3 social media mistakes you need to stop making now

Social media has proven particularly interesting, as from its “birth” to right this very second, its evolution intensifies exponentially the longer it exists. While social media thrives, we’ve seen many digital trends and practices have their day in the sun, succumb to their third-degree burns, and head back to their shaded retreat.

When it comes to representing your brand on social media, using overdone, old, cliché, or even dead practices can leave it looking out of touch, potentially undermining your marketing success.

As a Millennial-Gen Z cusper, I’ve witnessed the entire saga. I’ve compiled some key takeaways to keep your feeds up-to-date and avoid outdated practices.

1. Overusing Hashtags

Relevant hashtags can broaden your reach and categorize your content for targeted searches. However, using too many hashtags can have a negative impact on your reach. Instagram’s algorithm, for example, may view posts with excessive hashtags as spammy and decrease their visibility. While jumping on a trending hashtag may seem like a good idea, if it’s not relevant to your brand or content, it can come across as inauthentic and a little bit #cringe.

Do this instead:

Before using a hashtag, make sure you understand its meaning, relevance, and popularity among your target audience. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you understand it’s meaning?
  • Is it popular among your target audience?
  • Will it help categorize your posts in a way that makes sense for your brand?

Once you’ve done your research, use hashtags sparingly and stick to a few relevant and specific hashtags per post.

2. Bandwagoning, just for the hell of it

Many brands have found success in jumping on TikTok and Instagram trends that are popular (for their 15 seconds of fame). It’s clever and cute for some, but audiences are then inundated with hundreds of posts from companies and brands, utilizing a single meme format to sell their product or service, which quickly becomes old, cliché, and if you happen to jump on the wagon too late, outdated.

Do this instead:

When evaluating TikTok trends for your brand, follow these guidelines:

  • Look for trends that resonate with your brand’s voice and values.
  • If a trend aligns with your core values or product, join in playfully.
  • Be cautious if the connection between your offering and the trend feels forced.
  • Don’t jump on a trend solely for the sake of posting—understand its context.

Remember, authenticity matters more than mere participation.

3. Ignoring Negative Interactions

When your brand maintains an active social media presence, communication should flow both ways—within reason. Failing to engage with supporters can be counterproductive and raise suspicions. Questions or concerns around products and services or public company occurrences are natural. Radio silence has the potential to raise more questions and concerns and can quickly destroy the brand you worked so hard to develop.

Do this instead:

Over 75% of consumers anticipate brands to address negative comments or concerns within 24 hours. During critical situations, responsiveness becomes even more crucial. 

In the event of negative feedback or controversies involving your brand, it is essential to be prepared and proactive with a crisis management plan.

  • Identify and acknowledge the problem.
  • Assess its impact and severity.
  • Decide on the best course of action (i.e., apologizing).
  • Delivering your message to your audience, evaluate the outcomes, and learn from the experience.

Of course, take this advice with a grain of salt; social media is all in good fun. However, if you choose to venture into the digital minefield to market your business, best prepare yourself with the appropriate tactical gear.

Contact M
Contact M