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I debated in 2019 whether I needed to actually write this blog

And then I thought it’s 100% essential because despite warning against all of these in networking groups and social media posts since 2009 they’re all still happening 10 years later

So if you’re doing any of the below – stop

If you’re outsourcing your social media and you suspect that the company is doing them – fire them

If you know a local business is doing any of the below – show them this blog

Here are 6 Things You Should Never Do On Social Media

1. Buy Followers
This was a real conversation I’ve had in the last week

“Should I buy followers for my Instagram account”

“No – 100% no”

“But doesn’t it make me look more popular”

And it’s that last line that people fall for time and time again when they consider buying followers

Business owners forget that the reason they are using social media is to achieve their business goals not simply to enter a popularity contest

There is no point in buying followers that aren’t real, that won’t buy from you and won’t recommend you to their friends

Buying followers is the same as buying email addresses that don’t exist

Don’t do it

2. Automate Social Media

Anyone credible in the social media marketing world is taking a stand against automation of social media platforms … especially Instagram and LinkedIn which seems to be having a glut of issues because of snake oil salesmen

When we talk about automating social media don’t get confused about using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule social media updates. Both of those platforms can be used to great effect as long as you put engagement at the heart of everything you do

When we talk about Social Media Automation we’re talking

– Automating following / unfollowing of accounts
– Automating likes & comments on posts
– Automating direct messages or inbox messages

Social Media is based on authenticity and real engagement so what makes you think you can leave it to software

Automating your social media says in big bold letters that you don’t care about your audience

Worse than that it says that you are prepared to cheat to take the easy route and that makes people think about every other aspect of your business

3. Spam Tag
If the account isn’t in the photo or involved in the photo – don’t tag them in the photo or the post

It’s as simple as that

There are several scenarios where you can tag accounts in the photo
– They’re in the actual photo or an integral part of the post
– They’re a stakeholder – i.e a member of networking group where part of their role is to promote
– They’re respected in the industry and you’ve “very” selectively tagged them in for advice
– It’s newsworthy and they may be interested in it – rather than it being a straight up advert

If you’re simply tagging them in to extend your reach or to bate them in to reacting to extend your reach – don’t spam tag

The simple rule for spam tagging is “Do you get more out of tagging the person in the post than the person you’ve tagged does?”

4. Use Stock Images / Other People’s Images To Sell Your Brand
We’d always advice using original photography where possible, but there are some great stock images website out there that B2B businesses use in blogs and on social media to visualise their blogs

Fairly inoffensive posts like notepads, phones and laptops

And that’s fine – the audience realise that and there is no smokes and mirrors in the use of imagery

But recently I was chatting to a friend of mine who told me about a cake company that was using stock images and images off google in order to show off and sell “their” cakes

I’ve also seen incidents where trades companies have taken images from other companies to show of “their work”

When the use of stock images and other businesses images are used to represent “your work” it’s fraudulent

5. Fake Reviews Of Competitors
Imagine being so desperate that you leave fake reviews of competitors to boost your business

It happens more often than you think We recently had it on TripAdvisor where once of our clients was being systematically attacked with fake reviews from a new entrant to the local market that had opened and was struggling for customers

We’ve had bizarre reviews left of our business by political activists simply because we don’t vote for the party they support

There are 2 ways to build your business or status

You knock every other business down

You build the biggest business in town

And the former might work for you temporarily – but you won’t achieve long term success

6. Sell On The 1st Conversation
People like to buy – but they don’t like to be sold to

You might be the best business in your industry, but nothing puts people off more than a sales message the moment you follow or connect with someone

There’s a tried and tested networking mantra that goes Meet, Like, Know, Trust

And that applies to social media

Post great quality content out there and the MLKT process starts and customers approach you

Pull don’t push with your social media marketing

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services


Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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