Social media faux pas

Stephen McCance January 21, 2015

Social Media is one of the biggest and most influential marketing tools used by brands across the globe. However, some users aren’t Utilising their platforms as efficiently as they could be. Our Social Media executive, Carly, gives her top five pet peeves that she’s come across when scrolling through her news feeds.

From Twitter to Foursquare, and all that comes in between, we all know that Social Media is one of the greatest tools used by marketers everywhere.  However, there are some who aren’t as ‘social media savvy’ as others, accidently abuse their social accounts and others, to be blunt, get on my nerves.

So this is my blog, more of a rant actually, on my top 5 Social Media pet peeves.

‘RT for RT’, ‘LIKE for LIKE’ or ‘I’m blocking Ghost Followers so get liking and commenting’.

We all have that one Twitter follower or more commonly, Instagram follower who every 10 posts or so will use one of these famous lines. The Like for Like expression was mostly used back in the early days of MySpace (and should have stayed there). Social Media users thrive off likes and comments on every selfie and if they don’t get them, that picture will be deleted.

For those who don’t know, a ‘Ghost Follower’, according to Urban Dictionary, is An inactive follower on a social network such as Instagram. Users tend to post photos (like the one below) asking followers to spam them with likes and comments to ‘prove’ they are not one of these Social Media poltergeists – personally, I think it’s all a self marketing gimmick for more likes and comments.

Social media spam

Thumpers rule

I was once told ‘If you wouldn’t say it to your gran, it’s not acceptable on Social Media’. Thumper’s rule is literally the mantra the cute little rabbit lives by in Bambi: ‘If you can’t say something nice don’t say nothing at all.’ Joining in on online arguments or supporting sensitive subjects will come back down onto you, the ‘All views are my own’ sentence in your bio doesn’t cover you.

Thumpers rule


The process of leveraging trending news to elevate your brand’s message’ – David Meerman Scott

When done correctly, newsjacking can make great pieces of content and who better to start the trend than Oreo. In 2013 there was a black out at the Superbowl and without planning Oreo Tweeted this photo:

Oreo Tweet

After grabbing more than 15,800 retweets and 6,200 favourites, Oreo have now used newsjacking regularly in their content marketing.

However, some brands haven’t been as successful as Oreo and as a result, have caused damage to their brand’s online presence. Take this example from American telecommunications company, AT&T

AT&T Tweet

Twitter users were furious after the company used blatant product placement in their poor attempt to honor 9/11 victims. Sensitive subjects and world disasters should always be avoided when newsjacking.

OMG I love your followers, where did you get them?

If you only have three Tweets, yet half a million ‘followers’, we all know that your audience has cost money. This trick is used by a lot of companies, but can cause damage to businesses online presence. Twitter is all about engagement and conversation; if you have 250,000 followers but minor levels of interaction, you’re not going to look very professional.

Bought followers

And finally, a personal ‘un-favourite’ of mine… The Catfish.

I’m not talking about the fish with the whiskers, an online catfish is a person who creates a fake profile and creates relationships with people online. If you have seen the MTV reality show Catfish: The TV Show, you’ll understand the upset it can cause. I know that a lot of people position themselves differently on social, but to create a completely new character is just something i’ll never understand.


If you have gotten to this point, thanks for sticking with me! On a serious note, Social Media is great and can be used in ways that really benefit your brand, but used incorrectly, your presence can be damaged not just online, but offline too. If you’re unsure how to use social media for your business, we’d love to help, just get in touch and we can see what we can do.

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