social media mistakesIn the spirit of this week’s follow-up articles I thought I would write another article about social media mistakes following on from my earlier 10 common social media mistakes, because let’s face it – people just need to know what they are doing wrong. Also it’s easier for me to write than other articles I’m in the process of doing, so it’s also in the spirit of being lazy! Everyone wins!

PS> if you missed the other ‘more’ article of the week, check out my record-breaking ‘100 more social media statistics’, the most shared Social Skinny article (in space of 24hrs) yet!

1.       Making it difficult to leave comments on your blog

Let’s face it, engagement is to social media as sex is to Valentines Day – if you’re not getting it, you’re doing it wrong (points for that topical tie-in, right?). It’s one thing to be writing articles on a blog (be it corporate or personal) and not getting comments because you’re rejected (believe me, I emphathise), but to not be getting comments because you’re not allowing them is plain crazy. Anyone who doesn’t have a comments functionality on their blog deserves to be at least somewhat violently maimed. Please make sure you’re letting people leave comments if they feel so inclined. Futhermore, please leave comments on my blog posts because it makes me feel loved and special. Many thanks.

2.       Ignoring, deleting or getting defensive about negative comments

This one is a pretty common affliction for people looking after Facebook Pages and/or blogs. An angry customer, jealous competitor/friend or someone who just doesn’t agree with you leaves a post/comment that you don’t like. What do you do? Remove all evidence as quickly as possible! Except, no, you shouldn’t do that. It’s actually Social Media 101 on what NOT TO DO. Never remove negative comments unless they are truly offensive. The best strategy is to respond to that person acknowledging their issue/complaint and ideally either explaining your position or doing something to help fix the problem. Ignoring it will make you seem like you just don’t care, and even worse if you get defensive it will make you look guilty and turn others off. I am the first person to acknowledge that customers can be the most annoying people on the planet (not to mention intellectually deficient), but your blog or Facebook Page is a public representation of you so you need to be careful how you behave. The raving customer will always come out looking worse if you post an apologetic and/or rational response. It works out much better than the “F*(% YOU!” that you want to post… as tempting as it is (and trust me, managing the Qantas social media response for a few months taught me just how tempting that can be!)

3.       Retweeting compliments about your brand or posting testimonials

This one drives me crazy. Brands/Groups/Associations who feel the need to retweet every positive tweet that is posted about them. I’m sorry, but this is the equivalent of someone telling you they like your hair, and you going round to everyone that day saying “Bob said he liked my hair” for no apparent reason. Do they care what Bob thinks about your hair? Is that contributing to them or their business in a useful way? No. Don’t act like a love job by emphasising that someone else thinks you’re great. It makes everyone else think the opposite. TRUST ME.

4.       Creating Facebook profiles instead of pages

This one could be forgiven a year or two ago, but now it just looks plain unprofessional. Let me break it down for you: Profiles are for private people. Pages are for celebrities (public people), brands etc. Do not create your business Facebook presence as a profile. This is very bad. If you’ve made this mistake in the past, you can actually rectify it by migrating your profile over to a Page (though you’ll lose your content, but not your ‘friends’). You can do this by visiting this site:

5.       Expecting that ‘if you build it they will come’.

It’s great that you’ve created a Facebook Page or Twitter account, blog etc. Go you! But the thing is, you’re not magically going to build a community without doing something. Well unless you’re really, really famous. So many people abandon their social accounts because nothing is happening, yet if you speak to them they haven’t done very much at all to try and get something happening. You’re going to have to put in some effort to get people joining your community. You can pick up a few ideas in my article 10 quick & easy ways to get more Facebook fans – at least from a Facebook perspective!

6.       Not allowing people to post to your Facebook Page

This is a bit like the blog comments in point number one above. Don’t restrict your Facebook community by making your channel broadcast-only. You want to talk to your fans! If they have something bad to say you should be aware of it and address it as best as you can (taking point 2 into account). If someone is spamming you repeatedly you can just ban them from your Page, but otherwise hopefully some people will post nice happy positive things to your wall. Hurrah!

7.       Not making your website ‘shareable’

This one is huge. Make sure every aspect of your website is easily shareable on social media. This means actively having social share buttons (see above and below every post on my site), as well as ensuring that you have the correct meta-data so that when your content is shared, a nice pretty and appropriate thumbnail appears alongside the title and description of that particular content. This is super important, because people are already doing you a favour by sharing your content, so don’t make them have to work harder by typing in the title and description to. Most of the time they won’t bother.

8.       Consistently posting loooooong Facebook posts and/or tweets

There’s nothing wrong with a long Facebook status or a tweet that takes up the full 140 character limit here and there. But it’s a huge social media mistake to consistently post long updates. I’ll tell you why – people are lazy and they don’t like reading. The more words you put up there the more their little tiny brain freaks out. They don’t want to spend five minutes every day reading your posts that could be spent checking out lolcats and/or perving on the receptionist. It might be sad, but it’s true. Shorter posts get more attention and more engagement. True story. Also, long Twitter updates can be harder to retweet. And you want your tweets retweeted. Yes you do.

9.       Providing no incentive for people to connect with your brand

This kinda ties in with point 5, except it applies both to get people to your profiles as well as to convert them to a fan/follower. Sometimes being a customer or knowing you will be enough, but it never hurts to provide an incentive for them to connect with you. What will your Facebook Page offer? What will you be tweeting? Will you be promoting special offers, invitations to exclusive events, relevant industry updates or endless pictures of cute cats? Tell people why they should connect with you, then live up to that promise, and I can guarantee you it will lead to a larger and more successful community. One way you can do this on Facebook is by creating a Facebook Welcome Page.

10.   Creating a presence on every social media channel, but doing none well

Are you on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, FlickR, Google+ and have your own blog? Or even at least 2 or three of these? You might be suffering from over-excited-social-media-channel-disorder. The symptoms are the creation of multiple social media accounts across different platforms without having a proper strategy for each or devoting enough time or effort to any to really get any results. Everyone wants to be on the latest social network so they’re part of the ‘in-crowd’, but the truth is every network you use takes time to manage. If you’re spending all your time doing the bare minimum for each of your channels, you might be missing out on the true value of social media. Try instead to focus on just one or two key channels and do a really, really good job. Unless of course you have enough time (or staff members) to do all channels well, in which case go for your life!


So there you have it, another 10 common social media mistakes, on top of the last 10 social media mistakes I wrote about a month ago. Do you agree with me about these? Know any culprits that you care to name and shame? Or got any other pet social media hates?



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