Major Social Media Branding Mistakes that Can Harm Your Brand

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Avoid These Six Common Social Media Branding Mistakes.

6 Social Media Branding Mistakes You Need to Avoid

April 6, 2022
7 minutes


Social media branding is an excellent way to attract your ideal audience.

According to Statista, social media marketing increases brand exposure by 88 percent, improving brand recognition and lead generation. How does this tie into your branding? After months of social media marketing, your audience already knows your brand. A slight brand inconsistency could confuse them or turn them off completely.

But improving your social media brand involves more than being consistent with brand colors, logos, tone of voice, or other brand elements. It involves all-around consistency, both in customer interaction and all marketing touchpoints.

Understanding these touchpoints will ensure that you can tie up any branding loose ends and keep your business moving. It also ensures that your audience knows where you’re headed, how you plan to get there, and why you’re going in that direction. Expressing your intentions clearly will help you convince your followers to make a purchase, participate in your events, or share your content.

Here are six social media branding mistakes to avoid when setting up your social media brand:

1. Unclear social media branding plan

Social media branding aims to connect with your audience, attract more traffic to your website, and generate more revenue from online sales.

To ensure that your potential customer follows your business, you must create strategic posts that attract and appeal to them. Rather than posting randomly, align your brand with specific objectives you want to achieve, the audience you’re looking to attract, and follow through with your actions.

Apps like Hootsuite can plan your social content, helping you organize and keep everything on-brand. Also, consider your buyer persona when planning social content as you want to create content that’s relevant, relatable, and actionable.

Observe Pop-Tarts’ content example below.

pop tarts.png Image credit: SocialRabbit

Pop-Tarts know they have a younger target audience. Therefore, they use humor heavily. The example above shows Pop-Tarts using a meme template to produce amusing content that their audience can share, react to, and engage with.

2. Undefined target audience

Social media is a place where you can find, connect and sell to your ideal buyer persona.

But without a clearly defined target audience, you’ll be casting a net in uncharted waters – who do you want to attract or engage with? While you might still get a vastly diverse following, you’ll never reach your social media marketing or business goals within your self-defined timelines.

Why? As much as you’d like to expand your reach, not everyone on social media is a good fit for your brand. If you’re running a business that relies heavily on specific demographics, suddenly publishing content that speaks to another segment of the population will confuse and alienate them.

If you don’t define your target audience from the onset, you might struggle to pique the interest of your specific audience, and your conversion rates will stay low.

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When building an audience, consider what you have to offer and how you can solve their problems. Once you determine your business target audience, there’s no limit to how you can produce content that they’ll find interesting and convert potential leads into customers.

3. Not actively engaging with users

It’s great that you’ve identified your target audience. But you also need to design your content and posts so that it can start conversations that lead to increased follower engagement.

When a follower responds to your post or comments, don’t leave those responses unacknowledged. Instead, utilize that opportunity to communicate and strengthen relationships. Check out this great example from Wendy’s:

wendys twitter.png

When a Twitter user mentioned Wendy’s competitor Sonic in their reply, Wendy responded in a uniquely on-brand way. Wendy’s is known for its witty comebacks, and their response to Malibu’s comment was not an exception. In fact, Wendy’s doesn’t just engage with its customers – it also interacts with other fast food chains’ Twitter accounts in the same manner.

If you’re getting no reaction to your comments, you must reorient your social media strategy to avoid missing out on these opportunities. You can send personalized emails to potential leads and existing customers in order to improve brand loyalty, customer-seller relationships, and brand engagement in the long term. Additionally, you can use email tracking software to monitor your performance.

4. Posting generic content

Every social network is unique, and social media branding requires that you work with every platform according to this uniqueness.

While consistency in brand tone is necessary, you must adapt and elevate it to suit each platform’s user base. For instance, you want to keep content in a professional tone on LinkedIn. However, Twitter content should be kept business-casual — or witty if your audience vibes like that.

Here’s a great example from Skittles taking advantage of each social media platform’s strengths while adhering to their brand voice. Skittles posts identical content across its Twitter and Facebook accounts. However, on its Twitter account, the company posts text-only one-liners to engage its viewers.

skittles twitter.png Image credit: Skittles Twitter

That’s not something you find on the Facebook account, where users prefer lengthier and more visual posts.

On the other hand, you will only find video content on the Skittles TikTok account. You can also see that it features a lot of user-generated content and collaborations with TikTok users, which is in tune with the social network’s overall vibe:

skittles tiktok.png

To make sure your social media marketing efforts count, you need to understand the differences between social networks and learn the correct way to communicate in all of them. What works on one social network won’t necessarily work in another because they have different audiences. Using a one-size-fits-all approach to social media content will only lead to failure.

That said, the content you post should always be original. Always check for plagiarism and ensure that your story is consistent across all social platforms. Otherwise, you’ll end up confusing your audience with inconsistent content.

5. Neglecting user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is an essential part of social media marketing. How? By offering a look at your product in action, UGC can help potential customers see themselves using your products too. In addition, UGC exposes your brand to audiences that you haven’t reached before.

When you neglect UGC, you disregard the need for social proof and a vote of confidence from your audience. Seeing content from customers increases your brand credibility and brings your brand’s promises into perspective. So why ignore it?

Engaging in user-generated content shows your audience that your products are worth talking about. You can use hashtags for UGC. By creating unique hashtags that your audience can follow and possibly turn into a trend, you begin to encourage the sharing of your content on social media, ultimately increasing engagement and brand awareness.

Buffer, for example, uses Instagram to feature content from Buffer users. Most of the UGC they post doesn’t have anything to do with their product itself. However, shifting the focus away from the product to what people do with Buffer (in this case, creating and posting content) succeeds in drawing audience attention and helps the brand engage with its followers.

user generated content.png Image credit: Buffer

UGC is not just about generating leads, though. It also lets you feel your audience’s pulse, which helps you develop better products and content for your customers.

6. Not posting video content

Your audience wants you to show and not only tell them what your products can offer.

Oberlo also states that 86 percent of brand owners confirm that videos increased traffic to their website.

Whether you’re looking to create a promotional video displaying what you have to offer or trying to boost your leads through educational content - these videos serve as a prime proving ground for your business.

video content.png Video credit: YouTube

Take a look at The technical tutorials they post on YouTube demystify coding for people who have very little exposure to it. The organization seeks to expand access to coding education in schools, and their tutorials are designed to convince students that they can code. They are also created to encourage potential donors to help’s initiatives succeed.

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Using storytelling to convey their message, they use influential ideas and promotional campaigns to build a strong relationship between their brand and its audience.

Wrapping up

Social media marketing is an effective way to engage your audience and build your brand.

Going the extra mile to avoid mistakes might get overwhelming. Still, it’s necessary to understand that these mistakes have the power to make or break your brand. To prevent that, be intentional about your company. Curate the plans required to build your business’s social media brand.

Also, keep an eye out and follow up on audience comments on every social media platform. You want to make sure that they regard your brand as the go-to brand for their needs.

By avoiding these mistakes, you build a reliable and consistent brand that attracts the ideal customer, and you’ll be well on your way to success.

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Guest Writer: Nicholas Rubright

April 6, 2022

Nicholas Rubright is the communications specialist for Writer, an AI writing assistant designed for teams. Nicholas has previously worked to develop content marketing strategies for brands like Webex, Havenly, and Fictiv.