Melanie Dyann Howe

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5 Things You Shouldn't Do on Social Media

It’s easy to talk about all the awesome things you should be doing with your social media, but it’s also important to talk about some things you shouldn't do. These social media don’ts apply to anyone using social media to market a business or themselves.

Avoid religious and political commentary.

Unless you’re a business that deals with religious beliefs, politics, or the government, it’s honestly best to just stay away from discussions and posts that have to do with said topics. These are intimate subjects that have deep meaning to a lot of people, so it is easy to create tension inadvertently. Businesses should be nondiscriminatory, so there really isn’t any reason to even chime in on these subjects.

Don’t get too personal.

I’m all about transparency and letting your brand shine through as you. However, don’t assume that your entire audience online wants to be best buddies with you. As you grow in business, your fans and followers will expand to include more than just your mom and close friends. They will be customers, future customers, partners, people you’ve never met, and people that love learning from you online. And not all of these people will appreciate all of the personal details that your mom and friends do. Always consider your brand and the professional you want to be viewed as. Find your balance of personal professionalism and always keep your target audience in mind.

Never ever be negative.

No matter what, never vent online or complain about customers. You are definitely going to deal with unfair circumstances and really difficult people. You will even be wronged by people and unfairly judged by customers. Someone may even lie about your business. In all of these situations, you should never vent online or post negative comments. This goes for your own posts and responding to reviews and comments on your social media. Stay positive, objective, professional, and polite when situations call for a response to a negative comment. If you’ve been wronged and you want to vent, do it... but in private with your best friend over a beer, never online.  

Don’t delete negative comments or reviews.

People tend to share two types of emotions about a business online - really positive experiences and really frustrating experiences.  When you delete a review or comment, that person is likely to go to their own social media page and really bad mouth you and let everyone know what you’ve done. Deleting the comments makes you look guilty and like you don’t respect the opinions of your customers. Instead of deleting them, use the comments as an opportunity to correct the situation transparently in front of your audience. Acknowledge the person’s feelings (whether justified or not) and work to correct the situation. Oftentimes, that person will appreciate your response and give your business another chance. It also shows others how you handle these situations. Exception: in cases where the comments are inappropriate, offensive, abusive and threatening - hide/delete those and report them to the social media platform.

Don’t post just to post.

If you wake up one day and realize, “oh crap, I haven’t posted to my Facebook for a while,” don’t grab your phone and post something random just to make a post. Use this realization as a wake-up call that you need to develop a social media content plan and understand that you may need to dedicate some time to work on your social media in batches. Whatever you do, don’t just post something super random like, “Whatup Facebook, how’s your Monday?” Have valuable content ready to go and pre-scheduled so you don’t end up in this situation.

If you’ve done some of these in the past, don’t fret, we’ve all been there. Just focus on avoiding these situations moving forward.


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