6 Social Media Mistakes that are Hurting Your Brand

Posted on November 30, 2017

This is a guest blog post written by former University of South Florida Campus Ambassador, Ashley ‘AshFiMon’ Moncrieffe

We’re in a time where everything is about image, branding and marketing. Social media has amplified many industries overall awareness and revenue through various online marketing strategies. According to Statista.com, as of August 2015 there are over 1 billion registered Facebook users alone. Social media is a powerful promotional tool that can enhance your brand and assist in building and maintaining a clientele, make sure you aren’t making the following mistakes that can harm your brand:

Your Name Isn’t Consistent

When building a brand, creating your name is one of the first things you’ll do. I’ve come across countless profiles from everyday folks like you and me to celebrities and public figures whose online name is not consistent. If your name on Instagram is, for instance, @LisaCreates then it should be @LisaCreates on all social platforms (Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.). Ideally, your name has to be consistent throughout. You want to make it easy for someone to find you. You shouldn’t have different names online for each social media platform. If you do, people will lose interest in connecting with you online because it’s ‘too hard’ to find you.

Tip: When creating a name, choose something creative and unique so that there won’t be a marketing mix-up with a similar name or company when people go to find you. Once created, make sure it’s available online and use one name across the board, including, incorporating that name into your website and email.

Having Private Accounts

When building a brand you are offering a service of some sort. Whether it is consulting, hosting, tutoring, clothing designer to offering baked and cooked goods, you are losing business by having a private social media account. Did you know your online presence is your resume, your portfolio, and your lookbook all in one? Think of it as a virtual billboard. For example, if you sell lipstick and I go to your Instagram (or any social media platform) and I can’t see photos of your product, reviews, or pictures of happy customers wearing your products, you instantly lost my business. Your goal should be to obtain and maintain new customers and clients and to make money—not lose it.

Tip: If you post really personal content that you do not want the general public to view, consider having a business and a personal page and keep your business page(s) public.

Not Writing Properly

With the rise of new social media platforms like Periscope and Snapchat, the main social networks that companies and individuals are utilizing are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Generally, your audience for each platform differs, thus requiring different writing styles. While Twitter only allows you 140 characters, Facebook statuses have virtually no limit. You have to write differently depending on the platform and audience. How you would write for Instagram would differ from how you would write on Twitter.

Tip: While not always the case, some companies have an older and wider range audience on Facebook than Twitter or Instagram. Younger audiences sometimes move to ‘newer’ networks and shy away from ‘shared’ networks with their parents/elders. Basically, what you may post on Facebook, you may not post on your other platforms because your audience may differ between each network.

Not Sharing Enough

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has a cool option that once you make an initial post on one platform it automatically shares to the other(s) (if you opt in). The downside is it’s easy to not engage your audience on each platform. For instance, I’ve come across many Twitter accounts and after scrolling let’s say, three months of tweets on their timeline, it’s all Instagram or Facebook links. That is a big no-no. Depending on who I’m following, I will instantly unfollow them, nothing personal. I’m following you on Twitter to see what you’re saying or sharing. If I constantly wanted to be flooded with other social media links, I would follow you on Instagram or Facebook.

Tip: There’s nothing wrong with sharing a few links to your other social media platforms, but do it in moderation. Remember each platform generally has its own audience.

Not Tagging and Hashtagging

Tagging and hashtagging optimizes engagement and promotional benefits. When you’re tagging the person/company you are mentioning in a post, two things happen. You’re notifying whomever you’re tagging and it gives the reader the option to easily follow or check out who you’re tagging. Hashtags are a great tool that allows you to reach a wider audience other than your own. Let’s say you’re a blogger and wanted to share your content online, you could use #ontheblog #newpost #blogger #blogpost, etc.

Tip: For optimal engagement, find the correct social media platforms for whomever you’d like to tag in a post, tag them and use relevant hashtags that are tailored to your post.

Buying Followers & Likes

Coming from someone who does freelance social media management, buying followers and the likes to match your follower count is not suggested. Buying it only ‘looks’ good to your audience and possibly to companies that may want to do business with you, but ultimately it is dishonest and comes off as fake. The best way is to build your social media following is organically. This means the old fashion way, posting great content, engaging with your audience and waiting for your numbers to steadily grow from real people and not spam accounts.

Tip: An easy way to tell if someone has bought followers/likes is to look at their following to likes ratio and who likes their posts. For instance, someone who has 10K + of followers generally wouldn’t have only 20 likes.