Have you ever seen a social media post and thought to yourself: who approved this??? I know I have. Since digital marketing has become a strong part of the brands marketing strategy, social media mistakes became an often form of embarrassment for many brands. As these platforms make a slippery ground ideal for making a very visible mistake.
Many of international giants, like Starbucks, Pepsi or Dove, have had fails because of it. Some of them are pretty funny while others are cringeworthy or just stepping the line of a good taste. We’ve made a list of common social media mistakes which make the internet go wild.
#1 Automatic cross-posting
This is a rookie mistake that many brands make. Nothing shows that you don’t care about your social media accounts as just reposting the same content on all of your channels. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are different platforms for a reason. The same copy or visual which is great for Facebook won’t work that well on Instagram.
For example, common mistakes brands do is putting links in the copy of an Instagram post. Everyone knows that links do not work on Instagram Feed. So, why embarrass yourself and put it there. The same thing is vice-a-versa. Link in Bio copy works only on Instagram. So, don’t just copy-paste that text to your Twitter or Facebook. It looks lazy and sloppy. Words we’re sure you don’t want as a description of your brand.
If you’re not sure of the technical side of content intended for different social media read our blogpost on different Social media image sizes.
#2 Bad grammar
Everyone makes mistakes. It is a normal thing. But if you’re managing social media of a brand be sure to minimize those mistakes. Especially grammar ones. There are many grammar programs and extensions like Grammarly which automatically correct your text as you’re writing. Use them!
Making consistent mistakes in writing is just not a good look for a company. It creates an unprofessional image which is the last thing a brand wants from their social media. By doing so, you’re making yourself an easy target for internet trolls, who in this case have a complete right to mock you. So, before pushing a publish button make sure to check you’re spelling and grammar. Don’t fail at basic steps.
#3 Too many click baits
Ok, we’re living in 2019, and clickbait headlines are everywhere. They are even fine in some cases. But when brands start to abuse them by constantly publishing the same clickbait-formula-headlines, they easily get very annoying. And when you’re constantly annoying your followers, it is very possible that you’ll lose them. Even worse case is to constantly annoy people who don’t even follow you but fit into your targeted audience. No one wants to scroll through their feed and feel like they’re being cheated and bombarded by irrelevant ads.
The common philosophy that every click makes for good traffic is not that true. Because if you attract people to your website based on a clickbait title (which doesn’t have any connection to what is shown on the website), it is highly likely they will feel frustrated and misled. Not to mention that they’ll probably leave with a bad taste in the mouth and won’t come back. And that is a storyline which you certainly don’t want.
#4 Irrelevant emojis and hashtags
Emojis and hashtags are great tools available on social media. When used correctly, they can help you raise engagement on your posts and create a more relatable image of your brand. But they are to be used with a dose and caution.
Emojis have become a language for itself, and their meaning is constantly changing. If you’re not up to date with their ever-changing millennial meanings, it is very easy to make a mistake. For example, putting a simple eggplant emoji in a copy can be a quite risky move if you don’t know what its secondary meaning is.
When it comes down to hashtags, we recommend using only a few relevant ones. For example, if you’re a food brand, don’t try to cover every single food hashtag ever made. Choose a few most relevant ones for your post and keep it simple. Another thing is, don’t overthink your official hashtag. Make it easy to understand and direct. Something that people will immediately connect with your brand.
#5 Reckless answers
Unless you were living under a rock last decade, you know how fast things get viral on the internet. One thing more common than offended people on the internet is a mockery of mistakes which happened on social media and are now visible to millions around the globe. Brands are easy targets for these kinds of posts. Millions of people around the world know of them, which makes a perfect base for a viral post.
With this kind of visibility in mind, when answering to your followers on social media always think twice before pushing the publish button. A simple misunderstanding of meaning or a wrong interpretation can lead to a big mistake.
Another thing we suggest is avoiding jokes which cross a line of good taste. Some brands try to be overly funny or cool on their social media which in the end backfires. There are A LOT of people on the internet, and you can offend thousands of them by posting a wrong comment which you thought may sound funny. Racial, political, and sexuality questions shouldn’t ever be mock or made fun of, especially not on your brand’s official social media accounts.
In the end, if you’ve already made a mistake of offending people by posting a reckless joke or comment do your best to write a sincere apology. There is nothing worse than a robot-like apology statement which essentially doesn’t mean anything to anyone.
If you’re just starting to build your social media presence and are interested in more, read our article on How to properly use social media for small business.