Could your business be committing social media faux pas’ that are affecting your online reputation?

We discuss the things you might be doing that are holding back your brand online.

Using the wrong hashtags

Are you using hashtags as part of your social media campaign? If not, why not? Hashtags are an extremely valuable tool in raising engagement and visibility, especially on platforms like Twitter and Google +.

However, always exercise caution when creating your own or jumping on pre-existing hashtags.Homebase Social Media Fail

There are countless examples of brands getting it very wrong when it comes to trending hashtags.

Before including any in your campaign, it’s vital you do your research. Simply search the hashtag on channels like Twitter and Google, checking the conversations being had around that subject. If you feel it fits your brand then get on board. Otherwise, leave it well alone and keep researching.

On Twitter, there are also many business related hashtag hours such as #b2bhour or #UKBusinessLunch, which generate good interaction and can increase your following and engagement.

Long status updates – Keep it short and snappy

Are you posting a full article’s worth of content as a Facebook or LinkedIn status?

When engaging with your audience it’s important to keep it brief. Twitter restricts you to 140 characters for a reason. So take this model and apply it across your channels.

If you have a lot to say then why not put it into a blog post and share that instead, including an attractive synopses such as “We discuss the latest news on [x] and why we think this will be great for businesses” or “Check out the latest news about our new store opening soon!”.

If you’re sharing links to external websites then consider picking a short quote from the article to post alongside the link.

Does it look good? E.g. Using Facebook links on Twitter

Are you posting external website links or links to social media posts directly into your status? Link sharing doesn’t always transfer very well, especially when it comes from different platforms.

If you use a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you’ll notice that they usually tidy up any links to a much smaller link address and can pull across a thumbnail image from the article for you to use. If not, you will have the option to include an image yourself.

Using a scheduling tool to even post content straight away but in a tidier format can make a huge difference to how many people engage with you.

If you’re sharing a post from the same platform, using the share or retweet/quote option will always provide a cleaner channel friendly way of publishing that content rather than posting a link directly into your status update.

Automation and when it’s not appropriate

Are you using automation tools to automatically send Direct Messages new followers on Twitter, thanking them for following you? Tools like this stand out a mile to the reader and can actually have the opposite effect to your intentions. Though we do agree automation has its benefits, which we discuss here, there are times when it can turn off your audience.

If you want to engage with new followers then think of it as networking. Could this follower be interested in my services? Could I be interested in theirs? Then send a personalised message or make it public by quoting them in a tweet.

Oversharing Online

As a business owner, do you update your social channels a lot in the first person?

There are multiple ways to approach your ‘voice’ on social media. While some companies prefer to keep social media updates formal and only post marketing and promotional content, others like the personal approach, sharing the day-to-day life of the business and/or the business owner. However, there is, of course, a limit to how much you should share.

Your audience would like to see you attending business events, working with new clients or behind the scenes at the office. They probably don’t want to see what you’re watching on TV, what you’ve had for your tea and certainly not the posh restaurant you went to last night. Keep it friendly certainly but remember to keep it relevant.

Have you seen social media faux pas? Let us know in the comments!

Phil is the Digital Account Manager for Team Organic. With a background in business banking and a passion for Social Media he takes his job seriously with a cheeky smile on his face!