Is Your Business Guilty of a “Flinchworthy” Social Media Presence?

Let’s get one thing straight before we jump in: Having a flinchworthy social media presence is absolutely not a good thing. It is true that infamy gets attention, but that does not necessarily lead to conversions. The trick is to have a praiseworthy social media presence. This takes a lot of work and does not happen overnight, but it is as much about not falling into flinchworthy territory as it is about focusing on best practices. If you find the line between praiseworthy and flinchworthy territory a bit blurry, these social media don’ts inspired by a Hubspot article, should help it become sharper.


  • Launch a private social media account. The whole point of social media is to be “social.” If you make it harder for people to follow your business, they won’t bother.
  • Be just a giver or just a taker. Social media is all about balance. If you follow hundreds of people but only have a handful of followers on Twitter, there is a problem. Likewise, if you have thousands of followers but only follow 10 people yourself, there is also a problem.
  • Be long-winded. Keep your updates short and sweet. Just because Facebook now allows you to post updates around 63,000 words does not mean you should. It’s an update, not a novella.
  • Air your dirty laundry. Whether by employer or employee, hashing out personal issues on Twitter and other social media is inappropriate and won’t interest your audience in the way you want. As a business/brand, you have to keep a certain level of professionalism.

    Remember, Twitter can help market your business, but only if you use it correctly.
  • Put down competitors. It makes you and your business seem petty and unprofessional. Tell/show people why your business is great, not why others are bad.
  • Make insensitive comments. It is important to use newsworthy stories and information when relevant to your business, but be careful not to make off-color statements about controversial/sensitive subjects. Always remain within good taste.
  • Publicly use social media as customer support. Some general customer service issues can be handled over social media, but there is always a point when it should be directed offline or to a private channel.
  • Hijack hashtags. Using trending hashtags for their popularity when they have nothing to do with what you are tweeting is a definite no-no.
  • Overload tweets with hashtags. Including too many hashtags is spammy and makes your tweets harder to read.
  • Insult your audience/customer base. No business in their right mind would actually do this knowingly, but can inadvertently do so while joking around or making light of something. Know your audience well enough to know what will go over as a joke and what won’t.
  • Spam! Social media automation may save time but it can result in too many and/or irrelevant tweets/updates.
  • Rely solely on retweeting. Original content is essential.

A strong social media presence is critical to an effective Internet marketing campaign, but it can be easily sabotaged by the aforementioned mistakes. At SLS Consulting, we help our clients reach the highest potential of an effective online marketing strategy, including social media. If you are interested in developing a strong, praiseworthy, social media presence, contact our offices at (323) 254-1510 for more information.

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