Social Skills

How to Avoid Social Media Faux-Pas

If the impact and progress of the modern world had to be expressly explained, technology and social media would be two aspects that could not go unmentioned. Social media has become more than just virtual social networks to keep up with family and friends.

Whether you love it or hate it, the importance of an online presence isn’t something you can log off of in today’s world.

It doesn’t matter if you use social media personally or professionally; how you present yourself online will have an effect on practically everything you do, from having influence over what you buy, dating, to filing an insurance claim.

You may be wondering how things like home insurance and social media are connected, but I can assure you that not knowing how to avoid social media mistakes can easily cost you in both personal and professional ways.

Related: How Social Media Affects Relationships

Let’s take a look at a few common mistakes people make on social media, and we’ll also go over the best ways to avoid them.

1. The more posts, the better

In the case of social media, practice doesn’t always equal perfect. Just because you use social media a lot doesn’t mean you have a great handle on it. And even if you’re someone who doesn’t really get the hype of social media in general, that doesn’t mean you have to be bad at running a personalized media site.

Of course, in order to be an active member of a community, your participation is required. But on social media, as in most other relationships, how you do it matters more than how often.

Some people post on their accounts as much as possible, thinking that’s how they’ll get noticed, but getting attention on social media can be fleeting if your account isn’t strong enough to keep the attention.

Instead of working tirelessly to be seen by simply constantly posting, you should instead put some time into getting to know your platform’s specific algorithm. Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, and Twitter all operate differently, and depending on the objective of your platform; you should focus on the accounts that best serve you and your audience.

For businesses, brands, and self-promotion, your goal should be to convey a clear message and image to whoever may come to your page, whether you want to keep customers and or attract possible employers or clients interested in working with you.

2. Use all the hashtags

Even the least experienced social media amateur knows about hashtagging, but the trick isn’t just to use the symbol. In fact, over hashtagging can be damaging to you on social media. There are ways to utilize hashtags that not only get your account noticed but refine the overall image of each post.

Hashtags should be used to accentuate your content — not to make it.

Having a paragraph of hashtags can express desperation and skew your content from your target audience. When applying hashtags to posts, it is wise to choose the wording that has the most posts, but don’t be afraid to start your own trend, too.

3. You have to be positive all the time

Nobody likes a negative nancy, and everyone loves inspirational quotes, but avoiding all negativity doesn’t ensure positive results. In the past, companies would avoid commenting on social issues or negative feedback to their brand, but social media’s transparency trend will feel invasive and overwhelming if you don’t keep it real.

You won’t always agree with popular opinion nor the status quo, and that’s okay.

Data for successful brands prove success comes for companies and brands that align themselves with real-world issues and acknowledge human experiences that aren’t necessarily happy topics.

Don’t shy away from the taboo and non-positive reactions, and you may be surprised how you can both encourage engagement on your platform while at the same time, you are strengthening your online community.

How to avoid common social media mistakes

So you can see what turns people away, but what can you do about making them stay? Trying to come up with content and learning how to express yourself online can be frustrating.

However, knowing how to stay away from mistakes isn’t as stressful once you establish a rhythm of what to do.

Schedule your posts

Poorly made content is easy to spot, and when someone hasn’t invested time in producing their content, audiences don’t want to invest their time in watching. Social media may seem like a frivolous pass time, but even for those just looking for a small escape, taking up someone’s mental space should not be taken lightly.

Related: 25+ Benefits of a Social Media Detox

The benefit of having a schedule is that you don’t feel obligated to produce something every day, and you’ll see more results in gaining active followers.

The key here isn’t the word followers but active. You don’t want a high number of passive scrollers. Social media managers look at engagement because it shows how many people return to see your content and keep up with your progress, which is more useful to your brand than just making lucky posts that get random spikes of attention.

Use spell check

Don’t get tripped up by the easy things. Grammar and spelling have huge impacts on your credibility (even online), so don’t let people slip away just because your finger slipped, and you were too lazy to read your post over before pressing the final button.

There are apps designed for correcting grammar mistakes that make catching them easy while improving your own writing skills.

Typing can get the best of any of us, but you should look at social media as a professional tool no matter how casual your account is. If you wouldn’t submit a job application with typos, you shouldn’t allow them on your social media.

Learn the metrics

Social media can grow your following, but that’s not all it’s good for. Online success is measured in more than sales conversions and likes. So even if you hire someone to take over your social media marketing, know what to look for to gauge if what you’re producing adequately speaks on behalf of your platform.

Look at your impressions, views, clicks, and reach when studying your engagement. Who are you not gaining the attention that you’d like or expect? Once you figure that out, you can come up with marketing plans to target those audiences.

Remember that each social media platform focuses on different audiences, too. Make sure your content is appropriate to the target audience, and keep in mind that each social media site uses its own algorithm for success.

Success isn’t a spectator sport

Growing a brand is a requirement to be successful in today’s business world. Never think that your vision is too small to “not need social media.” Social media trends and networking aren’t fading out any time soon, so learning how to utilize these platforms to the best of their ability is only in your best interest.

You may feel like an average joe, but clients, employers, banks, insurance companies, and investors all use social media findings to guide their decisions on matters regarding your interests.

Utilize social media platforms to help move you and your dreams forward by knowing what not to do as well as what protective actions to take that will help you leave your best imprint on the world.

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