5 Of The Worst Social Media Marketing Practices

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

5 Of The Worst Social Media Marketing Practices

In a previous post, we examined five of the best social media marketing practices, looking at some of the fundamental tips that could help to ensure maximum ROI for your social media optimization (SMO) efforts. We looked at the importance of a strong branding strategy, the use of metrics and why quality posts really matter.

While following these tips and strategies will give your social media campaigns a bit of a boost, they won’t help if you’re still making serious mistakes that drag down your good work. In this post, we’ll look at five of the worst social media marketing practices that can derail an otherwise promising campaign.


A lot of companies use social media profiles as a place to spam their subscribers with constant updates and adverts about their products and services. From a user’s perspective, this is a little bit like tuning into a radio station that’s just advertisements (like the one in Demolition Man). The question you have to ask yourself is: are you providing value? And would you want to be subscribed to your account? If the answer is no, then rethink your ratio of ‘marketing’ posts and try to be a little less ‘on-the-nose’.

Auto Posting

There are various different tools like the incredible IFTTT.com that allow you to post automatically to Twitter. Even WordPress gives you the option to update Twitter each time you make a new post on your blog.

These are fine, and in the right context they’re useful. But if you’re sharing automated Tweets on a daily basis every time you ‘like’ a video, then your followers are going to very quickly get tired of you and unsubscribe. Not only is this another example of the above point, but it’s also very obvious in most cases that the posts weren’t hand-written.

Being Too Opinionated

Your business’ Facebook account is not the place for you to complain about politics, religion or competitors. Nor is it the place for you to make controversial statements that could alienate your followers. Make sure that your employees and business partners get the memo

There is a fine line here, as in some cases a controversial Tweet can actually get people talking about your business and thus provide free marketing. Likewise, it’s fine to have values as an organization.

At the same time though, it’s important to maintain a professional image, to avoid offending customers, and to behave in a moral and conscientious manner. More to the point, people don’t follow their favorite brands because they want politics rammed down their throats: keep that for your personal profile.

Being Silent For Too Long

As with a blog, having a silent social media account is almost worse than having no account. Not only will this lead to people unsubscribing but it will also lead to questions regarding the status of your business. It doesn’t inspire much confidence if a company you want to hire has a Facebook profile that looks like a ghost town.

If you struggle for time or inspiration when it comes to regular posts, check out a service like Buffer, or consider hiring someone to manage your social media presence.

Being Out of Touch

Using social media effectively is all about getting feedback and creating a sense of community around your brand. This way you can listen to your customers and improve your business. At the same time, by creating a sense of involvement, you will create much more loyal followers.

Some SMO gurus put it this way: You don’t control the message. You can’t really force your audience to see your business in a particular way, so being ‘fake’ or stubbornly repeating the same message isn’t going to win you any friends. Be adaptable, listen to your customers and indulge in the spirit of collaboration and community.

Finally, make sure you are following the best practices we outlined in this earlier post and that you’re not making any of these mistakes listed above – you’ll be on the right track!