5 Social Media Fails and How to Avoid Them

5 Social Media Fails and How to Avoid Them

Operating your business through popular social media outlets is sort of like tight rope walking or walking on egg shells.

One false move and you’re toast.

When sharing with the entire world, once you hit “post” you can’t take back that post later if it begins to trend for the wrong reason – because it was an epic fail.

Once it’s out there — it’s out there. Unfortunately, there have been many untimely epic fails over the years as businesses around the world take social media by storm to grow their brands and followings.

These epic fails are avoidable with extreme caution and care.

Common Epic Fails by Category

There is an unfortunate number of social media epic fails that fall into the categories below:

1. The Hashtag Epic Fail:  Hopping onto the trending hashtag to plug your business’s products or services is poor social media etiquette, especially when you’re hi-jacking a trending hashtag for a charity.

2. The Lashing Out Epic Fail:  Lashing out at co-workers, especially the boss of the company via a popular social media outlet is the "wrong time, wrong place" and could cost you, not only your career, but your reputation as well.

Even an accidental fail that could be blamed on a “new phone” could cost you your career. 

3. The Inappropriate Time to Advertise Epic Fail:  This seems to be a popular, unfortunate epic fail and is avoidable by staying up-to-date with the latest news. Advertising your company’s products or services when there has been a nationwide catastrophe is more than embarrassing – it’s mortifying.

Sure, you can delete this mortification, but rest assured that someone somewhere has already taken a screen shot and saved it to their computer with the hope that it will become the latest social media epic fail trend.

4. The “Be Careful What You Wish” for Epic Fail:  Think long and hard before posting a hashtag encouraging consumers, clients, or customers to post “stories” of experiences with your business.

The reactions that you get may not be what you had hoped for and could be bad for business.

5. The Don’t Confuse Your Audience Epic Fail:  If your audience is used to seeing cars on Instagram they may get a little confused if you start posting pictures of things that they’re not used to.

This could result in a loss of engagement and followers. Your audience will be like, huh?

When you play your cards right, social media can be a powerful, versatile tool to use when building or expanding your brand. But if you inadvertently lay the wrong hand down, you may live to regret it.

Avoid epic fails with the use of extreme care when posting, avoiding social media at all costs if you’ve “had one too many,” and by staying up-to-date on current news and trends to avoid accidental fails. 

Sapphire Byers

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Sapphire Byers started blogging and website building in 2010. She has a passion for writing and can write about almost anything. She is a master of SEO and enjoys researching fresh topics to provide great content for. She loves helping others bring their visions to life through her words.

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Skye MacLeod
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Skye MacLeod

This is an excellent article, Sapphire! Every situation you describe is critical. Helping clients recover from these types of writing pitfalls is part of we do every day at Crowd Content!

brenda
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brenda

Sapphire, these are great tips.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

I do hate it when I see someone highjack a popular hash tag with something unrelated to it. It really is a poor use of social media, and it won’t win anyone any followers.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

It would be great if people who do that could be punished somehow. I don’t know how that could happen or what the punishment would be, but hash tag hijackers should pay a price for it.

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

I know, I can’t stand it when people do that. I have unfollowed people in the past who have used that to try to get attention. It’s a poor substitute for really having something to say.

Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

No doubt every one of us has at least once wanted to lash out at someone on social media (we may even be lucky if we’ve only had that feeling once), but Sapphire is right that we always must avoid doing so. The cathartic feeling it may provide isn’t worth the trouble it will almost certainly cause.

Tay H
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Tay H

Great article and so true. Just because something is trending doesn’t mean it’s suitable for every business. When it comes to promoting the right image it’s important to read into things thoroughly.

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