Amateur Hour: 8 Social Media Faux Pas Sucking the Hipness Out of Your Brand




  • June 30, 2016

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    Social Media is a lot like a sitcom high school. One wrong move can turn you from hero to zero pretty quickly. Don’t be a social media Screech when you can be a real Zack Morris of your brand game.


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    Here are some faux pas (that’s French for ‘oh hell no’) to avoid:


    1. Unnecessary Punctuation


    I hate to sound like an English teacher, but can we talk about punctuation on social media? It’s like we all reverted to infancy on the Internet. Writing is still the same as it ever was! There’s no need for excessive exclamation points or outrageous question marks. And please please please don’t write any ellipses as a bridge between sentences. We’re not writing cliffhanger endings here, we are writing status updates. Unless your brand is trying to be mysterious…then by all means…


    2. Emoji Overkill


    Look, I get it. Emojis are amazing. They say all the things words fail to express. Like, when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the world, but you know you have to finish all your tasks, plus you want to eat noodles.


    😩 🍜 😋


    See? Three symbols instead of all those words – perfection. But as is the case for everything sweet, moderation is key. 😎


    3. #TFW When You Use Too Many Hashtags


    Hashtags are great, but they exist for platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Facebook, LinkedIn, and your personal e-mails really don’t need to be #blessed with piles of hashtag phrases. Even on the platforms you should use hashtags on, use them sparingly and strategically. Do you really want to be the brand that seems #thirsty for likes? Play it cool and the likes will roll in.


    4. Posting Links in Captions on Instagram


    Repeat after me: link in bio! Got it? LINK IN BIO. Use those words and adhere to them. Put your link in your bio and put those words in your copy. Do not muddy your cute caption room with more html word-garbage. Your audience is not made up of robots. They don’t want to see all that computer nonsense on their feed. Pro tip: the bio section is the only part where a live link is clickable anyway. Use it wisely.


    5. Liking Your Own Post


    Oooof. Nothing says ‘no one showed up to my party’ quite like liking your own post does. Have confidence in your post! Put it out there and let the likes come in naturally. If the post doesn’t get much traction, you can try again next time or just delete it.


    6. Posting A Link Preview…But Not Deleting the Link From the Copy


    This makes the post – and your brand – look messy. We don’t have to see all that html mumbo-jumbo. Once you post the link preview, people can click on that. Make your copy look smooth, suave, and in control of your content.


    7. Using the Same Stock Photography on Repeat


    If you use that picture of two business people shaking hands one more time, your fanbase will assume that nothing new is actually happening with your brand. In fact, you’ve used them so many times that I’ve come up with names and backstories for them. They had a fight last month, but now they’re making amends and becoming friends again. That’s all a joke, but take it as a cautionary tale. No one wants to become familiar with stock models.


    8. Pushing Facebook Content Automatically To Twitter


    Ah, this is a classic mistake. It would be so easy to just copy and paste from one platform to the other, right? I post my Twitter to my Facebook, so why not the opposite? This is a French ‘oh hell no’, my friends. Twitter is a different medium than Facebook. It’s like the geometry riddle: a square can be a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square. Twitter demands succinct wording, so go ahead and write a new post for Twitter. Trust me, it’ll look a lot cleaner and you might even get some sweet RT’s out of it.


    Keep these in mind while you’re posting and you’ll look like a real pro, like the kind of person everyone wants at their party.

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