Caution: Avoid These Social Media Faux Pas in your Business Communication



These are the Biggest Social Media Faux Pas Today

Being available 24/7 has its advantages, but as we have seen tweet after tweet, it also has its drawbacks. For businesses with a social media presence, it means establishing a few rules of etiquette to avoid regrettable faux pas.

A new report and survey from Influence.co titled, “ Social Media Etiquette: Exploring the Code of Courtesy in the Age of Social Media,” looks at how people should act in the digital world.

For small businesses that now use social media to market their brand and engage with their audience, these precautions must be exercised. In the report, Influence says business must adapt to an evolving social media culture.

Adding, “As part of a social network, it is up to users to act accordingly. Whether it’s cutting back on posting, using kinder words in comments, or resisting the urge to snap a photo before every meal, it’s vital for people to remember that social media is meant to bring people together and that our online behavior can quickly come between us.”

The survey looks at 986 respondents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit in the past three months. The participants in the survey are from 20 to 71 years old, with an average age of 38 years.



Where is it Appropriate to Use Social Media?

The thing about social media is it has become part of our work and personal lives. So, there might not be a place where it is off-limits, this is especially the case for millennials. But the survey reveals it all depends on the people you ask and what age group they belong in.

When it comes to social media in the workplace, 31.4% of millennials say it is OK, but it goes down to 22.5% for Gen Xers and 14.5% for baby boomers. One place there is little difference is in public transportation, as all three groups say it is pretty much OK with around 90%. The numbers are also over 60% in checkout lines for all the groups, but there is a disparity everywhere else.

These are the Biggest Social Media Faux Pas Today

image: Influence
The gender gap is not that drastic, with the biggest difference coming in the workplace. While 32.7% of men think it is OK to use social media at work, it goes down to 22.5% for women.

Considering social media is a relatively new phenomenon, the survey shows it is now accepted and has become the norm in many circles. What this means for businesses is there is great opportunity when it comes to social media advertising.



However, it requires restraint by all the parties involved. Because inappropriate behavior will damage your brand. This also applies to personal postings.

Social Media Faux Pas

On the personal side bullying, sharing discriminatory content and posting fake news come in with 91.1%, 89.2%, and 88.8% as the top three inappropriate behaviors. Some of the other issues include posting too many selfies, oversharing about personal life, complaints about partners and others.

At the same time, there are data points businesses can use, thus avoiding behaviors people find inappropriate. Oversharing seems to be a problem, when you launch your social media campaign, make sure to not overdo it.

Excessively using hashtags (33.8%) and postings (33.1%) along with soliciting business (32.0%) don’t sit well with around 1/3 of the respondents. If you are a business, this means you might be alienating one in three of your customers.



These are the Biggest Social Media Faux Pas Today

image: Influence
Furthermore, the data also shares some of the reasons people disconnect from social media entirely. Political commentary/content (24.2%), excessive posting (17.7%) and discriminatory posts (9.1%) are the top three reasons.

It is worth mentioning again excessive posting is a big issue for users. This is a reminder to take a measured approach when you are launching your campaign.

You can read the full report here.



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Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

2 Reactions

  1. Michael: I can’t see the link to the full report. Please post a link in the comment field. Thanks!

  2. Aira Bongco

    It is important to review communications before they go out. This should be part of the system of your business.

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