Social Media Gaffes

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Social media is a great platform to extend your brand and reach new consumers, but it can be tricky to navigate and maintain. Below are some of the top social media gaffes of companies and users you need to avoid.

1. Ignoring consumers

Many companies forget that social media is a two-way street and was created for greater interactions. These interactions can be wonderful and synergistic, but some can be negative feedback or comments. While some may be internet “trolling” or unproductive, others are actual customers or users with experiences that should be addressed. It is critical to note once a brand engages with a customer to address an issue on social media, the brand must follow through with providing support to resolve the issues, otherwise it can create an even more negative customer experience and/or create a PR nightmare. No one wants that.

2. Leaving your social media accounts to the intern

Social media accounts should under no circumstances be treated as a quick chore for an intern or newbie to the company to manage. Just because they have the working knowledge and enjoy using social media does not mean they automatically should be responsible for any social media accounts. Social media platforms should be treated as what they are: valuable advertising platforms and accounts and the brand voice. Leaving an individual with unknown reliability or questionable judgment to manage social media can be disastrous.

3. Using the wrong social media platforms to reach your audience

There are no real rules, template, or number of how many or which social media platforms should be used. Deciding which social media platform is best for your company and brand requires a look at marketing strategies and which consumers your brand is trying to reach. Every platform targets a specific market, but not all platforms overlap, just as all markets don’t overlap. Companies should use their resources most efficiently, and if this means expending all resources on only one social media platform, then so be it.

4. Lack of understanding of the platform trends

For those who are avid social media users, nothing is more frustrating or annoying than witnessing or having to interact with social media users who don’t fully understand the platform’s features and uses. The most recent and greatest abuse of this is hashtags. Created to help track trending conversations and topics with a social tag, hashtags are easily abused. Brands and users who tag every post with an inordinate amount of hashtags are annoying. Likewise, if a hashtag is trending and a brand or user incorrectly tags, doesn’t fully understand, or misinterprets the meaning of the hashtag, the results can be embarrassing, inappropriate and in poor taste.

5. Not properly linking information

When multiple social media accounts are used, the accounts should be connected seamlessly. This is for several practical reasons. Firstly, the most efficient use of time and energy is to post once to multiple accounts. Secondly, posting identical information helps create brand and message consistency. Thirdly, linking accounts allows a way for consumers to easily follow a brand on multiple accounts and creates greater ties between the consumer and the brand. Finally, it’s the easiest method for consumers to tell if they have already viewed the information, cutting down on the annoying habit of having to check several accounts.