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5 Ways to Fail at Social Media

There are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to exploring what makes for successful social media engagement. But for those neophytes who are just starting to dip their toes into the surging black waters of social media, it may be more beneficial to first understand what not to do. No company wants to be the cyber equivalent of your techno-illiterate Aunt Judy, so take heed of these five ways to fail at social media before you dedicate valuable time and resources to growing your social media presence.

1. Post After Regular Business Hours

Posting your content when virtually no one is on social media is akin to shouting into an abyss. Studies show that the worst time to post to Facebook is on weekends before 8 am and after 8 pm. Posting on weekdays between 1 to 4 pm will ensure your content will reach the hippest hipsters who share, like and follow on the reg. So remember, if you've got some totally rad content up your sleeve at 5 pm on a Friday, try to contain your excitement and hold off posting until the following Monday. Better yet, tease your incredibly awesome announcement to pique your audience's interest!

2. Be Painfully Boring

For small businesses and industries that don't really lend themselves to excitement (ahem, insurance), it can be difficult to keep your feed spicy. Before you post, be sure to re-read your content as if you were an end user. Is this something that would grab your attention? Is this content relevant and/or useful? If it's not, it's fluff, and you should immediately excise it from your social media like a best friend who betrayed you in a time of need. A good example of how to side-step boring content even if you're industry is dull as heck is to be weird. Weird content gets noticed. And while the strange may not be appropriate for your industry, it’s worked wonders for brands like Denny's, Farmers Insurance and Progressive Auto.  

3. Overuse Hashtags

Hashtags don't always translate to increased likes and follows. So adding innumerable hashtags to your post is not advised. In fact, in sort of makes you come of as desperate. Sorry, we're just being honest. Never use more than one or two hashtags per post, and be sure that they’re specific and already being used. #MufflerFittings is probably not a widely used hashtag. So if you're an auto repair shop specializing in muffler repair, maybe try #cartips instead.    

4. Try to Capitalize on Unrelated News Stories

Being relevant is step one to having a successfully social media presence. That said, trying to ride on the coattails of trending topics or new stories can backfire in the worst way possible. It may seem obvious, but do not try and crowbar your content into irrelevant topics. Many big brands have made this mistake and they've suffered dearly for it. Stay on your on course and don’t #jumpoffabridge because everyone else is doing it. One day you’ll blossom on your own and be the belle of the ball. Until then, keep your integrity.

5. Post too Often

A surefire way to get "un-liked" or "un-followed" is to post too often. Make sure that any automatic posts are turned off. We don’t care if you just posted a photo to Facebook; we're on Twitter, and we want to know what's hot, not what’s clearly not. A good rule of thumb is to post no more than two or three times per day.

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