20 Social Media Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Business

Social media can help you build a great business. This makes it especially important for new and small businesses. It is also equally important for big businesses if they want to stay at the top. But the downside is that it can just as easily break down your business if you aren’t careful about how you use it.

Staying aloof isn’t the right thing either. You are losing out on one of the easiest ways to connect to people. The key to success is about knowing What to Do and What Not To Do when it comes to using social media as a tool to build up a business.

Let’s take a look at the top mistakes that businesses make when it comes to social media.

Mistake 1: No plan

Anyone can create a Facebook Page or set up a Twitter Account. So, can a business. The only problem is that social media moves at supersonic speed. When a business enters the social media vortex without a plan, it is bound to fail.

Mistake 2: No knowledge of how different platforms work:

When McDonald came up with the idea of McDStories; it should have used Facebook, where it would have control over what’s posted. But they did it on Twitter, and it failed miserably.

Mistake 3: No understanding of the technology

Again, if you exercise too much control over what people can and cannot do on social media, they would soon lose interest. Setting up too many barriers often leads to this result.

Mistake 4: No management

An error in management can lead to serious trouble. As a KitchenAid employee found out when he tweeted something unbecoming about Obama’s grandmother from his professional profile while thinking he was using his personal one.

Mistake 5: No emphasis on grammar and spelling

You may use incorrect grammar or shortened words on your personal profiles. It often doesn’t have much effect. But for a business, it often means a loss of integrity.

Mistake 6: No clear perception of hashtags

Make sure you understand what it relates to. Otherwise, you may end up in the same position as Celeb Boutique, which used the #Aurora to promote its new collection. It referred to a tragic shooting in Colorado!

Mistake 7: No dearth of spamming

If you are using social media for filling up Facebook pages or Twitter accounts with promotional messages, sooner or later, you are going to face the consequences. Toyota found this out with its Twitter failure.

Solution: The first step in making social media work to the advantage of your business is preparing a plan. If yours is a new business, and you cannot invest much time and effort to this, give the responsibility to someone knowledgeable and responsible. Keep a check on the happenings regularly to make sure everything’s working out well.

Mistake 8: Incapability to converse

It’s not all about your business, your products, and your services when it comes to social media usage. You need to be able to connect with the people on a human level, not on a business level only.

Mistake 9: Touching a raw nerve

Some topics aren’t really great when it comes to creating a positive image of your business. Stay away from politics and religion; different people have different opinions about these. Mingling them is a perfect recipe for disaster.

Mistake 10: Being negative

It is often hard to digest everything people say about your business on social media platforms. However, that doesn’t mean you can lose your temper. You need to keep your calm even when there is a barge of negative things.

Mistake 11: Failing to understand social media’s indestructible nature

The smallest error can lead to fatal consequences, even decades later. Just as Paula Deen found out! You can bury something; the problem is it may resurface anytime.

Mistake 12: Not keeping updated

Failing to keep track of current events may land you up in big trouble. The National Rifle Association didn’t come up as too sensitive when it tweeted something to shooters the day after the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

Mistake 13: Utilizing someone’s misery

Failing to keep track of current events is bad; using them to promote your business is worse. Something Entenmanns found out when it used #notguilty (Casey Anthony murder trial) to promote its tasty treats.

Mistake 14: Violating trust

A breach of contract is what it is – an infringement of trust. If your use of social media goes to this level, no one would trust you. Make sure your posts, tweets, comments, and other actions aren’t in violation of a contract.

Mistake 15: Moving without consistency

Chrysler came up with a great campaign for Detroit. It was sure to be a success. Until a negative tweet about the city messed up everything for the company.

Mistake 16: Being too casual

Social media is all about being casual. But this is acceptable for individuals, not for businesses. Remember, you have an image to live up to, which you cannot jeopardize by being too casual.

Mistake 17: Not paying attention to what’s important

When you are in the middle of a situation (a bad one) and seem unable to even have the time to answer all questions, you simply cannot focus on insignificant things.

Mistake 18: Failing to exhibit refined tastes

A business needs to maintain a clean image; any failure on this part isn’t really going to be forgotten, or forgiven, by the people on social media networks.

Mistake 19: Not understanding that everyone has freedom of speech

You can create a forum and let everyone post their thoughts and opinions on it. However, you have to be prepared for the positive and the negative. You cannot control what people say!

Mistake 20: Being stupid

When a rebellion broke out on the streets of Cairo, Kenneth Cole used the associated hashtag to promote his business. A serious example of how a little silly step can lead to a big disaster!

Solution: When using social media platforms to build up your business, make sure you know how to do it right. Also, understand that nothing goes away forever once it is live on a social platform. Pay attention to every step you take; evaluate the possibilities before it’s too late to rectify a misstep.