social-media-pitfallsSocial media can be a powerful resource for business; to reach and interact with your audience and share your brand. But it can be harmful if you do not properly manage your social media channels.

Below are 5 pitfalls many businesses run into.

#1: Spam Sandwich
Most business owners are used to traditional advertising methods and that tends to transfer over to when they use social media. Push vs pull marketing can be new to them and they learn the hard way that spamming users can make them look bad.

The value of social media for marketing and advertising relies on the relationships you can build with potential customers, which are built on trust and rapport.

The goal for marketers on social media is to create content that your audience wants to share and discuss.

#2: Customer Complaints
In the past a business could still thrive despite having a rude owner or poor customer service but with rise of the internet the game has changed. Now when one customer as a bad experience and posts a review online potentially hundreds or even thousands of people can see it.

Instead of being rude over negative reviews address customer complaints and find out why there was a negative review. Promptness in answering customer complaints on social media is important as well. 42% of customers expect a response within 60 minutes.

#3: Drunk Dialing
With access to mobile devices at all hours and days of the week it is very easy to forget to leave business at the office and not bring it into your social life. It becomes easy to let out a few drunk tweets or Facebook statuses – like what happened to Red Cross in 2011.

It isn’t uncommon, but if it becomes a common occurrence sending out a drunk tweet or Facebook status can be damaging for your brand.

#4: Too Much Exposure
Be careful of potentially racy pictures being shown on Facebook. Make sure the only content shared on your social media is PG. Not only to avoid embarrassment but to make sure you do not lose your integrity and customers in the future.

#5: Hashtag Hijack
A hash tag hijack is when a company uses a trending hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and they attach their marketing message to that hash tag. Many times without researching the meaning behind the hashtag. When done correctly it is a great way to get people’s attention and staying up to date with trending topics. But it can become embarrassing and harmful if you don’t understand the meaning behind a trending hashtag. For example, when DiGiorno used the hashtag #WhyIStayed, a hashtag used for people to tell their stories of domestic violence.

If done correctly, social media can be a great way to spread awareness and engage with your audience. However, it can be harmful if not handled correctly. Remember always be professional and sensitive to your customers.

Do you have any more social media pitfalls to share?

Disclaimer: Based on an article by Albert Costill at