Businesses are flocking to social media outlets and the millions of customers they reach. Many organizations have a plan and are committed to making this popular marketing tool successful; others feel pressured and jump in, head first, without learning the proper etiquette. Social media marketing is not as easy as it looks. If managed incorrectly, it has the potential to damage your brand rather than help it. So instead of focusing on the best practices in social media, let’s examine a few of those no-nos that many social users desperately need to know.

1. Lackluster posts
The majority of your posts should either include a link to an article or an image to keep your followers’ attention. If the majority of your content is one-liners with nothing to click on, this will put your page into the “forgettable” category.  The last thing you want is for your followers to regularly skip your posts.

2. It’s not all about you
Yes, social media is an effective tool to promote your products and services, but don’t forget to highlight other relevant articles and information. Just remember that posting information related to your industry will keep your services at top-of-mind with your followers. You will also be recognized as a news source rather than just another social media sales page and obtain more followers as a result.

3. Unresponsive
One of the worst things you can do in social media is ignore a customer that has posted a question or a complaint to your page. Promptly reply so that the poster and the rest of your followers know they’re receiving quality customer service. If a complaint is left unresolved on your social media page, you can expect as much damage as a negative advertising campaign. You will lose followers and trust in your brand.

4. No proofreading? No post
If you do not have time to read over your post for spelling and grammatical errors, then don’t post it. There’s nothing worse than posting information with a glaring spelling mistake. The majority of your followers will probably catch it, resulting in a lack of reverence for your page and brand.

5. If you forget about it, so will they
Social media marketing is a commitment. If you choose to create a page promoting your business, then make the time to manage it. Log in to your page every day (or every business day) and post at least three to four times a week. If this sounds like a lot of work, then find someone else to manage it.  If your social media presence doesn’t stay current, your followers will forget about you.

If you just realized that you are a violator of one or more of these no-nos, don’t get discouraged! Social media is an amazing tool and, when used correctly, it can expand a company’s outreach, keep customers engaged and drive sales. Don’t give up, just pick yourself up and try again. Now go forth and conquer your social media marketing the right way!