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Social Media "Icks": Major DON'Ts on Socials

Ick! That’s what the kids are using to describe something they absolutely detest. Saying, “That gives me the ick,”—yes, as a noun—is kosher whether you feel weirded out by an idea, uncomfortable in a social situation, or completely turned off on a first date.

Now, while we’re not going to dive into our “ick list” when it comes to dating, we will proudly post our social media icks for all to take note. Ready? Let’s get into it…

1. Buying likes/followers.

This one’s outdated and super icky. If an account—whether business, brand, or influencer—has several thousand followers but meager engagement, that’s a red flag. Social media is only a powerful tool if you use it authentically—building and engaging a loyal audience. If you’re not using it purposefully, it’s just online show-and-tell, and you’re probably not even showing or telling to people who care about what your brand actually has to offer. Buying likes and followers may seem like a quick way to appear impressive, but nowadays, users can easily see through the BS. Social media status is earned, not bought.

2. Posting but not engaging.

One way to get users to unfollow you is to completely ignore them. Social media is meant to be just that—social! That means posting content is just as important as responding to comments and direct messages (DMs). Think of your social media platforms not just as an arm of your marketing department, but also as customer service (answering questions and concerns) and PR (publicly addressing news, events, or issues related to your brand and the industry). Respond promptly and respectfully. Because remember—the customer always comes first.

3. Being too “salesy."

Being too salesy is a total turnoff—like those commission-based boutique employees who won’t seem to leave you alone while you’re shopping even for 5 minutes. Similarly, if every post on your social media is an ad, that can get pretty annoying. Social media is incredible in that it affords people the capacity to engage with your brand. Through different platforms and posts you can inspire your followers to interact, comment, share, like, duet, tag, and more. Overt advertisements can be a super ick for social media users. Remember the importance of providing value to your followers beyond just announcing your latest offering or sale. It’s your opportunity to cultivate deep and meaningful customer relationships.

4. Lacking authenticity.

Hot take: Your brand isn’t and will never be everything to everyone. If you’re spreading yourself too thin trying to make your brand relevant for all audiences, you’re likely losing your integrity, purpose, and passion that set your brand apart in the first place. Remind yourself that you don’t need to hop on every trend, use every hashtag, or please every single person on the planet in order to have a successful, sustainable business. What makes you unique is what makes your target audience love you.

5. Deleting critical comments.

Like we mentioned above, customer service is a key part of social media. Acknowledging and addressing negative feedback shows your followers that you listen to your customers and to the audience you’re working to serve. Try not to get defensive or argumentative as that might incite an even bigger online issue. Best practice is to respond promptly and respectfully (either providing more information or directing the commenter to reach out to your brand for a more personal conversation via phone or DM). Of course, it’s important to report harassment or inappropriate comments of any kind. Revisit our blog about dealing with negative comments on your brand’s social media.

6. Being on every platform.

Especially if you’re a burgeoning small business, not every social media platform is going to be the right fit for you. Do some research about which platforms make the most sense for your product/service, target audience, and longterm goals. What’s more, you do NOT want to post the exact same content on every platform since the audiences and algorithms are unique. What works for Facebook does not necessarily belong on Twitter. And what goes viral on Instagram may get lost if not adjusted for TikTok. So, if your business doesn’t have the manpower to curate differentiated posts for each app, focus your energy on those platforms that best fit your target audience. Check out our blog post breaking down all you need to know about the major social media apps.

7. Auto-posting without review.

This isn’t so much of an ick as an eek! Social media planning programs like Planoly are amazing when it comes to being able to schedule your social media posts for advanced publication online. But this can also be problematic if an automated post goes live during a time of crisis (whether related to the content of your post or not). Posting something light and fluffy will come across as tone deaf if the Internet is abuzz with a critical news story. It takes just a few minutes out of your day to quickly review the scheduled social media posts—but trust us, it’ll save you in the long run.

8. Stealing.

Just because you’re posting to social media and not publishing in a print magazine doesn’t mean that online content is a free-for-all. Photos, quotes, user-generated content, and even memes should be approved and accredited to the originator. Best practice? Take your own photos (time for a photoshoot, anyone?), write your own captions (you can get some help with ChatGPT), and get permission to share any outsourced content from other creators or customers.

9. Missing important info.

You’re having a big sale! But when is it? How long will it last? For whom does it apply? Where can I find more information? Always make sure you include ALL the necessary info in your social media posts (and/or a working link in your bio to redirect people to your website or another page). Pretty much all your posts should include a Call to Action (CTA) directing the viewer to do something (click, like, share, purchase, save, visit, etc.). Your post can be aesthetically beautiful, but if it’s missing important information or a CTA for the viewer, it’s not very helpful.

10. Falling off the wagon.

Social media management is a big job and it can be a lot to handle for a new or small business. But it is also one of the most important tools for building brand awareness, growing your follower and customer base, and beginning to make an impact. If you don’t have a designated social media person on your team (and to be honest, doing it ALL yourself is too much for anyone to handle), book a discovery call with Media À La Carte. Connect with us so we can learn about your brand and talk through how our agency can transform your social media strategy in a way that best suits you.


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