Have you ever wondered if that picture you posted to your business’s page on Facebook was a good idea? Is the number of your followers on Twitter going down instead of going up? Is no one commenting on or liking your pictures on Instagram? You, my friend, may have committed a deadly social media sin.

“What are you talking about?” You may be wondering. We’re talking about commonplace things people do every day on social media that you may or may not have done for your business—i.e. the wrong thing entirely. Let’s go over what these sins mean and different solutions you can apply instead.

  1. Posting without Thinking

It’s one thing to post a new photo or share an article you think is interesting. What’s less interesting—in fact, it’s not good at all—is posting to your business’s social media without even thinking about one of several things:

  • Who’s seeing your posts
  • The timing
  • The actual content you’re distributing
  • The relevance of your posts

Solution: Treat your business’s profile on your social media accounts less like your personal profile. Take a minute to really look at the content you’ve posted or plan to post. If it aligns with your business’s brand, or the article has significance to your industry, then it’s probably worth posting. If not, resist the temptation and leave it be.

  1. Not Listening to Your Customers

We get that not every comment on social media is worth addressing; a lot of business owners get what are called ‘trolls’ on social media (users who post a purposefully negative comment for the sake of creating a reaction). However, when the negative feedback is coming from legitimate customers, and a lot of it sounds the same, and you don’t remember when the last time it was you checked those comments, that’s a more serious issue.

Solution:Always keep your emotions in check when it comes to responding to comments. Do respond and even thank your happiest and most supportive customers, and do apologize if they feel they’ve been wronged. If the complaints have a theme in common, step back and re-examine your service or product and then come up with a workable solution so as to address and fix the problem instead of letting it continue to grow and be awful.

  1. Providing Awful Customer Service (or None at All)

One of two of the worst things you can do as a business owner online is to fight fire with fire. By that we mean responding to customer complaints and negative reviews and comments with the same inflammatory tone of voice and poisonous content that you’ve likely seen spewed out online. This is dangerous because once you’ve posted something on social media (heck, anywhere online, really), it’s there forever—and your social media is there to remind you.

What’s the second worst thing? Not providing customer service on social media at all. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. This is also dangerous, because more and more people are turning to social media with the intent of following through with their purchase. If there is something incredibly wrong, such as a technical difficulty, they’ll feel like they’ve wasted their time if they reach to you on social media only to find out no one is there. The end result? An unhappy customer and no sale made.

Solution:Like we said, it’s best to respond to your customers instead of leaving their complaints alone, and the sooner you respond, the better. It’s also, as the saying goes, better late than never to apologize to a customer that’s been wronged.

One thing we do not recommend is to delete negative comments. All feedback should be encouraged; without the negative, you won’t be able to figure out what’s needed to improve your business. The exception to this suggestion is if the comments are posted by the aforementioned trolls and are most definitely in the wrong. In these cases, you can report them or even leave them be while responding to the other, more pressing comments and complaints.

  1. Inappropriate Content

What’s worse than posting without thinking? Try posting without thinking andposting content that’s completely inappropriate. Do you really want to post behind the scenes photos of your staff getting drunk, or a video of them letting racial slurs slip out? Are you really going to share that article about politics on your business profile? Is now the best time to put down your competitors on social media? (Note: there is never a good time to do that, it will only make you look worse!) If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, well then, we can’t really help you.

Solution:There’s a golden rule (or rather, a golden question) that you should keep in mind whenever you either post, like, or retweet something you’ve seen on your social media. You need to ask yourself this: “Is this something I want other people to see?” Remember, social media is called ‘social’ for a reason—you are engaging with a community. Do you want other people to see that you’ve ‘Liked’ a comment on Facebook that’s hurt other people? If not, then don’t. It’s as simple as that. Keep this question in mind at all times when it comes to sharing and engaging with your customers online. It could save your reputation!

  1. Posting Too Much or Not Enough

There is a delicate balance that many business owners need to keep in mind when it comes to their social media. That balance involves how often one should post content and be engaged with others online. While there is such a thing as ‘clogging the feed’ by posting every single minute of every single day, there’s also the lack of content after a new profile has been launched. Both sides of this balance are extreme as well as a common pitfall on either side for many business owners.

Solution:This part is a little tougher than the others since there is no real rule as to how often one ought to post online. What we can suggest, however, is to form and stick to a social media strategy that fits your business and its brand. Be aware of the balance as well. Posting too much and with an automated system can make you look like a spammer, whereas a profile devoid of content will make you look like you don’t care. If you are really stumped on how best to make your strategy an engaging one, we wrote an article that you can check out.

  1. Failing to be Human

By this we mean instead of acting like a human being behind the computer screen talking to other humans, you’re talking as if you’re the computer itself. We get that there are companies where the product or service is very technical, even complex. That doesn’t mean you should write or talk like a robot, however, or a corporate entity. A stock response to everyone’s comment will only aggravate an existing problem further, rather than fixing it.

Solution:Ditch the jargon you usually use at work and answer your customers’ inquiries as you would on a human level. Each response you come up with should be unique and catering to solve one of your customers’ problems, rather than applying a one-answer-fits-all type of response that was created by a PR department.

  1. Having No Plan at All

Having no plan set up for the content you want to share and post online is as bad as posting content without thinking—in fact, you could say it’s the same thing. The bottom line is, the best social media profiles aren’t just posting left and right at random. They have a plan and a strategy in place, and if it’s got your attention too, that means it’s working.

Solution:If you really don’t have enough time to put together a decent plan, or find and post content that aligns with your brand, having someone else help form a plan is not that bad an idea. In addition to being website designers and developers, we also dapple in social media. If help in that field is what you need, on top of getting a website that shows your business’s best side, give us a call today. We can also provide one-on-one consultation if that’s what you’d prefer. While there is no one else who can really put a voice to the business—that’s all on you—it never hurts to get help.