Things businesses need to avoid doing on social media

Whether you are new to social media or you’re a veteran, just about everyone is guilty of making mistakes in their digital strategy. Yes, even you self-dubbed expert of all-things social media. It can be difficult to step back and really take a long, hard look at your social media efforts especially when you have handled accounts for years. And when you are a newbie, it can be downright overwhelming trying to determine best practices for your company, within your industry, in your geographical region… you get the point.  Before you open Word, Excel, PowerPoint or whichever platform you plan on using to map out your attempt at social media domination, let’s look at a few things you should avoid doing.

Doing nothing

We’ve seen the advice “it’s better to do nothing than do it wrong” given by others who work in the social media field. We say balderdash. Unless you are planning on posting something so divisive that it could cost you business, we believe trying something is always better than sitting out. Social media is vital for today’s business and a little trial and error won’t hurt anyone. Go ahead, jump in, the social media water is fine.


Avoid being a bore. How can one be boring on social media? Well for one, talking about your business continually with no other content. If you are just posting specials every day, that’s boring. Telling everyone how awesome your business is every chance you get…boring. Don’t concern yourself with being the epitome of social media entertainment but do try to sidestep being that quintessential self-promoting yawn inducing company.

Trying to go viral

The term “viral” has become almost a bad word in the land of social media marketing. Way too many companies, and individuals, are trying to hit a home run with every single post. But just like in baseball, if you are always swinging for the fences, more times than not you are going to strike out. For those not familiar with baseball, here’s a rundown that doesn’t include a sports reference: Don’t try to go viral. Create posts that are worthwhile. Posts that entertain or inform. Just don’t mutter the “v” word.

Being too political

Everyone sees the one-upsmanship that occurs on social media when it comes to politics. Avoid it. If your company has causes, that’s great. Openly supporting political candidates is not. Again. Causes, great. Supporting candidates not great. You can vote for whomever you wish, just don’t advertise it on your company’s social media accounts. As Michael Jordan said (or maybe not) “Republicans buy shoes too.”

Overly self-promoting (an extension of “Yawn…boring”)

Maybe you’re asking, “what is considered self-promoting?” If you are touting that your business is the bee’s knees, providing a list of your specials or sales, mentioning how terrible your competitor’s are (never do this) you are self-promoting. Taking pictures of your employees doing a fun activity is not. That’s sharing. Now if the employees are holding a sign that says “ABC Inc. is the best” that could be considered self-promotion.

Being a copycat

Using a successful company’s social media strategy as a guide for your own is actually a good idea. Copying what your competitors are doing, almost down to the word, is a recipe for disaster. For example, if your competitor has “funny employee picture Wednesday” don’t counter their funny employee pictures with your own every, say, Wednesday. You can utilize the idea but make it your own.

Not engaging

Post and run is not a framework for a winning social media strategy. Post and run? That’s the act of posting your content and then running away from it like it’s that terrible cousin who used to break your toys right after you received them as a gift. Your social media is not that cousin. It needs to be cared for daily, hourly even. Engage with your followers. Respond to their comments and like and comment on their content as well.

You now have an idea of what you’re not supposed to do on social media. Avoiding mistakes is a good way to start a solid strategy so you’re already ahead of the game. And remember, your social media never broke your toys, so it doesn’t deserve to be treated like Tim, not to be specific or anything.

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