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6 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid
May 15, 2019
Social-Media-Mistake

6 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid

In today’s digital world, having a social media presence is necessary to sustain a thriving business. However, when you’re first starting out, it can be difficult to know how to grow your following and what rules you need to comply with on each platform.

Many business owners start posting and hope for the best, but that’s often not the best strategy. In fact, it can land you in legal trouble if you’re not careful.

In this post, we’ll list six social media mistakes your business shouldn’t make. By avoiding these issues, you can grow your following quickly and legally.

Which Social Media Mistakes Should You Avoid?

1. Paying for Followers

If you’re starting a social media account from scratch, it can be tempting to buy followers to create the illusion that people already like your brand’s page. While this sounds appealing, it will hurt your social media presence in the long run.

First off, buying followers on Instagram goes against its Terms of Use policies and can get your account banned. Plus, these followers won’t engage with your content, which is the purpose of creating a social media strategy. Resist the urge to buy followers and instead grow your following naturally.

2. Forgetting to Proofread Posts

Every post, tweet, and caption should always be proofread before hitting the submit button. Careless spelling and punctuation mistakes give the impression that you don’t care about the details. This will alienate potential customers, causing them to think that your business isn’t professional.

If you struggle with grammar, try Grammarly, a free tool that proofreads web content and alerts you if there’s an error. If you want extra assurance, consider Grammarly’s paid version, which includes premium edits.

3. Posting Too Often

Many business owners believe that posting numerous times a day on Facebook will get you more followers, but that’s actually not the case. Social Report found that engagement rates drop when you post more than one or two times a day on Facebook and Instagram, and more than three to five times a day on Twitter.

Quality is more important than quantity on most social media channels. However, it’s important to note that though these are the averages, so you should conduct tests to see how often your business should post and adjust as you see fit.

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4. Not Posting Enough

According to RevLocal, your brand should be posting at least five times a week on each social media account to stay relevant and build your audience. Just posting a big announcement or content feature once a week isn’t enough to keep your followers engaged.

If you have trouble remembering to post, a social media scheduling tool will automatically send out posts for you and many will allow you to pre-populate content 30 days in advance. This can help you create a consistent schedule. Just remember to acknowledge and reply to your comments at least once each day.

5. Using Copyrighted Photos Without Permission

Instagram and Facebook are especially visual platforms and it’s recommended to have a photo with each post (Instagram requires a photo). Even though it’s easy to Google an image and use it for your post, this is stealing from the artist and is considered illegal.

If you’re not taking your own photos for posts, there are many royalty-free images sites like Unsplash and Pexels that are licensed under Creative Commons Zero license. This means that the artist has relinquished rights to their photos and you’re free to use them as you wish. If you want other professional images for your site, consider using  sites like Adobe Stock and Shutterstock.

6. Not Identifying Paid Influencer Posts

Many companies pay social media influencers to promote their products in exchange for free items or a sum of money. This is a great strategy that can get you many followers, however; each influencer must identify these posts as sponsored, and they must disclose that they’ve received something in exchange for the promotion. Not doing this can lead to disciplinary action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the individual and the brand.

Conclusion: Read the Terms and Conditions

Before creating social media accounts for each platform, read the terms and conditions to ensure you’re compliant with all rules. Even though it’s easy to create a post, staying compliant isn’t as simple. Hootsuite also has a Social Media Compliance post to help you navigate you the rules and provides guidelines for specific industries. By spending time reviewing the rules before you start posting could save you stress in the future.

Do you know of any other social media mistakes that small business shouldn’t make? Post your tips in the comments section below.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].
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