Social media is an extremely useful tool, but it has to be used correctly in order to be effective. Using social media the wrong way can do more harm than good for your company, and far too often we see companies mis-managing their social media. Today we’re going to talk about a few common social media mistakes that we at Horton Group often witness.

Overloading On Hashtags

Hashtags can be extremely useful if they are used correctly! However, if they are used incorrectly, they can do more harm than good. Few things are more cringeworthy than a social media post that has more hashtags than actual text. Doing this will set off spam alerts for everybody, preventing them from taking you seriously. It makes you look desperate, rather than organic.  

As a good rule of thumb, you should try to limit your hashtagging to 3(ish) specific, concise, descriptive terms. For example, if you are sharing a post about travel to Norway, you might choose #norwaytravel #oslonorway and #norwegian.

And if you feel the urge to add any additional hashtags…

Using The Same Content For Different Platforms 

Different platforms have different needs. You need to tailor your social media content to be platform-appropriate. For example, Twitter has a character limit. Instagram doesn’t allow links outside of your company’s “bio” section, and the ads that you run. Sharing something humorous might seem weird on a platform like LinkedIn. The list goes on, and you need make adjustments as necessary.

We know that tailoring your message so that it fits every platform is a lot more work than just writing one piece of content and calling it a day, but it has to be done. So the next time you catch yourself being lazy about it…

Handling Negative Feedback In The Wrong Way

While it’s a nice goal to work towards, realistically, your feedback won’t all be positive. At some point, somebody is going to give you a piece of negative feedback. This is part of the deal when you run a business, and how you respond to this negative feedback is extremely important. It’s a great opportunity to start to turn around their experience, and it will do a lot to define who you are as a business person.

So, the next time you find yourself typing a response to negative feedback that is anything other than thoughtful, helpful, and diplomatic…  

Sharing Content Without Fact-Checking 

The internet is a big, dark place, and there’s a lot more information out there than there is truth. If you stumble upon a particularly juicy piece of information that you think your followers might be interested in, you’re on the right track. Sharing information and news that is relevant to your audience is a good thing to do on social media! BUT, before you press “Share”/”Post”/”Tweet”/etc., you need to do some fact checking.

Sharing content that is inaccurate or untrue makes you either (a) lazy or (b) dishonest. Either way, it’s not good. Your customers trust you to do your due diligence in all aspects of your business!

So, the next time you have the impulse to share a piece of content that you haven’t personally verified…

Being Political 

This is America. You are free to say whatever you want, but that doesn’t always mean it’s always a good idea.

This is a particularly polarizing time in American politics. We understand that you might have strongly held opinions, but unless your business is intrinsically political in its nature, we’d advise that you save them for your personal social media accounts. Sharing political opinions across your business’s social media platforms is a surefire way to lose customers. Remember that money is worth the same amount, regardless of the beliefs of the person who spent it. Restraint is the name of the game.

So, next time you feel the urge to weigh in on the presidential debates on behalf of your business…

Forgetting Landing Pages For Social Campaigns

If you’re spending resources on social media campaigns, you should have mechanisms in place to capitalize on your success. Why bother trying to bolster your engagement if you haven’t given people a way to actually get your product?

You need to create highly specific landing pages corresponding to every social media campaign that you run. That way, when people click on your call-to-action, they are brought to exactly the right place, with nothing standing between them and conversion.

Yes, this will take some time and effort, but you need to do it. We know that just setting up your social media campaign (sans landing page) has a degree of instant gratification to it, but don’t you dare let the campaign go live before you set up the landing page for it!