Businesses: 10 Things You Should Never Do On Social Media

Social Media is a universal phenomenon. Since its inception, we’ve been enjoying the freedom to openly communicate with friends, strangers, celebrities and big brands.

Businesses use a whole host of social networks to communicate their messages and increase awareness of their products and services.

Yet in this context, freedom certainly shouldn’t be mistaken for liberty – particularly when most of what we post online is available for everybody to see. Anything released into the public domain should always be carefully considered. Once it’s there, it’s there for good! There’s always a remaining trace.

With that in mind, here are some seemingly obvious (but frequently violated) guidelines for business social networking.


Avoid Reprisals On Social Media With These Top Business Tips

  • 1

    Don’t complain about a specific person or brand

    Not only is it juvenile, this behaviour could also land you in more trouble than you bargained for. People have friends who they will call upon to make life online a misery for your company and staff as a result of one misplaced comment. It’s not worth it!

  • 2

    Never mix personal with professional

    Your brand’s posts should not reflect the thoughts of the Managing Director during a moody morning, or that of the cleaner after a drastic cleanse of the blocked toilets. Your brand is a separate entity to the people within – a Social Media code which should be abided by at all times! Stick to the brand’s tone, voice and language.

  • 3

    Exercise caution when using sourced imagery

    Most online imagery can be traced back to an individual or organisation to which that imagery belongs. Don’t get caught out. If in doubt over copyright, attribute the images you use back to the rightful owner, or don’t use them at all. Breach of property rights is a serious matter to become entangled in. There is a wealth of free stock imagery available at your disposal – a much safer bet!

  • 4

    Never be rude, crass, arrogant, obnoxious or racist (and avoid profanity)

    This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised by how many examples I have witnessed, and I’m one person in the billions out there. It doesn’t pay to be cruel, mean or crude. The only reputations to end up hurt is yours and that of your business.

  • 5

    Don’t post anything about anyone without their permission

    It’s not a good idea to tweet an embarrassing photo of an employee or colleague on a drunken work do – and certainly not without their permission!

  • 6

    Never, ever use a tragedy as leverage

    This is 10/10 on the scale of cringe-worthiness, and will undoubtedly result in severe backlash as it did with Kenneth Cole. This is a prime example of tasteless and insensitive behaviour from a company account. The Cairo protests led to many deaths – supposedly not something to use as promotional material.

  • 7

    Don’t spam your fans

    Your followers are there because they choose to be – don’t push them away with repetitive junk which provides no value to them. If they want your services, they will enquire without force. Customers are gained through mutually beneficial relationships.

  • 8

    Don’t just talk about yourself

    Me me me me me. Bored yet? Your fans will be. The objective of Social Media Marketing is to be social, not self-promotional. Think of Social Media as a real-life environment. There’s always that person in the room who talks about themselves. And typically, nobody likes that.

  • 9

    Never rise to provocative trolls

    A troll is the term used for somebody causing a fuss or posting negative comments simply for the heck of it. The first point of call is to determine if the person in question is a real customer, or just an attention seeker. If they are indeed a troll, block them from all company accounts and report them to each social network.

Alternatively, leverage your brand advocates instead of blocking trolls in the first instance – their loyalty to your brand can do wonders when it comes to such situations. The trolls usually find themselves outnumbered when outed, and will usually back down when they realise you have reinforcements.

  • 10

    Do not ignore negative comments

    Many businesses are quick to disregard customer negativity – but there are valuable learnings to be made from such comments. Feedback is a crucial component of business growth and this content can be used not only to better your services, but provides an opportunity to publically make someone’s day. There’s no shame in admitting a mistake – it’s how you deal with it that matters.

Feedback can also be used to form content on your website. Not boring FAQs, but Content Marketing is a winner for brands and all feedback can be incorporated into such material.

For instance, a number of your customers are dissatisfied with the time it takes for product delivery. You can structure a piece of attractive content which tackles this issue, “The Intricate Journey Of Product X To Your Home”.

Grace Poole

Author: Grace Poole

Grace has worked on apps, websites and emails for huge brands such as Nike, Mondelez and Nissan. Not that she's bragging! She also likes cats and gin, but not together in the same glass.

  • dianaadams

    Nice post.

  • Natalie Soper

    That Kenneth Cole tweet is unbelievable! I’d say the most basic rule of social media is: be nice, don’t be silly!

  • Joyce Fugnit

    A good read! 🙂

  • Juan Franco Yu

    A classy read! You have very great content here! #ShareWorthy

  • Excellent read. These 10 rules (and maybe a few more) ought to be the first lessons for every pro engaged in branded SocMed. Some business owners can be such ninnies (OMG… I just broke a rule). SEE??

  • manoj kumar sood

    gr8 tips however I,m not in the businness but the things told baove are worth to rememebr and if time comes to be implemeneted with positive note.

  • I do 10/10…no, wait, I can even outperform like 36 out of these 10 !

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