4 Common Social Media Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Social media mistakes. We all make them. And though we can learn from them and move on, even better, we can learn from others’ mistakes and avoid making them altogether. And on social media, where a mistake can hurt your efforts to improve customer retention, customer engagement, and your online business, this is especially true.


Learn from these four common social media mistakes so you can avoid making your own:



Leaving an account inactive and not posting often:

When a consumer searches for your business or a business in your area and comes across an inactive account, certain assumptions will be made. Either the consumer will assume you are no longer in business, that you don’t care enough about your customers to keep up-to-date information, or that you don’t understand social media. Youdon’t want any of these, so post and update your profile regularly.

Failing to use analytics:

How can you know if a social media campaign is effective if you don’t have proper measurement tools in place It seems like common sense, but so many marketers and brands make the mistake of launching social media campaigns for the sake of launching a campaign. If you have proper measurement and analytics tools in place, you can accurately gauge which tactics are working and which you should drop. Taking time to read measurements might seem like it’s slowing you down, but it will save you tons of time and money in the future on potentially wasteful endeavors.

Being a chatterbox:

Social media is filled with chatterboxes who have plenty to say, but who never seem to listen to anyone. Don’t let your brand be one of those chatterboxes. The word “social” is built right into the phrase, so it should be nos surprise that you must devote energy to both aspect of social interaction. Take the time to listen to what followers and clients are telling you on social media. Especially make sure that you respond to any direct messages or tweets.

Learning the mechanics of each platform:

We can all conjure memories of people and brands making embarrassing mistakes because they didn’t understand a social platform. If the person handling your social media doesn’t understand which messages are private and which are public, you could run into big problems down the line. There have been recent examples of employees who mistook brand accounts for their own and posted inappropriate messages. Mistakes like this are sometimes unavoidable, but understanding all the mechanics will help avoid most of them.

Feel free to contact me to learn more about using Social Media for your business.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:

4 Ways To Grow Your Business Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
4 Ways Business Blogging Helps Build Trust In Your Business
Grow Your Business With Email Marketing
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn

This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


  • By Barbara Jordan 08 Jul 2014

    Most designers don’t have time and can’t afford, like celebs can, to hire someone to blog, tweet, fbook, et al. I’m old school and know that internet posts (and photos) are forever, so I am extremely careful. So far, so good 🙂

    A pet peeve are selfies – c’mon – you don’t need to post a new photo of yourself every hour.

  • By Monica Tautul 08 Jul 2014

    I agree with all 4 points and I think all are as important. I admit that I have experienced the absence of communicating with the visitors of the NGO’s social media page and I’ve seen the results on their feed back.

  • By Michael Decker 08 Jul 2014

    No response to comedics simply means people don’t care. Humor is often an effective way to get traction and as they say, good humor always hurts someone. Just make sure its not your core customer! And make sure it won’t be reviled by the general public as something “in poor taste”. Easier said than done if you want to be funny, too! The “Art” of traditional and now digital marketing!

  • By Alan Dean 08 Jul 2014

    Uh, those drunken, late night “I miss you” posts…

  • By Mark Traphagen 09 Jul 2014

    My biggest mistake is not checking for messages or comments on stuff we’ve posted. Very embarrassing to leave someone who has made a great point or asked a valid question hanging with no response.

  • By Alex Plotnikov 09 Jul 2014

    Thinking that it’s easy to be funny on social media is one of the big mistakes I’ve seen a lot of businesses make.

  • By Tom Johnson 09 Jul 2014

    Humor is a risk, since it is usually based on an unarticulated truth that is almost always going to offend some part of the audience.

    I’m a funny guy by nature, and humor in social media scares the hell out of me. You can’t predict how people are going to react. Most of the social media disasters that pop up (except for Anthony Wiener) are a result of someone trying to be funny. On the other hand, if you dumb your humorous content down to be inoffensive to all, it’s probably not going to be funny enough to get anyone’s attention. We exist in an edgy, snarky world; if you’re trying to compete on those terms you’re going to piss a lot of people off.

    Because humor is a necessary component of social interaction (online or not), and because it’s dangerous, and because human beings aren’t flawless, you have to accept a certain amount of blowback. It becomes the job of management, in that situation, to both protect the creative and mollify the offended.

  • By Franz 10 Jul 2014

    Being a chatterbox” – Is one of our biggest mistakes! If the account overflows with too many tweets and posts, it’s hard to follow / get the message

  • By Sherry Kilgus-Kramer 11 Jul 2014

    One of my biggest mistakes was posting the same content in two days – that won’t happen again!

  • By RJ Gazarek 14 Jul 2014

    I think one of the biggest mistakes companies use is using too many platforms, especially ones unrelated to your business. Don’t try to force yourself onto Pinterest or Instagram if it doesn’t really fit the model of your business – if you’re selling legal services, maybe those two platforms aren’t right for you – maybe focus more on LinkedIn and Google+ – where as if you’re selling a lot of consumer products, clothing lines, etc – then maybe only focus on Pinterest and Instagram. Etc – you get where I’m going with that.

  • By Bartosz 14 Jul 2014

    Great article . My biggest social media mistake was to not have social media profile . Like on Linkedin .

  • By Raúl 17 Jul 2014

    My biggest mistake is posting a personal message in my corporative account… It was a Chuck Norris joke posted… vía a huge telecomunication brand. Yikes!