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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.

Is Facebook Working for You?


It’s New Zealand’s most popular social network, with more than 2.5 million monthly Kiwi visitors (Nielsen Online Ratings September 2016), but Facebook isn’t necessarily meeting the marketing needs of NZ businesses.

For the last several years, Facebook has been dialing back on what’s called Organic Reach — the percentage of your followers who actually see what you’ve posted on your Facebook page.

According to our latest analysis, in January 2017 on average just 0.46% of NZ Facebook followers – less than half a percent – were engaged with posts on pages they follow.

Look Who’s Not Being Talked About

Of the 23,859 NZ Facebook pages in our January 2017 sample:

  • 8,260 pages (34.6% of our total) had no-one talking about them
  • 8,622 pages (36.1%) had between 1 and 10 people talking
  • 3,653 pages (15.3%) had between 11 and 50 people talking
  • 1,205 pages (5.1%) had between 51 and 100 people talking
  • 835 pages (3.5%) had between 101 and 200 people talking
  • 597 pages (2.5%) had between 201 and 500 people talking
  • 274 pages (1.1%) had between 501 and 1000 people talking
  • 318 pages (1.3%) had between 1001 and 5000 people talking
  • 53 pages had between 5001 and 10,000 people talking
  • 20 pages had between 10,001 and 20,000 people talking
  • 19 pages had between 20,001 and 100,000 people talking
  • 3 pages had more than 100,000 people talking: NZ Herald, Stuff and Hokonui

So how are you doing? Want to do better? We can help.

Want better engagement with your followers? Check out our Facebook online courses today:

Facebook Accelerator Programme

So you have a few hundred (or a few thousand) followers on Facebook but now you want to know how to get to the next level? Our Facebook Accelerator seven-part online course will lead you through the steps necessary to supercharge your Facebook presence and get Kiwi consumers engaging with you and your brands.

For more details of the Facebook Accelerator programme, please click here.

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course

For those who wish to master Facebook Marketing in its entirety, we’ve created a ten-week online training programme which will take you from absolute beginner on Facebook to highly effective Facebook communicator.

For more details of the Complete Facebook Marketing programme, please click here.

How To Create Effective Facebook Posts

Creating Effective Facebook Posts

How To Create Effective Facebook Posts

The biggest challenge for any business using Facebook pages these days? Creating Facebook posts that get noticed and get shared.

So we’ve created a four-part online training course that tackles this problem head on, identifies the secrets of effective Facebook posts and shows you exactly what you need to do to stand out on Facebook.

For more details of the How To Create Effective Facebook Posts short course, please click here.

If you want to improve your performance beyond Facebook, check out our Social Media Marketing Essentials course:

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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 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.

Timeless Social Media Insights

One of the more interesting stories of the week comes courtesy of the Harvard Business Review, which reveals that many of today’s oh-so-awesome social media insights actually track their provenance back to a 1966 study on word of mouth by Ernest Dichter, who HBR describes as “the father of motivation research”.

Some key insights gleaned by HBR from that nearly fifty-year-old study:

A major Dichter finding, very relevant today, was the identification of four motivations for a person to communicate about brands:

The first (about 33% of the cases) is because of product-involvement. The experience is so novel and pleasurable that it must be shared.

The second (about 24%) is self-involvement. Sharing knowledge or opinions is a way to gain attention, show connoisseurship, feel like a pioneer, have inside information, seek confirmation of a person’s own judgment, or assert superiority.

The third (around 20%) is other-involvement. The speaker wants to reach out and help to express neighborliness, caring, and friendship.

The fourth (around 20%) is message-involvement. The message is so humorous or informative that it deserves sharing.

We can’t say we’re surprised that these insights were coined so long ago — human nature doesn’t change all that much. If we made the effort, we daresay we’d find similar threads woven through essays by classical Greek and Roman philosophers as well.

Plus ça change …