How to avoid making common social media mistakes

By June 15, 2017General

Social media and marketing go hand-in-hand. But there’s much to consider with social media and we’ve all been guilty of the odd social faux pas.

Although embarrassing, these mistakes are generally forgiven and forgotten in a social situation. But when a business performs a faux pas on social media, news can spread like wildfire and potentially put your company’s credibility on the line.

If you’ve got even a smidgen of a presence on social media, you’re in the public spotlight, so don’t damage your carefully constructed image by falling foul of these faux pas:

1. Piggybacking on trending topics

Trending topics are a great way to join in on a mass discussion; however, using them in a distasteful way could land you in hot water.

In 2011, most people saw the riots in Egypt as an earthshaking political moment, but Kenneth Cole saw it as an opportunity to market his new collection. He highjacked the #Cairo hashtag and sent out this tweet: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is available online.”

As you can imagine, the distasteful tweet sent the internet into an angry frenzy, resulting in #boycottKennethCole hash tags – not the kind of exposure he was hoping for.

2. Bombarding your followers with posts

Bombarding your customers with continuous updates will cause them to hit the delete button.

Use a social media tool like Hootsuite to schedule your posts so that you can enter several at once, but release them in a timely manner.

Also, make sure you share unique information on each of your social media channels. If you’re posting the same thing on each network, your followers won’t have enough incentive to follow, or like you in multiple places.

3. Mixing up personal and business accounts

Accidently posting something you intend for your personal account to a business profile can cause serious embarrassment.

Red Cross learned this lesson when an employee accidently posted to the @RedCross Twitter account that she was drinking beer and #gettingslizzerd at work.

In this case however, Red Cross responded with good humour: “We’ve deleted the tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on