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Top 6 Social Media Fails and How To Avoid Them

01 Nov Top 6 Social Media Fails and How To Avoid Them


Many great brands make the same mistakes over and over again on social media. Whether it’s ignoring their target audience, being too controversial or simple miscommunication with a wrong hashtag or ill timed tweet, any of these social media mishaps could cost you in terms of brand image and customer base.

Take a look at these sins, and make sure you’re not committing them.


1. Automate Everything


You can’t expect to build relationships with your followers by taking a “set it and forget it” approach. Automated tweets can help save time, but when a PR crisis hits or an offensive or offended customer takes to social to engage with a brand, it’s best to participate in the conversation and engage directly with the customer.


2. Sign up to too many Platforms and never log in


Don’t bite of more than you can chew. If you open a social profile people expect customer service on that profile and up to 80% of people expect a reply within 1 hour of posting a comment. If you open too many profiles, never log and reply to customers, people will get angry and frustrated with your brand thus damaging your business. Customers also negatively associate static profiles with your brand and may not order from you if they see profiles that haven’t been updated with content in a while.

Instead of trying to spread yourself across too many social media platforms and failing – try focusing on just one or two. When you limit your social involvement to concentrate on your engagement, you’ll get a much better response from your followers.



3. Don’t alienate your Brand


Don’t alienate your brand, focus on your real message, which should be providing a solution to your customers’ problems. Keep politics and religion off your social media accounts. This goes for responding to negative feedback on social media as well – keep a cool head, engage and move people into a private chat as soon as possible, and address issues head on. After successful resolution of the problem respond to an original post on social media.


4. Continually promote offers


Social media is all about connecting and being social. People hate promotional content, and they detest adverts. You need to spread your brand message, build online relationships, engage with your audience, ask questions, tell stories and be real. However, you also need to make a living and sell.

If you spend too much time being promotional, you are going to lose followers and likes on social media. Promotion needs to be used subtly every now and then on social media. Here’s an example of a well-known brand’s fail when they tried promoting during Hurricane Sandy.



Yes, people might be likely to stay in during large-scale weather events like Hurricane Sandy, but that doesn’t make it the perfect time for online shopping. During the storm, Gap issued the tweet above which was made extra tone-deaf by how many people lost power during and after the storm.


5. Use Hashtags incorrectly


Research what certain hashtags are being used for to ensure they are appropriate to use for your brand. Some may stand for a sensitive topic or something that is in direct opposition to what you want to say, so be careful when using them.

The most infamous example of this mistake is when DiGiorno Pizza hijacked the #WhyIStayed hashtag. It started trending around a discussion of domestic violence. DiGiorno tried to use it to promote pizza. Twitter didn’t laugh.



6. Analyse your Results


If you aren’t tracking what you’re doing on social media, you’ll never know your results. If you don’t know your results, how can you decide if social media marketing is working or how to improve your efforts? By keeping eye on results you are able to see what is/isn’t working for you and make the necessary adjustments to your strategy.


Overall we can see that there are some pretty simple mistakes that even the biggest brands make on social media. It is really important to have a process within your team before making decisions on social media as this is a public-facing platform. Make sure that all actions are agreed within the team and always have a  contingency plan if things go wrong. By using these tips you are well on your way to having a great Social Media strategy!


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