8 Pitfalls to Avoid On Your Business's Social Media Accounts


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Written by Alice Stevens | Last Updated October 29th, 2019
Alice Stevens is a language enthusiast, loves history, and enjoys traveling. She manages content for BestCompany.com specializing in finance, insurance, and car warranty.

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Just as preparing a solid social media strategy for your business is important, it’s also vital to avoid major pitfalls.

Whether you are just starting your business or rebuilding your brand, you should create a solid social media strategy and make sure that you have a logo design formatted for profile pictures and cover photos. This will ensure that your company looks professional on social media channels.

While planning and implementing your social media strategy, take the following pitfalls into consideration:

  • Failure to invest
  • Getting into controversial topics
  • Fake followers, fake likes, fake comments
  • Losing focus
  • Posting the same thing
  • Being too salesy
  • Poor responses
  • Not contributing

Failure to invest

Dewayne Hamilton, Director of Web Cosmo Forums
“Social networks bring great results when run by an expert specializing in digital marketing and social network marketing. Do you think it's enough to publish anything, without any plan, strategy, and knowledge of the market and the public, and that results will come to you? Invest in good community managers.”

Sandra Long, author of LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide and President of Post Road Consulting
“The biggest pitfall is missing out on valuable opportunities because company leadership failed to embrace social media for business.”

Getting into controversial topics

Matthew Ross, Co-owner and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard
“We have our employees complete social media training prior to gaining access to our accounts. Next, we tell our employees who have access to our accounts to never post or comment on anything related to ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, or disabilities.

Steve Pritchard, Founder of It Works Media
“Companies should watch out for commenting on controversial topics or anything not relevant to their company. One bad post can damage a brand — so be positive, intriguing, and inspiring.”

Fake followers, fake likes, fake comments

Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics
“A company can measure its success on social media by noticing a steady increase in followers. However, a company needs to be aware of “fake” accounts. Some people create spam accounts which are only used for the purposes of entering giveaway contests.
This means that when you post content you might think you are reaching a bunch of people, when in reality, you are reaching a bunch of fake accounts. If you notice that this is happening, try to consider what real customers might be looking for, and then deliver that material to them.”

Briana Marie, Founder of Tanzek Media
“Many people have turned to auto-comments and auto-liking on social media for the sake of engaging without having to sacrifice the time. However, while automation is extremely important for your marketing plan, it should not come at the expense of authenticity. Robotic comments are a huge turn off and can really hurt your brand. Personalize your comments, and let your audience know that you really care!”
John Frigo, Digital Marketing Lead at MySupplementStore.com
“In regards to growing engagement and followers, many people use SAAS softwares and bots to do things like auto-follow people in the hopes of getting a follow back and then unfollowing whoever doesn’t follow back after a period of time. 
Many brands also use software to send out automated messages to anyone who likes their posts and follows them.
Brands also use software to auto comment on posts using certain hashtags. While this can be effective, to me it comes off as spammy and annoying so I don’t like to utilize these methods.”
Laura Wigodner, Content Marketing Manager at Nex Gen Dynamics
“A huge red flag that companies should watch out for is websites or companies who try to convince you to buy your social media followers. While a large number of followers may look physically appealing at first glance, genuine followers cannot be purchased. Buying followers will give you a plethora of robot accounts who are not even interested in your company, products, or services.”

Losing focus

Luke Wester, Digital Marketing Analyst at Miva, Inc
“Doing social media for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way can be a giant waste of time. Ensure social media initiatives will help you reach your business goals before you invest the time and money into it.”

Janil Jean, Head of Overseas Operations at LogoDesign.net
“One of the pitfalls of social media is that the audience is diversified and massive. Marketers can get lost if they're not focused. For this reason, it is important to have a plan in place before setting out. It's a good practice to have monthly, quarterly, and yearly plans so that you can see where you're going and what you want to achieve at the end of the period equipped with data to back your decision. When something goes wrong, you can easily retract and revise your plan.”

Posting the same thing

Mandie Brice, makeup artist, writer, and social media expert
“Another tip is that if you are on different platforms, it's best to not post the same thing at the same time across every account. The reason for this is again, to make sure your posts are properly formatted for the right platform (another example is that "RT" makes sense on Twitter but is nonsense on Facebook, and even  though clickable hashtags work on Facebook, they aren't as commonly used), and because you want to incentivize your following to follow you on multiple places, but don't want to bore or irritate them with the same thing over and over.”
Ollie Smith, CEO of ExpertSure
“Business should avoid treating their social media accounts like their own website, pushing their 'brand' into second place behind social media, posting identical content on different social media networks, and failing to track the results of their social media activities.”

Being too salesy

Katherine Rowland, Digital Marketing Executive at YourParkingSpace
“A mistake a lot of businesses make is that they try to make every post a sales pitch. Their posts are essentially just broadcasts and are very one dimensional. The best thing a company can do is to make posts that open the door for conversations that they can then get involved in.”

Janil Jean, Head of Overseas Operations at LogoDesign.net
“Where there are opportunities, you can pitch for your products and services but make sure you don't overdo this as it turns off target audiences if not asked for. There is also the issue of being too eager and friendly when handling a brand social media account, which might raise eyebrows, resulting in people shunning your brand. That’s where you need to take a step back and be more professional in your approach.”

Laura Wigodner, Content Marketing Manager at Nex Gen Dynamics
“If your company is using social media to exclusively advertise products and services, that can actually be a red flag for potential customers. Following the 80/20 rule (80 percent entertaining and informative content, 20 percent promotional content) can help with audience retention, growth, and trust.”
Donna Chambers, Founder and CEO of SensaCalm
“Too many businesses focus on selling when creating a social media presence. This can be a big turn off for customers. Customers don't follow a brand to be advertised to; they follow a brand to become part of the community.
If a customer found and followed your social page, there's a good chance they're already familiar with your product or service. So don't hit them over the head with it. Instead, highlight the differentiating characteristics of your brand.”

Poor responses

Kristen Dea, Social Media and Graphic Design Specialist at SEO.com
“Be prepared for damage control. You may get negative feedback or customers leaving angry comments. It can be good or bad depending on how you respond. Think of social media as an extension of your customer service department, only it's public for others to see. When you handle negative feedback in a positive and helpful way, it reassures others that you have good customer service and care about your customers. It's also a great way to get direct feedback on how to improve your business.”
John Frigo, Digital Marketing Lead at MySupplementStore.Com
“As far as pitfalls and red flags, I’d urge companies to keep a level of professionalism. A lot of companies have done a lot of harm to their brand being inappropriate and treating customers poorly in a public forum like social media.”
Matthew Ross, Co-owner and COO of RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard
“We tell our employees to respond to both negative and positive comments. For negative comments, we tell our employees to simply tell the person to email us their complaints so we can take care of the issue. We don't want our employees arguing with consumers in the public eye.”

Not contributing

Lisa Fox, Digital Marketing Director for Lead Gen Hype
“The biggest mistake businesses make with social media is not contributing to the overall conversation. They either just post about their own business or don't interact with their audience or the community around them. Businesses should try to encourage employees to interact with their page, and share and like posts on their posts and relevant groups.”

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