Social media marketing is a lively world of its own with remarkable wins and notable fails. From small businesses to major brands, every company currently active on social media channels has seen its popularity index going from zero to hero…and sometimes back to zero. These fluctuations are determined mainly by the way businesses choose to manage their social media accounts, to monitor their social mentions, and to interact with their followers.


First of all, what does “being social” mean for a business? We need to clear up this aspect because it will determine the way we present our five ways in which businesses fail at being social. Right now, being social is having a clear marketing mix and posting schedule, being proactive in identifying and correcting negative social mentions, being accurate, truthful and honest in your claims, and engaging in meaningful, moderated conversations with your followers.


Of course, mistakes happen, and some of them are forgivable. But not all of them. And in the list below, we have included some of these unforgivable mistakes which make your business appear less social than it should be:


1. Live Stream of Unmoderated Tweets

When you try to build virality, one of the best ways is to launch a hashtag challenge on Twitter and include a plugin on your website posting the live replies by your followers. That is just like being on TV in the digital world, right? Everyone enjoys their 5 minutes of fame, so you will certainly get a lot of replies.

Some of these replies may be jewels and worth saving and resharing on all your channels – but others may contain licentious language and should never be allowed even on your Twitter Timeline. Moderating posts by users in such challenges is a must – a hard-learned lesson by many large companies which are still present in the social media hall of shame with their faux pas.


2. The Case of Hidden Identity

People love to explore mysteries, but not when it comes to the critical profile data of social media accounts they follow. Once they have liked your page or your profile after reading an interesting post you shared, your followers want to know what your business is about. However, many businesses forget to fill in all the details, including their office headquarters, phone number, email or even – worst offence – their website.

In many cases, marketers became too engrossed in planning and enacting their social media plan and simply forgot about the simple but vital steps of filling in the profile with all identification data.


3. In the Bullseye of Grammar Nazis

Typos happen. They happen in emails, in blog posts and in comments shared on the social media. And wherever there is one typo, there will be at least 10 people to point it out. Labelled “grammar Nazis”, these pedantic people are annoying to other users, but they are not deterred by it. Instead, they continue their nitpick work and try to identify every single typing mistake on the social media. Their “work” usually means negative mentions for your business on the social media, so be proactive in proofreading and editing your posts before you fall victim to them.


4. The Missing Call to Action

When people join the social media account of a business or brand, they expect certain interactions. They expect to be offered the opportunity to share their ideas on the published content, to be invited to take advantage of an offer, to take part in a poll or a contest with prizes. If they see no such opportunities, materialised in the Call to Action, then they will lose interest and stop following the respective account.


5. The Plague of Fake Profiles

These are profiles set up by individuals who impersonate businesses. Socially aware companies put a stop to these fake profiles within one of two days since they sprouted out and quickly notify their followers to warn them about the online impersonation of their brand name. If you are not actively monitoring everything related to your online presence (including questions and comments from your followers), then these fake profiles could co-exist with your legitimate ones for days or weeks, potentially ruining your reputation.


If you have encountered at least one of these situations, then you should take it as a warning sign and change your entire way of planning and enacting your presence on the social media channels.


Phil McGregor

Phil McGregor  

Phil has a strong reputation for being Australia's leading expert on Facebook Advertising. He has presented to thousands of business owners and marketers both nationally and internationally. Phil is passionate about sharing his firsthand knowledge of how to harness the true potential of Facebook Advertising via live-on-stage events, masterclasses and workshops. Phil started his career as an Intelligence Officer for the Australian Police Force, with an entrepreneurial spirit and clear passion for generating a strong return on investment, he made the leap into his own business in 2003.