4 Social Media Mistakes That Businesses Should Stop Making NOW

  • No one ever minds a comment on their post, after all, that’s the whole point of sharing on social media. However, make those comments conversational instead of spam. Don’t sell your services or products where it doesn’t make sense.
  • When commenting on social media, always try to remain relevant to the picture or post. Don’t just leave a thumbs-up or a heart. Instead, say something about the post that you enjoyed. This way, you don’t sound like a spam account.
  • Social media is about building relationships and getting to know your customers. Auto direct messages are impersonal and bad form. Instead, start a conversation with someone by being genuine.
  • On Facebook, like competitions are okay. Share competitions are against the regulations. Don’t get put into Facebook prison with a locked account by creating a share competition.
  • When your audience posts on your social media, you should try your absolute best to respond. As a business, if someone posts about you or shares your content, you are receiving free exposure. Say thank you!

The main goal of social media is to start a conversation with your audience. You are spending a lot of time creating content and sharing it in hopes of receiving a response. When your audience reaches out, reach back! Start that conversation and engage them. If someone tweets about your business, retweet it. If someone comments on your post saying how much they enjoyed it, say thank you. It’s all about relationship!

  • A quick update on Instagram’s IGTV – 01:44
  • Mistake #1: Selling on other people’s posts – 03:48
  • How to comment properly and not to sound like spam – 05:52
  • Mistake #2: Auto DM’s – 06:41
  • Mistake #3: Like and share competitions – 08:16
  • Mistake #4: Posting on social media and not responding – 10:03
Transcript below


Hello, and welcome to episode 20 of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple podcast. I'm your host Teresa Heath-Wareing. Wow. I can't believe we have got to 20 already. I know in the scheme of podcast, it doesn't seem very big. When I listen to James Wedmore or Amy Porterfield, they're on like hundreds; however, 20 weeks have gone by, which I've had the podcast, 20 weeks have gone by that I've consistently put out content, and I am super proud of myself. Maybe I should be prouder when it's a hundred, but I am still really proud that I've got to 20.

As I've mentioned on previous podcast, I decided that when I was going to take this on, I was going to run it for an entire year before I decided whether it was a success and to leave it or not because I wanted to prove to myself and everybody else that consistency works, that if you are consistent and you come out every single week with some kind of content, doesn't have to be a podcast, it could be a video, a live, a blog, but if you are doing it consistently, and you're helping market it, then people will want to listen and want to read and want to sign up to make sure they get those updates, so I'm super pleased that we've got to episode 20 already.

Before I jump into today's episode, I just thought I would give you a very quick update on the latest changes on Instagram.


A quick update on Instagram’s IGTV


Now, it's been a couple of weeks that IGTV has been released, but if you've not had chance to look at it or set up your account or are unsure about what it's about, then I have put out a blog post on the website, and the blog post goes into detail what Instagram TV is all about, why I think they're possibly doing it, and then why you should be using it for your business.

If you do want to know a bit more about Instagram TV and some of the features like the fact that you can have a video for up to an hour, like there is a swipe-up feature that has been around, but then it goes, and it comes back, so whether it's staying we'll see, but there are a few other things that the blog goes into detail about, so if you do want to see that blog, head over to, and click on Blog.

But today, we're not going to be talking about Instagram. Well, we are kind of. We're going to be talking about lots of different platforms because in today's episode, I'm going to be talking you through four things that drive me crazy on social media, four things that I see on all the time that businesses do that literally wind me up. I know, I should learn to calm down, I should maybe get out more, not let it get to me, but these things do wind me up. If there was a Room 101 for social media, and I'm not sure whether if you're over in the States, you'll know what I mean by Room 101, but basically, it's this programme in the UK where people get to put things in this Room 101 that they hate or things that they don't like, and they disappear forever. These are my four things that I would put into Social Media Room 101 if we had one. Let's get started.


Mistake #1: Selling on other people’s posts


Number one, and I think you're all going to love this because I think you're going to agree with me, or I really hope you do: selling on other people's posts. This drives me crazy. No one ever minds someone commenting on your post. That's the whole point. We put posts out on social media. It doesn't matter which platform. We put pictures on Instagram. We send out a tweet, and of course we want you to respond. That's the whole point. We want people to comment and like and share and have a discussion on our posts. We don't mind that in the slightest. What I mind is things like this. I've got a great example for you.

