.
Shall we begin?
- Oversharing — There are 2 meanings to the word oversharing. One is of course giving out more information than necessary. If it’s not educational, promotional, or entertaining, if it won’t sway your customers one way or another you can choose to avoid posting.
This brings me to the other meaning of oversharing, especially on stories. Since stories are only live for a maximum of 24 hours, some people and businesses feel they can post a lot since it’s going to expire anyway. However, probably even from your own experience, if I see an account with multiple stories, I don’t tap to the next story, I swipe to the next account.
Post only relevant content and don’t spam your audience.
- Low-quality media — With all the advancements in tech today, you have no excuse for posting low-quality media. There are multiple resources, both paid and free, that help make high-quality content available. The only thing needed is some effort.
Using low-quality media shows that you don’t care about your audience as much as you should.
If you’re posting an especially important image or video and you’re unsure if size and resolution are going to be a problem, you can always create a private test account that you and your team can use to test the media.
- Stealing content — One of the biggest no-nos is stealing content. If you feel someone else’s content will resonate with your audience, reach out to the person and offer a collaboration, or ask if you can share their posts/content and offer to provide credits. Not crediting the creator is looked down upon in the social media marketing world. Also, crediting or collaborating will help gain more followers and widen your customer base.
There’s no downside to giving credit to creators whose content you want to use.
- Clickbaiting your audience — Using clickbait in social media marketing is very very important to avoid because it’s like tricking your friends for a laugh — it’s just not cool. Clickbait relies on flashy headlines, misleading pics, and overhyped claims to drag people in, only to disappoint them with lackluster content. It’s a sneaky move that breaks trust between brands and their followers, and it makes social media a bit of a circus. So, in the long run, it’s a bad call. Trust me, it’s better to keep things honest and build a good reputation rather than going for the quick, shady clicks.
- Misinformation — Always always always fact-check your news and updates before you publish it online. People are quick to point out mistakes and have a tendency to stretch out talking about the mistake for as long as possible.
Misinformation paints you and your brand as unreliable. It will cause hesitation in old and new audiences to trust you and stay loyal. While fake news might be sneaky, we can outsmart it by verifying, cross-referencing, and sharing responsibly.
Platform-specific things to avoid
Buying Followers — There are so many reasons why you should avoid this. This just screams shady and if you’re using social media to grow your business, this is the worst way. Just having a high follower count does nothing for your business if those followers are bought or bots. Geddit?
Followers gained organically care more about your business and will interact with your posts share them and help grow your business.
Plus bought/bot followers tend to spam comment sections and this looks bad. It may even cause you to lose whatever organically gained followers you have.
Skipping captions — Have you ever been scrolling mindlessly and the only reason you find yourself stopping on a particular video or post is the caption?
As animated or captivating a post is, the caption will always add more depth to the meaning you’re trying to convey. Keep it short, relatable, witty, and humorous if possible.
Using hashtags in your caption also helps with reach.
Link in captions — In case you don’t already know, let me confirm it here. Links in Instagram captions and comments are not clickable and you won’t be able to copy them to your clipboard either. Since making things easy for customers is paramount, avoid adding links to these 2 places. You can instead paste a link in your bio and redirect your audience there.
Deleting negative comments — When something is wrong and a customer points it out publicly, deleting it is very cowardly. Other customers will see what is happening and will lose trust in your brand and your ability to face challenges.
Instead of deleting it, addressing it and resolving the issue publicly will show your customers that you care enough about them. That you won’t dismiss their claims when they facing an issue and you’ll work toward taking care of their requests.
Not keeping track of your response rate — While you’re aware you need to take care of negative comments, you also need to make sure that your response rate on comments and DMs is good. If your response rate is not good, new customers will think that you don’t care enough about your customers and will hesitate to purchase from you.
Customer service is the tipping point for most customers today and will only invest their time and money if they are assured they can count on you to provide quick and easy support.
Not replying to mentions — A little like Facebook, ignoring tweets and mentions addressing you or your brand is something you should avoid. You have to be on top of mentions and give quick and simple resolutions to any complaints.
That said, don’t ignore mentions and tweets that have good feedback either. In a rush to sort out problematic tweets, it’s easy to forget to appreciate the positive ones.
All in all, be sure to reply to everyone on time.
Retweeting too much — While sharing UGC and retweeting to bring in a fresh audience is good, it’s best to limit how much you do it.
When someone new reaches your feed page, they should be able to see enough of who and what you are as a brand. It wouldn’t be easy to understand this if it’s full of re-tweets and unoriginal content.
Recognizing what actions to steer clear of is often equally crucial as grasping positive guidance. While this article may not cover every potential misstep, it’s a start.
It’s like having a map that points out some of the big “no-nos” in your journey, so you can make better choices and increase your chances of success. So, yeah, it’s all about keeping an eye out for those potential roadblocks on your way to your goals.