How easy is it to make an embarrassing social media mistake? If you’re not careful to avoid these common errors, you can do lasting damage to your brand.
A poorly misappropriated hashtag, losing your cool with online hecklers (trolls!), and careless posting can cause your brand to potentially suffer from social media marketing, rather than benefit from it.
Unfortunately, social media mistakes sometimes go viral, overshadowing all of the hard work brands do to build their reputations online.
Want to safeguard your business’s social media from ridicule and infamy? Here are three common online marketing errors you can avoid:
1. Hijacking a hashtag
Hashtags regularly pop up and fade away with current events. One easy-to-avoid social media blunder that can prompt ridicule (and even outrage!) is using a hashtag that is circulating due to a disaster or tragic news as a sales opportunity.
In one example, a hashtag that was in use after a deadly shooting happened to be identical to a clothing brand’s product name. Unfortunately, the company couldn’t resist jumping into the conversation around the tragedy with a shout out to its product - a mistake the resulted in multiple apologies.
Hashtag mistakes can also be less opportunistic. Even well-meaning companies that don’t research the origin and current use of a hashtag can jump in with a post that is either irrelevant or antithetical to the hashtag’s conversation. In one example, a pizza company misappropriated a hashtag that was in use for domestic violence awareness to flippantly promote their pizza. The company later admitted not researching what the hashtag was about before using it.
2. Losing your cool
Social media gives you a direct line of communication with customers and prospective customers that is completely transparent. So it’s very important that you are impeccable with your word.
Unfortunately, the relative anonymity of the internet emboldens some people to antagonize companies through their social media profiles. Our policy is that it is always in a brand’s best interest to take the high road in any conversation. By responding with kindness, you have a chance to show the best of who you are behind your brand profile. Anger, sarcasm, and insults are best left as the tools of a troll, not of an effective social media manager.
Respect the feedback followers are giving you on social media. Some may have legitimate criticism that will improve your brand. Stay engaged, and stay composed. Don’t get pulled down into a war of words.
3. Not respecting platform differences
Social media is a blanket term, but companies who market well are usually discerning with the different platforms and their particular cultures. Not every platform is a good fit for every business. It’s best to focus on the platforms that fit your business and target market.
Let’s say you choose to be active on Facebook and Instagram. Then, in an effort to access the Twitter audience, you automate your Facebook and Instagram posts to appear automatically on that platform. This mistake will turn off Twitter users over time as tweets that are too long get cut off mid-sentence, making it obviously automated.
Similarly, don’t simply cut and paste Facebook posts into Instagram. Give individualized attention to each of your platforms and the followers on each. And realize a platform like LinkedIn has a dramatically different set of norms than a platform like Snapchat.
Need help knowing where your business should engage online? Download our social media checklist for a quick and easy-to-use guide!
Using social media is one of the most direct and effective ways to keep your target audience engaged with your company. Staying vigilant against these mistakes will help keep your social media profiles working positively for you!
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.