I love Instagram. I am probably more active on Instagram now than I have been on anything else recently. The other day, it was my wedding anniversary, my second wedding anniversary, and I decided, because Instagram, I do post a bit more personal stuff, I decided to put a picture up of my husband and I and our friends who were at the wedding. We got married in Vegas. There was only four of us. It was pretty amazing. No, I'm sorry to disappoint. Elvis didn't marry us, but it was still amazing.

I decided to put a post up to say that it was my wedding anniversary and how lovely it was to be married to my husband, blah, blah, blah. Quite a sentimental post. Anyway, I got some comments back on this post. One of them was, “Hey, I'm trying to hit my goal of 4K. Would really appreciate if you could help me, maybe drop a follow. All follows will be returned. Thanks.” Oh, okay. That's obviously a lot to do with my picture of my wedding in Vegas.

Then someone else, this was even better, put, “We aim to give you peace of mind with taxes for your business and other tax concerns.” I just look at those things, and I just think, “What are you talking about?” You obviously are just putting those posts out on every single photo that you find, but do you honestly think that's an effective strategy, because it isn't, because I look at that and think, are you crazy? That's just a really stupid thing to put up on a post.

I've talked before, and I'm sure I'll talk again, that social media is a way of connecting with people, with networking with people.


How to comment properly and not to sound like spam


If you're going to put a comment on someone's post, then probably I would just do conversations. I would literally just talk to them, if I'm going to comment on someone's Instagram post, I'd make sure that it doesn't sound like it's spam, so I don't just do a thumbs up or a heart or I don't just do a “great post, best post ever.” Had that before.

I try and find something in that image and comment on why I actually like it. Is it the nice colours? Is it the great location? Is it the creativeness of the quote, or is it a quote? Whatever it is, I try and make sure I'm commenting and talking specifically about that post. But yeah, no one is going to buy from you if you just literally spam them and say, “Hey, I do great taxes,” when I'm talking about my second wedding anniversary.


Mistake #2: Auto DM’s


Onto number two: auto DMs. Now, again, I'm hoping you're all sat there going, “Hell, yes, Teresa. I am with you on this one.” I have seen one exception to the rule where I quite liked their auto DM, but other than that, most auto DMs are awful. They send them out willy-nilly, as in completely doesn't matter who has followed them or what action's been taken. They make no sense. They are often selling social media services to me, thank you very much, I might need them, but they are paying no attention to the person at the other end. Again, let's go back to some of the key things we can do on social media. It's about building those relationships. It's about getting to know your customer. It's about having a conversation. An auto DM saying, “Will you follow me?” “Here's a great blog post,” “These are the services we offer,” whatever they might be, it's not going to be the best way to engage someone.

Now, I know that some people I've spoken to do do auto DMs, and they do work quite well for them, but me, personally, I'm not a big fan. If I wanted to start a conversation with someone, then I would do exactly that. I would go into the DM, and I'd find them, and I would start talking to them. I wouldn't just send them out the same DM over and over, which, again, I've had on my Twitter account. We see someone, every time you respond, they send the same DM as well, and it just is bad form. No auto DMs please.


Mistake #3: Like and share competitions


Onto number three and four. I am rattling through these. I think when I'm more passionate about something, I talk even faster than I talk normally, and therefore, I've probably just talked the speed of light through those last two, but these do get me really wound up and very passionate about it.

Number three. I'm a little bit more lenient on this one because some people just don't know that this against a Term and Condition, but I said it enough times that I really hope that people listen: “like and share” competitions on Facebook. Like I said, lots of people do admit they had no idea that these are against their Terms and Conditions, but they are.

To be clear, the part that is against the Terms and Conditions is the share element. You can run “like” competitions. That's fine, i.e., “You must like this page in order to win,” whatever it is you're giving away, but the share element you're not allowed to do. That's the bit that Facebook doesn't like. I've said a million times, and I guess I will keep saying, but obviously, you shouldn't be doing “like and share” competitions.

