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Giraffe Social Media

ways to fail at social media

Seven Ways to Fail at Social Media

Social media is an asset, but it’s not an easy one. Luckily we are here to help! Make sure you’re aware of these seven ways to fail at social media, so you can avoid the simple mistakes!

Ways to Fail at Social Media:
  1. A Fake Voice
  2. Poor Spelling
  3. Bad Grammar
  4. Poor Customer Service
  5. Wrong Sized/Poor Quality Images
  6. Spamming Customers/Sales-Pushy Posts
  7. Irrelevant Content

Now it is time to delve into each of these ways to fail at social media in a little more detail…

A fake voice

An authentic brand voice is infinitely important as this voice creates a sense of honesty and credibility. A Cohn Wolfe study states:

“Nearly nine out of 10 consumers are willing to take action to reward a brand for its authenticity, including 52% who would recommend the brand to others and 49% who would pledge loyalty to the brand. 20% would be prepared to put their money on the table and invest in a brand that proves its authenticity.”

To achieve this authentic tone:

  • Try and keep your posts honest, without sugar-coating any negative factors. If a customer can see that you are honest on social media, they are more likely to think you’re honest in business.
  • Be consistent to your brand, find your tone of voice and stick with it. Don’t try too hard, trying to be ‘down with the kids’ shows exactly how not down with the kids you are.
  • Never attempt to use slang on social media you wouldn’t use in real life.
  • Write like you talk.
Poor Spellcheck and Grammar

These two really should be a given. Poor spelling and grammar is unprofessional and in this day and age with automatic spell check, a little lazy. Non proof-read posts can result in a lack of trust and credibility which could, in turn, lose you countless sales.

To make sure your posts are up to scratch:

  • Proof-read.
  • If you struggle with spelling try copying and pasting your posts into Microsoft Word to check for any errors with spellcheck.
  • Read out loud – this usually highlights tricky areas including strange sentence structure, repetition and grammar discrepancies.
  • Ask someone else to proof-read – sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will notice what you can’t.
Poor Customer Service

Remember, there is never an excuse to be rude.

  • Any negative comments are an excellent opportunity for great customer service; you just need to know how to deal with them.
  • Everyone knows your auto-response is fake. Sometimes, the auto-response doesn’t even make sense in regards to what it’s ‘responding’ to. Not only does this reduce your credibility, but it makes your followers feel under-valued and ignored.
  • Ignoring customers, whether their comments are good or bad is also a big no-no. Interacting with your followers shows that your business cares and also reminds your customers that you’re human.
  • If tongue-in-cheek is your thing, fine, but remember there is a fine line between cheeky and offensive or distasteful. Be aware of your audience and sensitive to current issues and affairs.
  • Our very own Content Marketing Assistant Olivia Newman has this to say:

“Interaction is everything, whether you’re starting the conversation or responding. If you aren’t interacting with potential customers, you’re missing out on lots of opportunities”.

Wrong sized and poor quality images

Yet again, poor images can look unprofessional and lazy, affecting your credibility. Extend the care and perfectionism you use in every aspect of your business to ensure a high-quality profile. Our Social Media Manager Joaquin explains the best way to get excellent images:

“We use sites like Freepix, Unsplash and Pixabay, which offer stock photos that let you use, edit and add to a wide range of images. Some sites offer subscriptions, which means you get access to even more pictures! A CC license means you can use and share the image widely, but double check before you utilise photos from online.

Spamming customers/focusing too heavily on sales

Your number one reason for being on social media is probably to get sales, but you need to be smart about achieving this. Constant self-promotion and endless posting is perceived as ‘spam-like’ and can be incredibly off-putting. Earn the right to promote yourself through providing excellent content, from images, tips and tricks, to insider content and more. Give your followers a reason to keep coming back and a chance to become loyal and engaged.

Resident Social Media Manager Sheleena says:

“Repeating sales-focused posts is a bit like telling someone to get a tuna sandwich over and over again, when they’ve said maybe the first time.”

So what’s the best way to avoid being the annoying tuna sandwich pusher? While there are many ratios of posting out there, Giraffe are willing to commit to the Golden Ratio by Rallyverse:

  • 30% owned
  • 60% curated
  • 10% promotional
Irrelevant Content

When it comes to ways to fail at social media, our Social Media Manager Dominic says:

“Always be consistent with your branding. Make sure your colours are always on brand and keep the logo in a similar position on images.”

Low engagement can result in Facebook categorising your content as irrelevant and limiting the reach and let’s not forget the all-important credibility; your followers are following you for a reason. This results in a massive fail at social media. If you’re an accounting firm, I doubt they will want the update that light-up yo-yos are back in fashion. It’s important to know your brand, know your audience and remain true to this.

Points to remember:
  • Retweets are not just space fillers – they need to be consistent with your branding.
  • Be wary of hashtags and fads; just because it’s what’s ‘in’ and what’s being consumed by the masses, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
  • Everything you post is a reflection of your brand.
We hope you enjoyed this list of the ways to fail at social media. If any of your questions haven’t been answered, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today!
Written by Laurie Fuller; edited by Olivia Newman – 08/04/2019.

Editor - 

Mark is our resident content marketing manager and editor of our expert blog on social media and digital content marketing mastery. Alongside having a passion for enacting positive social change through media, Mark loves food, travel and art.

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