6 Things Businesses Should Never Post on Social Media

Social media use continues to rise, and it’s not just the guy next door checking Facebook. More than 80 percent of small and medium businesses run accounts on at least one network, and major brands invest heavily in multi-channel outreach.

Going social is smart practice for businesses, since more than 1 in 3 Internet users say they use social media to find information about a brand or product. But tread carefully. One errant post is all it takes to wreck a brand’s reputation.

To stay on course, here are a few things businesses should avoid posting on social media.

1. Religious and Political Opinions

    There’s a time and place for heated discussions, and a brand’s official social media accounts is generally not it. With a few exceptions – like if you’re actually running a religious or political organization – it’s best to steer clear of these topics or you’ll likely alienate some of your customer base.

    Instead, Entrepreneur Magazine advises: “By focusing your social media content on your customer and not your own beliefs, your business will keep moving in the right direction, which is toward more profit and less drama.”

    2. Negative Comments About Customers or Competitors

      When’s the last time you went online hoping to read bad news? Most people aren’t logging into social media looking for negativity either. We tend to surf social networks as a reprieve from the day’s events, wanting stories that inspire or entertain.

      Brands that roll out negativity will quickly lose traction. Not only will consumers forget about your products and services, they’ll associate you with a Debbie Downer attitude. “Let this happen,” Entrepreneur says, “and your social media presence is dead.”

      So, yes, Mom was right. If you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And that includes even the juiciest dirty laundry about clients or competitors. “Keep that stuff in the boardroom and off of social media,” Entrepreneur affirms. “That type of content is a major turnoff for social media users, and anything that turns them off will give them an excuse to turn you off.”

      3. Endless Self-Promotion

        People follow brands online because they are genuinely interested in what they have to offer. They do want to be informed about new products, events, and offers. But, like a bad date, too much “me talk” gets exhausting.

        Finding balance – in content and timing – is key.

        Depending on the network, it may be reasonable to post several times a day, like on Twitter or Snapchat. But clog your follower’s Instagram and Facebook newsfeeds, and you’ll likely find a drop in engagement.

        More important than quantity, however, is the matter of quality. According to StatusBrew research, 51 percent of people say they would unfollow brands that post irritating content and 27 percent would block the brand as spam. As a solution, consider using tools like TwineSocial’s analytics dashboard to see which posts get the most traffic on your social hub and let that information guide future efforts.

        4. Erroneous Info

          We live in an era of widespread mistrust. Consumers tend to instinctively view “official” content skeptically, so it’s more important than ever to be a truly believable brand.

          Brands simply cannot afford to publish incorrect info – whether that’s fake news, exaggerated claims, or one too many typos. Take the time to proofread, verify information, and gather content from credible sources. That’s an investment that pays off, in trust.

          5. Non-Social Posts

            Boring content just doesn’t belong on social media. “If someone follows you on social media, it’s safe to assume they know about your company and have already bought into the services or products you offer,” Entreprenuer reminds us. “So don’t approach social media like a cold call or an infomercial. Treat it as a way to let customers behind the curtain to understand your company’s personality.”

            Press releases, lectures, white papers, and monologues won’t cut it. Instead, inject a dash of humanity into company posts and respond generously to fan comments. In other words: be social!

            6. NSFW, Unprofessional, or Overly Personal Content

              Posting on social media is a lot like getting a tattoo. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself two questions: “What would Grandma say?” and “Is this something I want on display forever?” That should immediately rule out any risqué and potentially offensive content, because if it’s “not safe for work,” it’s certainly not meant for your company account.

              Sometimes, though, social media managers also struggle to find the line between being human and being professional. It’s not easy. In many cases, the sweet spot will depend on the brand’s overall personality, so there’s no hard and fast rule. But generally speaking, while a video tour of the back office is probably welcome content, you might hold off on posting pics of today’s lunch plate.

              Consumers crave candor and transparency, but they still expect professionalism. For better results with humanizing the brand, consider incorporating customer content in brand messaging. By creating a social media hub to access and display authentic UGC, marketing teams are using peer content to bring consumers closer.

              To see what that looks like for your brand, check out our solutions gallery and kick off your own success story with a free trial of TwineSocial.

              For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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