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When it comes to navigating the minefield of the online world there are a few tried and tested ways of how to avoid social media embarrassment.

At Beacon, we’ve spent a long time working with social media and digital marketing and have collated this guide to the 10 social media activity practices you really need to avoid!

1) Don’t Use Auto-response and Default Messages on Your Social Media Platforms

This one is a bit of a no brainer. If you’re using social media to connect your business brand to potential new customers, the last thing they’re going to want to see is the same “Hi, thanks for the follow, here’s my sales page!” direct message they get from everyone else.

When using Twitter for business, craft up a unique, individual response which can be sent out automated but with a personal touch. Think of it as a first date. You’re shy and casually fishing for more information but don’t want to scare them off. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid social media embarrassment.

2) Watch Your Spelling and Grammar

Yes, we know it’s quicker to type out C U L8R than ‘see you later’ (although not by much!) but using text speak, or having spelling errors and poor grammar, in your public content is one thing which can prove off-putting to a potential customer. Trying to get with the in crowd is a sure fire way to social media embarrassment unless of course you’re part of that crowd already!

Make sure whatever you post on social media, which is representing your business, is properly written and makes sense. You want your audience to know you’re intelligent and knowledgeable on your subject.

3) Don’t Randomly Tag People – Unless What You’re Posting is of Interest to Them

We’ve all seen Facebook posts with responses in the thousands… you go to read them and discover lists of people tagging other people to read the original comment. This is a brilliant way to notify people when you see something you think they’d be interested in.

However, being tagged on something you’ve no connection to can be very irritating, as is tagging a celebrity or brand profile to try and get your message in front of their audience when they have no connection to you or your product.

Woman suffering social media embarrassment

4) Don’t Hijack Someone Else’s Content or Comments

This ties in with No3 … don’t jump on someone else’s social media and promote yourself or your product and business. It can come across as very rude to try and steal someone else’s potential customers, unless they’ve specifically asked for other recommendations. 

It also applies to people’s experiences. Don’t one-up them by recounting your own adventures or try to out-do them if they’re posting about a negative experience. The only one who will be hit by social media embarrassment will be your own brand. Plan a social content strategy which looks for key industry topics and then find things which you can add value to. 

This also applies on Twitter. Don’t hijack #hashtags, especially the ones trending for humanitarian reasons unless you’re genuinely able to help with whatever is being asked for. Check out Twitter trends each day and see which ones you can logically jump in on because you have value to add. Common weekly Twitter trends include: #MotivationMonday or #FollowFriday – you can use these to promote your brand.

5) Don’t Lie or Misrepresent Your Business or Yourself

Again this ties in with points 3 and 4 and concerns behaviour on social media. Don’t share experiences or expertise if they’re not true because this is risking much more than just social media embarrassment, you’re risking your business reputation.

When you first start out, it can be tempting to try emulate the popular blogs who seem to have all the right buzzwords and large followings. In the long term though, honestly believing in your business is the only policy which works.

Okay if you really did once sit next to a famous person on a plane (and have the selfie to prove it) you can blog a humorous piece to give some personality to your brand, however; in the long run, exaggerating your experiences will only harm your brand because you can almost guarantee there will be someone who finds out and they will use it against you.

6) Don’t Only Share Your Own Stuff

There’s nothing worse than being flooded with advertising, so make sure that you’re not only sharing things from your own company or brand but that you’re using the “social” aspect of online media. Google SEO updates have recently been unforgiving with sites that only publish articles with themselves in mind. This is perceived as self-serving as you’re only sharing your views and mindset.

Sharing content from other places helps your audience to ‘to think of you as a source of useful and relevant information’. Add your own comments and opinions on the pieces you share and you then begin to build up a reputation as a knowledgeable and reliable authority in your marketspace. Use your blog to invite guest authors to offer up value added content for your customers.

7)  Don’t Break Confidentiality or Post Personal Identifiable Details Online

It’s surprising how often people post things which could be dangerous in unscrupulous hands. Your personal information is important and should be protected. People can make money from your personal information.

It sits alongside not sharing other people’s information, not disclosing private conversations and keeping schtum about what you’re up to at work (unless you’ve got permission to post on social media about it).

8) Don’t Overshare!

This one is difficult to quantify because it’s different for each unique brand, individual or business.
Oversharing can be just as damaging to a business’ social media presence as not sharing anything at all.

Confidence is the key to this. If what you’re posting is something you’d say to your most important client or a personal mentor if they were in the room with you, then chances are it will also work well on social media.

Man fearing social media embarrassment

9) Play Nicely!

Yes, we know, it’s another of those obvious points but not always so it’s worth saying again.

Whatever you say on social media has an effect on you, your business and your brand. Being rude, argumentative or snarky in your social media comments because you have a different point of view or opinion will only cause you harm, so be kind!

10) Don’t Mix Up Your Messaging

If you want to engage your audience and look for potential new customers, you must be sincere in your posts. Try to find a balance between control and real conversations to get the most out of the enormous potential social media offers.

Whether it’s informational, helpful, or has a call-to-action, always have a purpose behind every post. The goal is to be in the “business” category in the minds of your audience and to encourage them to begin their customer journey with you. Clear and consistent messaging is critical.

To Conclude

When on social media, always remember you are a professional and the people you are dealing with are also professionals. As the Biblical adage says – Do to others as you would have them do to you. Recognise that you have value to add – and that your audience is understanding enough to accept it.

Don’t ignore comments or criticism but do make sure you have a company social media policy which everyone follows to deal with negativity, even if it’s as simple as posting to say you’ve seen their comment and will come back to them (and make sure you do).

Before you hit “send” on a post, ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. What is the goal of this post?
  2. Is it relevant to my target audience?
  3. Does the wording make me look incompetent (or stupid)?

All good? Post away!

The more you use social media for yourself, your business or your brand, the more confident you will become. You’ll know exactly what to post and the right time to post it.

So, how can Beacon help?

If you’ve got this far, then you knew there’d be some directly relevant information for how using Beacon can help you avoid all the above pitfalls of social media didn’t you? Well, you’re right. It can, and will, help direct your social media content strategy and ensure you avoid social media embarrassment.

With click fraud detection and mitigation across search and social, Beacon feeds other parts of the Martech stack with better quality data, to enable improved analytics, decision-making and results.

Beacon is easier to use than Google Analytics and as part of its click fraud protection platform, it also allows you to measure and report on the campaigns you create. Beacon gives deeper analytics into your social media. And Beacon is truly independent, so if the answer isn’t ‘spend more on Google’ you will know.

  • Beacon’s web analytics help identify and engage with your audience. Our tracking algorithms let you know what posts are working and how they are directing traffic to your landing pages.
  • Beacon reveals the number of visits derived from individual social posts and gives an in-depth report of a customer’s digital journey, tracking them from first click through to conversion.
  • Beacon is the essential tool for marketing and creative agencies. With incredible insights into your client’s target audience and website performance, you’ll be at the top of your game.
  • Beacon is a must-have tool for any business wanting to dramatically improve the effectiveness of their social media activities.
  • Beacon can be used for bloggers as it gives you the insights to increase your readership and engagement levels.

Get started with Beacon by taking advantage of a free traffic audit on your paid campaigns. All that’s required is a line of code to be added to your website or your client’s website and Beacon will detect non-human traffic over a 14-day period, absolutely free and without obligation.

For Genpower Beacon increased genuine human campaign visitors by 59%. With Beacon click fraud protection in place, the results were noticeable very quickly and in just two weeks the business saw a 24% reduction in fraudulent traffic. This gave them more than 20,000 more clicks from legitimate human visitors.

NOTE: Updated March 2022