The one thing I should mention is, even if you do a “like” competition, and you don't even mention the word share, people are so ingrained into doing likes and shares that the chances are they'll share it anyway, but you haven't broken the Terms and Condition. That's entirely up to them. Like I said, “like and share” competitions are against Terms and Conditions, and not only can be a bit frustrating when I see them, but also if Facebook see you doing it, they can get you put into Facebook prison, which basically means they lock your account down for a set length of time, or worst-case scenario, they could just close your page, and all that hard work you've done to build up your page is then just gone to waste.


Mistake #4: Posting on social media and not responding


On to the final one. I think this is the most simplest and one of the most important: posting on social media, and then never responding, never being a human being behind it, and people commenting on your things, liking your post, and yet you never say anything back. That drives me crazy. The whole point of social media is to start that conversation.

I'll give you an example of where this really drives me crazy. When I first started my business, I used to go to lots of coffee shops where I live, in the local time where I live because it got a bit tiresome being at home when on your own, and as it was, I was on my own with my daughter at the time. It just got a whole too much of sat there on my own.

I used to go out to coffee shops, and I used to sit there for the day. I would buy stuff, let me just tell you, because I'm sure it drives them crazy, people sitting there all day, but I would literally make sure that every sort of half an hour, I was buying something. I would buy stuff all day, and I would sit there and work away. Inevitably, at some point during that day when they bought me at my third Flat Lay coffee, I would take a photo. I would post it on Twitter, and I would tag in the location that I was sat at, and I would say something like, “Enjoying a lovely day at,” and I would type them in, “working away,” whatever the post was.

The amount of businesses that didn't then respond or didn't even like the tweet or retweet the tweet used to absolutely baffle me because, at the end of the day, whoever does that, whoever puts that picture up and tags you into a post is promoting your business and your service. They are telling the world, “Look at this person,” and I think in my instances, I was actually saying, “What a nice place. What great coffee. What great food,” whatever it was, so you are going out of your way to market their business. At the time, I didn't have as many Twitter followers as I have now, but I still probably had a good 5,000 or 6,000.

I just thought that if that was me in that business, I would be super grateful, and I would probably reply and say, “Great, thanks.” I have had it when they've replied. Fun thing is, it's from big businesses. There's a chain in the UK. I think it might be obviously in other places, but I'm not sure if it's in the states, called Carluccio's. It's an Italian chain. It's a really big one. I took a picture of my daughter and I in Carluccio's, mentioned that it was a nice lunch or whatever it. They retweeted it. They thanked me. They replied saying, “I hope you've had a nice time.” I just think, really, it's not that hard to just respond and have a conversation.

Again, like I said, you're putting all this content out there where you want people to react to it so that they share it and like it and comment on it, but if you're not responding, if you're not getting back to them, then they're never going to do that. They're going to think, “I wouldn't bother again because I did it the once, and they never got back to me to say, ‘Thanks very much for the tweet,' or, ‘So glad you enjoyed your coffee,' or whatever it was.”

If you are running any account on any platform, and someone messages you, responds to you, replies to one of your posts or tweets or pictures, then unless it's spam, like I mentioned earlier on this podcast, I would 100% tell you that you must respond to them, even if it's just a thanks, a thumbs up, a like of the post, whatever it is, a response of some sort is a must.

I have rattled through those, and it's a been a really quick podcast. I'm glad to say that I've recorded it just as quick as hopefully you're listening, which means I must be getting better, which is great because as I mentioned last week, I have some guests coming, and oh boy, am I excited to share these with you. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to tell you who is going to be coming on the podcast, and hopefully, if I'm getting better at recording it myself, then I should be all right interviewing people. We will see. It could be a disaster and could be hilarious. We'll find out.

But thank you so much for joining me this week. Again, I am so very grateful. I mean every single word of it. I know I say it all the time, but I really do mean it. I love seeing those numbers on the podcast going up, so I'm really glad that you've decided to spend your time with me and join me on this podcast.

As always, if there is anybody that you think might benefit from this or anybody that you can share this with, then I would love it if you could do that, but until next time, have a great week, and I'll see you soon.