6 Things You Shouldn’t Do on Social Media

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Social media is ubiquitous. It’s a universal phenomenon.

We’ve been enjoying the benefits of openly communicating with friends, family, celebrities, strangers, and of course brands.

The whole concept of businesses interacting with people has changed with social media.

Today, brands allocate resources to effectively reach out to the consumers on social media. Right from product launches, consumer interactions, conducting events to promotions for brand awareness, brands use a host of social media to communicate their messages.

Nevertheless, in this context, this freedom of expression should be mistaken for liberty – especially given that whatever you post on public domain is available for everyone to see. Anything that you release on social media should be carefully scrutinized so that the material is not interpreted in any other context.

So with that in mind, let’s discuss a few obvious (yet frequently violated) guidelines for networking on social media.

Exercise Caution While Sourcing Imagery

Most of the online images can be traced back to a particular individual or organization.

Don’t plagiarize images, especially if you’re running a business. Plagiarism is a serious issue and you might get sued.

Ever in doubt over copyright, always attribute the images to the rightful owner – or better, don’t use them at all. Why take the trouble!

A huge stockpile of free and royalty free images is at your disposal. Use them – a much safer bet!

Avoid criticizing a brand or a person

People remember social media posts longer than you think.

Complaining about someone is not only juvenile, this behavior can land you in more trouble than you bargained for.

Word travels fast and people will call upon you to make life online, a misery for your company as a result. It’s definitely not worth it!

Never, ever use a tragedy to your advantage

An insensitive remark on a tragedy can be disastrous to your brand image.

It will undoubtedly result in the severe backlash as it did with Kenneth Cole.

This is what they tweeted for Cairo protests that resulted in multiple deaths –

“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor has they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”

This is one of the most cringe-worthy examples from a company account.

Don’t be just me-me-me

The whole objective of social media interaction is to be social, not self-promotional all the time.

You need to think of social media as a real-life environment – where there is a two-way conversation. Of course, there’ll always be a person in the room who talks about themselves. And yeah, nobody likes that.

Exercise Restraint to Offensive/Provocative Trolls

Trolls are infamous for causing a fuss or posting negative comments simply for the heck of it.

The first thing you should do is to determine if the person in question is a real customer or an attention seeker. If found to be a troll, block them from all company accounts and report them to each social network.

Then again, you can leverage your brand advocates instead of blocking trolls in the first instance – their loyalty to your brand can do wonders when it comes to such situations. Trolls usually back down when they realize you have enforcement.

Never ignore negative comments

Most businesses brush aside customer negativity – but you can learn valuable things from the comments.

If you are at fault, there’s no shame in admitting to a mistake – it’s how you deal with it that matters.

If your customers are dissatisfied with your product or service, reach out to them. Listen to their grievances, and sort them out. Publicly acknowledging a mistake and rectifying it will earn you more respect than ignoring it.



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