Four common social media faux pas (and how to avoid doing them)

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

We all know which fork to use for what when we’re dining in a fancy restaurant (Ha - got you! Nobody knows that) but when it comes to navigating the digital social sphere with manners and decorum in tact … well, let’s just say it’s less high society and more zoo-unleashed.

Cue allll the trolls, spammers, haters and creepers.


But you’re not like those peeps. You always mind your p’s and t’s and truly believe that sharing is caring (except when it’s over-sharing).

So to help you navigate social media like the queen you are, I’ve pulled together four of the most common social media faux pas and how you can avoid doing them.

Four social media faux pas 

01 / Posting too many times in the same day. 

The faux pas:

Okay, so you’re excited about something you’ve stumbled across during the day and you want to share it with your online tribe. Only natural. So you post a pic, give it a clever caption and grin as the ‘likes’ start rolling in. But then you stumble across something else cool. And another thing. And another thing. Until before you know it you’ve posted 20 times in the last six hours. Gulp.

I liken this behaviour to the one friend (that we all have) that sends us a text message and then when we don’t respond, will send another five billion in a row. 

At best, it come across as desperate. At worst, it can be seen as spammy.

Simple solution:

Limit your posts to once a day and save the extra posts for your Instagram stories.

02 / Only posting sales pitches and promos. 

The faux pas:

You’re a business on Instagram. You’re not there to find the love of your life (even if you do have the tendency to linger over a few #dogsofig pages), you’re there to elevate your brand and biz. And, yep, sell your awesome offerings.

So, it’s totally cool that every post you share is some form of sales pitch, right?

Er, no. It’s kind of the same as the (other) friend that runs a pyramid scheme network marketing side business and only wants to hang out when she has a ‘party’ she’s hosting. Spoiler alert: It ain’t a party. It’s just her, surrounded by stuff she wants you to buy.

Nobody likes feeling used. Instagram is more than a sales platform; it’s an opportunity for you to build a meaningful relationship with your audience. Isn’t that way better?

The simple solution:

Post sales pitches and promotions sparingly. Try to keep it to a ratio of 1:7, i.e. one sales post to seven value-add posts.

03 / Not using proper tagging etiquette. 

The faux pas:

Remember that past co-worker/manager you had that always took credit for your work? Remember how annoyed and hurt it made you feel? Posting somebody else’s content without tagging them is a little like that.

In the same vein, when you’ve uploaded a pic that includes other product suppliers, it’s a good idea to tag them – as well as the model – in the pic. And it’s more than just good manners; it may actually help drum up some cross-promotion opportunities too!

The simple solution:

Always give credit for images and content that isn’t yours and remember to tag relevant peeps and businesses wherever possible.

04 / Ignoring comments. 

The faux pas:

So … you know how earlier I mentioned the friend whose text messages you sometimes (cough, always, cough) ignore?

Let’s take a moment to talk about that. Because while it’s perfectly fine to ignore a friend/family member for a while, it’s not good for your brand image if you’re ignoring people online.

In fact, it makes you look like a bit of a jerk. An aloof jerk. It also discourages others from commenting and engaging with your page because it looks like you don’t care.

The simple solution:

Respond to every comment (where possible) people make on your page. If you can’t respond personally, then try to ‘like’ their comment instead.

Follow these simple solutions and I have no doubt you’ll be navigating social media like the polite queen you are!

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