How to fail at social media

    4 Oct 2016   |      Paul Higgins
How to fail at social media

Social media has made it possible for business to drive traffic, leads and sales. However, staying connected with current customers and attracting new ones relies on using it correctly.
Here's how NOT to do it.

It’s all about me, me, me

Come on, you're seriously delusional and never going to connect with anyone if you talk about yourself and your business all the time. Consider this the equivalent of posting a stream of pouting selfies … but you’re not a contestant on X-Factor.

Tread carefully with topics

Beware the traditional topics of potential heated debate: politics, religion, sport (most importantly) and be certain that jokes can’t be badly misinterpreted.

Heard it all before

Avoid regurgitating the same stuff week after week. Try to keep content fresh and unique, otherwise your audience will stop listening.

Don’t provide useless content

There are enough cat videos already, so think about what truly interests your audience and create valuable content around that rather than kitty.

Always selling

Remember it’s social media not selling media. MOST of your conversations should not promote, or require your audience to buy, your latest widget. In fact, let’s flip this around - this content should be focussed on "what’s in it for me" AND NOT "what’s in it for you."

There one minute and gone the next

Don't think you can post and that's that. Be attentive and respond to comments and messages from followers. This is especially important when complaints arise.

Stay up to date

Be aware of, and sensitive to, current news and events or else suffer the backlash if you portray yourself as a complete ignorant, insensitive and offensive piece of garbage that no one wants to engage or do business with.


Show some. But don’t be creepy, needy or a jerk. These are good to remember when you’re not on social media too.

Being sloppy

Spelling and grammar errors just don’t cut it for a business, so watch the "helpful" autocorrect features and proofread everything twice before hitting update.

In general

Be sociable. Behave like a human and not an extension of your digital device and like all marketing efforts … START WITH A PLAN.

What do you consider a social media fail for businesses? Put it in the comments.

If you liked this list try our three steps to website success

Paul Higgins
Business owner, Graphic designer, Web developer, Brand and marketing strategist, Adobe Creative Cloud wizard, Business Catalyst Premium Partner, Adobe Community Professional, Passionate Liverpool FC supporter, Muse Advisory Board Member, Semi-retired (tried and failed at least 17 times) Futsal player for Dribblers FC and Toothless Tigers, BC Sandpile activist, Liverpool International Academy and Burwood FC coach, can juggle and do over 1,000 keepie-ups (just not at the same time - come on!)


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