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5 Common Social Media Mistakes (Part 1)

Social media mistakes are easy to make and happen all the time, and it makes sense when you consider the huge amount of real-time content being shared every day by people who are not necessarily trained primarily in communications.

As a business, avoiding making these mistakes will help you maintain the professional image you wish to present to the world. Here are 5 of the most common social media mistakes we see and hear about…

1. Reacting With Emotion

The number one social blunder is responding too hastily to controversial comments. When a difficult situation arises, it’s natural to get upset and want to immediately jump in and defend yourself or your business against any comments that are less than complimentary. But wait. Take a breath. Count to ten. Do whatever works to calm down and force yourself to give the post and subsequent comments some rational thought. It will be the best thing you can do – not only to uphold the impression you want to portray for your business, but to avoid unnecessary conflict.

2. Being Negative

On the subject of controversy, some believe a good way to get their name known is to post negative content. This involves a certain amount of risk and for most, it is not a wise move. The phrase “all publicity is good publicity” is a lie. Be mindful of how your words could alienate and offend those who you need on your side Try to keep it positive and if in doubt, don’t post it.

3. Putting Out Mixed Messages

You should be using social media to get people to know, like and trust you and what you stand for. This is why you need to have a plan and a strategy in place. Consider your target audience and what messages you wish to communicate. Be consistent.  Keep coming back to your strategy to make sure you are sticking to your core values and reputational objectives. Ensure that you triple check your posts for anything that doesn’t quite fit the image you are going for. It’s sometimes a good idea to have someone proof-read your posts before you go ahead, so get a second opinion if you are not 100% sure.

4. Jumping On The Wrong Bandwagon

Leave the politics and religion to the news channels. It’s usually not worth getting involved. It’s tempting to jump on the bandwagon and start commenting on current events and hot topics, but it’s a risky strategy. If you really do feel passionately about something, consider a positive action such as raising money for a related charity. I don’t think much more needs to be said on this point, but I’d like to remind you of the old saying: Leave all discussion of politics and religion at the door!

5. Relying Too Much On Automation

Another mistake is posting the wrong content at the wrong time. This can happen when your content is heavily automated and you don’t have an awareness of what is being published and when. What seems like a great idea to schedule on Monday could become a bad idea by Wednesday. Don’t try to be clever and schedule social media updates to sound ‘real-time.’ If you are tweeting from an event you couldn’t attend because your car broke down on the way, you look a bit silly. Your followers may even see you as lazy and inauthentic if it’s obvious that you schedule content heavily and too far in advance. It’s fine to automate some content, but balance it with real-time updates and ensure you still remain ‘present.’

There’s more were those came from. If you enjoyed this article and want to read more, make sure you check out the next article “5 More Common Social Media Mistakes.”  

Bethany Carter,  March 8, 2016

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