Social Media: Five Worst Practices That Can Hurt Your Brand

We all know some things that are super annoying on social media, but are they really worst practices? What’s true and what isn’t? Read on to find out!

Tagging Everyone

Have you been tagged by people who don’t know you so they can sell you something? If you have, maybe you or your brand have been getting unfollowed or — worse — blocked. If you are tagged and then do a “reply all” and reply to everyone, you may risk spamming those who don’t care about the topic. You may also be muted and not even realize it! Social Media Examiner has a swell article about tagging and mentioning on Instagram. I also really like this article by Lisa Larter on Tagging Etiquette: “If you don’t use this etiquette the right way, instead of landing leads and garnering the positive attention you’re seeking, you’ll wind up turning people completely off of you and your content.”

Treating All Platforms Like They’re the Same

Posting the same thing across all social media platforms? Although the languages overlap in some cases, there are still differences between them. For instance, using too many hashtags on Facebook can be the mark of a newbie. Often, people use hashtags that don’t even make sense. Do they think all those hashtags make them look cool? I have no idea. I wrote about this around 100 years ago: Different Platform, Different Language. Then again, sometimes platforms change the rules. For instance, Pinterest which never encouraged hashtags, now does encourage them. It’s worthwhile to do a quick Google search to see what’s happening before using hashtags (or any other practice).

Filling Your Posts with TLAs

Unless your audience is very narrow, and you know them all, then over use of three-letter acronyms can really turn off an audience. It’s a good idea to explain acronyms the first time they’re used, at the very least. I see this a lot in scientific posts. Think about your audience, and whether any of them are newbies. If they are, then consider explaining your acronyms. You may also have followers who aren’t newbies, but are new to your particular field. Explaining your acronyms is never a bad idea.

Being Unsocial

If you’re broadcasting and you/your brand is not a broadcast medium (radio, t.v., etc.), then what is the point of social media? Respond to people, thank them, and mention others often. Share articles that your primary audience might find interesting. And support your friends. If you can’t afford to buy their product or service, you can share what they have to offer, or make connections for them. Speaking of friends, you might like this article on Friend Sourcing.

Posting Unsavory Things

Politics, sexual content, or badmouthing others can lead to being unfollowed. It’s better to focus on the things you might have in common with others. Small talk isn’t such a bad thing on social media. If you’re posting for a political account, that might be an exception. Otherwise, decide what you want to avoid on social media.

Speak Your Mind


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