Six Common Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid

Social media is an ever-changing trend that can be incredibly daunting to some.  It may seem like there are a million mistakes just waiting to be made and it can certainly be scary to put your business out into the world. However, with time and a little research you’ll surely be successful in the end. To help, here are six common mistakes to avoid when showcasing your business on social media.

Lack of Engagement and Deleting Negativity

It cannot be said enough how vital engagement is when using social media as a business owner. The entire point of social media is, well, to be social! That means responding to comments, maintaining open communication, and reaching out to your audience.  Transparency and authentic interaction will help to keep your customers loyal while also bringing in new followers. Don’t be afraid to be human when interacting with your audience. A robotic, corporate tone can be just as displeasing as no engagement at all.

An unfortunate reality of running a business is dealing with negative remarks. It can be tempting to simply erase pessimistic comments and complaints and put them out of sight and out of mind. Instead of vanishing those adverse comments, take time to address their criticism and thank them for their feedback. Deleting negative comments can sometimes lead your audience to believe that you’re unwilling to confront potential problems or maybe even hiding something unfavorable. 

By taking the time to respond with professionalism and fairness, you are demonstrating that your business is open and communicative to all feedback.  An important note here is to try and understand the difference between valid criticism and unnecessary hatred. What you choose to delete is ultimately up to you and there are certainly cases in which pointless or hurtful negativity should be erased from your timeline. This is a matter of discretion and is entirely situational.  Overall, however, try to take time to interact with customers who had a negative encounter to display that you care about your customer experience. 

A Boring Feed

As we’ve said, engagement is absolutely key when operating your social media accounts. If your posts aren’t prompting your audience to interact with you or your feed, then there is really no purpose to your profile. Another way to think about it is if you aren’t excited or interested in your content, your audience surely can’t be expected to be either.  Take a moment to look at your feed and examine how it comes across. Are you engaged? Are you interested in what’s being posted? If not, it might be time to do an overhaul of your profile.

Don’t shy away from shaking things up. If you’re constantly posting photos, maybe it’s time to throw in a video or a gif. Or maybe your feed is full of educational materials and long text captions. Perhaps you could lighten things up with a funny photo or a joke. You know your brand better than anyone so the content is ultimately your decision. However, be aware of how your posts are coming across and try to keep things fresh and captivating.

Grammar Mistakes

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to proofread your posts.  Seeing a professional social media profile littered with spelling mistakes can be a huge mistake. Always ensure your captions or posts are spelled right and if you’re using hashtags make sure that they are relevant and tagged correctly. Having a polished profile should always be at the front of your mind. 

That being said, don’t panic if you’ve made a mistake! We are all human and errors are to be expected. Quickly edit your mistake and try to remember to double check next time. Depending on the mistake or your profile, you can even use your mistake as an opportunity to make a joke. This enforces that there is a human behind the business and allows you to relate more to your audience. However you decide to address your error, be sure that you are hyperaware the next time you post to ensure it doesn’t become a repeat offense.

Not Understanding Your Audience

In order to truly succeed on social media you should have an accurate profile of your audience. Think about your business and who your target customer is. Are your goods and services typically purchased by young, urban-based individuals? Or perhaps your product is geared more towards stay-at-home parents.  Either way, you should understand your audience and market accordingly. You don’t want your social media profile to be full of flashy, fast-paced posts when your target audience is more subdued and low-key. 

Your customers should ultimately be driving your social media brand. Your posts and content should lineup with who you’re marketing to. Try to remember who you are trying to reach when constructing a post and you can easily avoid this mistake. 

Too Much Branding

This might seem silly to point out as a mistake. Your business needs to be marketed, right? It goes without saying that you’ll be branding your business on your social media feed. This is expected and absolutely normal. However, making every single post about your brand and your brand only can be another big mistake. Again, think about yourself as a customer for a moment. Imagine seeing a feed cluttered with nothing but self-promotion. It can be incredibly off-putting.  In this instance, authentic engagement and interaction is more valuable than constant branding. Customers are more likely to return if they are able to connect and communicate with you and your business. 

This is not to say that you cannot promote your business, however. As previously mentioned, it’s natural and expected that you will market your business as well as your goods and services. There are subtle ways in which you can accomplish this without being overbearing. Perhaps you can use a hashtag to promote your brand or weave in a joke or a funny story with your marketing post. Whatever you decide to do just be wary of branding that comes across as excessive and overwhelming.

Not Tracking Success (and Failure)

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to track your social media success and failures. There are a variety of ways to do this and whatever you decide to use is entirely up to you. It is key, however,  that you are able to see which posts worked and which didn’t. Look at which profiles or posts get the most engagement and which seem to not have as much of an effect. For example, one way to do this is to take time to examine which posts led to an increase in sales. With this data, you are able to see what works and what doesn’t, what times work best for your posts, and what messages are positively received. 

It’s also important to see what fell flat. Not every post is going to bring in big numbers and high engagement and that is certainly alright. If, however, you are able to see a consistent lack of positivity from certain posts, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your feed. Tracking these failures along with your successes is vital in maintaining your social media and keeping customers coming back.


Overall, you know your business better than anyone. Your content and posts should be unique to your audience and your company. What works for you might not work for everyone and vice versa and so it’s important to treat these guidelines as a general overview as opposed to a strict set of directions. If you find yourself making these mistakes, try not to worry too much! It is never too late to revamp your profile and seek out that invaluable audience engagement. 

Social media can be incredibly difficult to master but it is learnable and precious to the success of your business.  So don’t be afraid to make mistakes but also be sure to learn from them and keep your audience at the forefront of your mind when posting. With just a little polishing and focus you will surely conquer these mistakes and have a stellar social media for your business in no time.

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