7 Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid in 2017


Social Media Marketing can be a disaster just waiting to happen.

If you’re not careful, Social Media can be a forum for very public brand failures. Even veteran marketers have been known to stumble.

So what can you do? Take a note of these 7 social media pitfalls to avoid.

Firstly, as suggested by Bower Web Solutions:

1. Using a hashtag without understanding what it really means

After the Twitter hashtag, #WhyIStayed, began trending in order to promote awareness and speak out against domestic violence, Digiorno Pizza tweeted this…


ALWAYS do your due diligence on the significance and purpose of hashtags before trying to use them in your post. This is one of the more offensive social media pitfalls- pay attention!

2. Poorly relating or being insensitive to holidays and special events

Often companies create cheesy posts for holidays that are ineffective. However, sometimes they can be extremely offensive if they do not respect the meaning of the holiday. In the example below, where an advertiser sought to leverage Martin Luther King day for commercial purposes, the post was outright ignorant and a Facebook user shamed this as another one of the worst social media pitfalls.


3. Using images without fully knowing their source and meaning

To celebrate July 4th, American Apparel posted a picture their social media administrator believed to be a cloud or some type of firework, but in reality was a picture of the Challenger exploding.


4. Faiing to respond to and resolve customer feedback

Smuckers has donated and supported the production of GMO crops, which they use in some of their products, and received questions from their followers on their Facebook page about it. Instead of responding to the post and explaining their position and belief on the situation, they resorted to deleting the negative posts and in turn created an uproar on social media. One of the easiest social media pitfalls to fix is to simply be nice in your comment section.


5. Only talking about yourself and your products

The purpose of your business for utilizing a social media platform should be deeper than simply adding another medium for generating business sales. It should be a way for you to create truly loyal fans and followers, by giving them an insider’s look into your company. Below is an all too common example of businesses’ social media accounts that lack a deeper purpose and are therefore ineffective.


10 likes from 1,459,815 page followers

Circles Studio adds:

6. Having an intern or assistant do it all

While it’s fine for interns to help execute your social media, it’s vital that there is someone from management that is driving the strategy, planning and content. If not, then your social media marketing can quickly become unaligned with your brand. Just like you wouldn’t send an intern alone to a tradeshow or press conference, you shouldn’t have them posting content online without strategic guidance and oversight.


7. Not engaging with followers

Social media should not be a one-way street. To be successful and build a following that matters, you have to be social! Share others’ posts on Facebook. Ask questions. Answer questions. Retweet. Share articles. Thank people for retweeting your posts. Repin. Like others’ posts. These are all ways to be involved in social media. The more engagement, the better; so don’t forget the social in social media!


Such are the common pitfalls of Social Media Marketing.

If you want to know what you should do in social media marketing, take a look at our online training courses, which will help you to succeed in Social Media.

For those new to Social Media Marketing:


The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing is a seven-part online training course providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.

For more details of the Social Media Marketing online course, please click here.

For those who want to dig into Social Media Marketing in more detail:


The Advanced Social Media Marketing online training course is designed to drill down into the specific details of the major Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and others.

For more details of the Advanced Social Media Marketing programme, please click here.

For those who want to upskill themselves on Social Media Marketing for 2017:

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social media is an ever-changing environment and unless you’re involved on a day to day basis you’re unlikely to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the medium. So we’ve devised this Social Media Marketing Essentials online training course to capture the latest developments across the expanding world of social media for 2017.

For more details of the Social Media Essentials course, please click here.

We also offer detailed courses about Facebook and LinkedIn – see the listings under “eCourses” in our top menu.