The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media

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1. Failure To Use A Social Schedule

Planning your posts in advance, by choosing what content will be posted on which platform at what time, means no more stressful content hunts to find something to post TODAY. You can even queue up posts in advance saving you time and allowing peace of mind.

2. Using The Same Plan For All Platforms

Social platforms vary so much in post life span (how long it takes for your post to be buried under newer posts) and newsfeed algorithms, so using the same plan for all accounts is a huge mistake! For example Facebook posts that get little to no reach or engagement can reduce reach and engagement on other posts by telling Facebook your page’s posts aren’t interesting. A Facebook posts life span can be as long as days. So you want to be careful how often you post as over posting and recycling content too much can annoy your following. Tweets have a life span of roughly 20 minutes so you can tweet much more often and even repeat content.

3. Ignoring Optimal Posting Times

Failing to post at the most opportune times is a far too common mistake. This means posting whenever you feel like it instead of at the times your audience is online and ready for your content. With platform tools like Facebook Insights giving us lots of information on when our audiences are online there really is no excuse for posting at bad times. There are many tools to help you do this like platforms own analytics and Buffer’s Optimal Timing tool.

4. Favouring Promotion Over Content

Social media can be a great way to reach customers but if all your posts are just promotion you risk annoying your followers instead of converting them into customers. Instead use great content to engage your followers and show authority in your industry. It’s also a great way to share the voice and beliefs of your company. If you create or curate interesting relevant content your followers will thank you for it by engaging. The general rule for keeping your accounts followable is 80% content and 20% promotion.

5. Buying Likes Instead Of Earning Them

Paying for followers is one of the biggest mistakes you can make on social media. All likes and followers are not created equal. Having followers that choose to follow you because they’re interested in your brand or company means having access to interested potential customers, bought likes/followers are unlikely to be customers and are often fake accounts. Large fake followings lower your engagement score (the % of followers that engage with your content) making your content look bad which on platforms like Facebook can mean reduced reach to followers for all posts. If you were to instead spend that money on ads or investing in content instead of buying likes you can grow an audience that is far more likely to turn into actual customers.

6. Ignoring Ads

Facebook ads, even with a small budget, are truly worth it when done right. Just a $10 budget can help you reach well-targeted potential customers. Although many platforms are offering paid services they’re not all created equal so be sure to do your research before beginning a campaign.

7. Poor Hashtag Habits

On platforms like Instagram and Twitter hashtags are how new followers find you, so be sure to use them and use them well. Research hashtags by seeing how many results they have when searched on each platform you’re using and check out the tags being used by successful accounts in your industry. On Twitter it’s best to stick to just a few key hashtags at the end of your tweet where as on Instagram you’re allowed up to 30 hashtags and they’ll be hidden by a “read more” button after roughly 170 characters so you don’t have to worry about lots of hashtags bulking up your perfectly worded caption.

Effective use of social media can help a business grow, provide great customer service, and provide insights on customers. Make sure to avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media to make the most of your brands social presence.

Why Timing Matters On Social Media


Most social media users don’t worry about optimal timing, they simply post when they want to. This may mean posting images to Facebook or Instagram right after taking the picture or tweeting an idea as soon as it pops in their head. Sometimes to save data, users wait to post until they have Wi-Fi. For most social media users this is fine because most users are using social media for fun, but if you’re using social media to promote yourself, your business or anything else, optimal timing is very important.

The truth is most of your audience won’t see what you post on social media. This is partly due to algorithms and partially due to the sheer volume of posts on social media and messaging platforms. Algorithms curate our newsfeeds on sites like Facebook to make sure our newsfeeds stay interesting to us. These algorithms consider source and engagement to decide what will be relevant to who and engagement immediately after posting helps determine the relevancy of your posts. On platforms like Twitter, a fresh post has a lifespan of roughly 20 minutes before it’s pushed lower and lower in newsfeeds as thousands of new posts are tweeted. By posting at unpopular, non-optimal times you risk your posts not being seen.

Posting at optimal times basically means posting when your content is most likely to be seen by the right eyes. For example, if you’re promoting a cookbook on social media, posting at 3am means your post is unlikely to be seen by your audience as most people aren’t on Instagram at that hour looking for recipe ideas. Posting when your target audience may be commuting to work, eating their lunch, or any other time your target audience may be scrolling through their Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook newsfeeds would get your post much more attention, hopefully more engagement, and maybe even a few cookbook sales.

Planning when to post and how often also helps in creating a strong strategy. If you know you want to tweet five times every Thursday and pre-plan when and what those tweets will be it’s more likely that you will follow through and that your effort will have maximum effect.

Of course, the best times to post for each platform can vary, as does frequency of posting. For example the times when most of your followers are on Twitter may not be the same as when your Instagram followers are online. Different platforms attract slightly different audiences and are used differently so it’s important to look at peak posting times for each platform.

So how do you find your best times to post? Start by thinking about when you use social media. Do you scroll through Instagram on your lunch break? Do you check out Twitter while waiting to pick up your kids after school? When you use social media can be a good indicator of when your audience is using theirs. (Of course you should also consider time zones, as your 3pm isn’t the same as everyone else’s.)

There are also lots of tools to help determine the best time to post. Facebook Insights provides lots of information on when your followers are on Facebook, and tools like Buffer provide optimal timing suggestions. There is also a bit of trial and error when finding your best posting times. Maybe posting at 3:15 is better than 3:00. Also consider times to avoid posting, like when post people are asleep or on major holidays when many people are busy with family celebrations.

I’ll leave you with this: If nobody sees your tweet, was it worth the time and effort you put into creating it?