Just Don’t Do THAT!

After having read somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 versions (you think I am kidding, oh no) of articles titled “X Things You Shouldn’t Do on Social Media”, I feel relatively qualified to make my own Top 10 List. Truth be told, I could probably make a Top 100 list, but the purpose is to inform and entertain, not to put anyone to sleep. So, herewith is my list of the Top Ten Things Businesses Should Avoid Doing on Social Media!

Ask for something, or try to sell something too soon:

It is a cardinal rule in the Social Media universe that you engage and build trust with your audience first, before you try to turn them into customers or supporters. Even when trust is established, a good rule for your Social Media should be 60% education, 30% information, and 10% commerce.

Buy followers, likes or plus 1s:

Yes, there are companies who will “sell” you hundreds of followers. At best you will waste a lot of money to get new followers who aren’t paying any attention to you, and never convert into customers or supporters. At worst, legitimate followers will figure out what you are doing and you will lose credibility with the people who really count.

Criticize the Competition:

The best plan is usually not to mention your competition at all, unless you are working out a partnership or collaborative effort. Otherwise, talk all you want about what makes you special but never speak ill of your competitors.


Sharing and curating content is a legitimate strategy on Social Media, so go ahead and post that link to a well written article, blog post, or web resource. Just don’t use content without attribution and never post what someone else has written as if it were your own. I was getting daily commentary from a connection on LinkedIn that was pretty good stuff. Then one day he posted something that sounded just too familiar to me, and I found that he had published, without any editing or changing, an article I had read that very morning from someone else. Now curious, I went back and looked at several of the articles this guy had written previously, and, sure enough, every single one of them  had been ripped off from somewhere else. I sent this information to LinkedIn, and guess who isn’t on that platform any more?

Participate Without Measuring Impact:

There are many tools to help measure the ROI on your Social Media activity. Some are free, some are built into the platform, and you can pay for services as well. Or you can just keep your own statistics on whether your latest Tweets about a new service correlate with increased sales, or an online discussion of your nonprofit’s need appears to stimulate more donations. In any event, use some form of measurement and check often.

Cross the Controversy Gap:

My mother always said that there were three things you shouldn’t discuss in polite company; religion, politics, and money. This is good advice for your Social Media presence as well. Of course, if you are a financial services firm you will talk about money, or if you are a religious fellowship you are going to talk about your own belief systems. But if any of these topics is not directly related to your product, your process or your mission, stay away!

Post too often:

There are plenty of resources that recommend posting frequency. 4 or 5 Tweets per day, 1 or 2 postings on Facebook, 2 to 4 blog posts per week. Pay attention to these limits. If you consistently overdo it, you will find your followers dropping you, or at the very least they will start ignoring your messages.

Delete negative remarks:

If you allow comments to your blog posts, or otherwise solicit feedback from readers, you should expect negative feedback from time to time. Don’t run away from this, and don’t delete negative responses unless they are clearly trolling efforts. Face your critics, explain your position when appropriate, and move on. Arguing with a critic is rarely a good idea.

Misspell words, use poor grammar or otherwise write badly:

If you aren’t naturally good at writing well, spelling correctly, and using words as they were meant, make sure everything you post is proofread by at least two others before you let the world see it.

Work without a plan:

This of course could, and probably should be at the top of the list, because no business should even begin to use Social Media without first creating a strategy. What platforms should we be on to reach our customers? Who is in charge? How much time can we invest in SM? Of course, if you are already online, the time to slow down for a minute and create your plan is right now.

And now that I’ve given you some good education and information, I will add that Innovaision can help your business create a great Social Media Strategy. Contact us if you’d like to talk about how we can help!