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How to Be Stupid About Social Media Marketing

wrong way on social media marketing

Think of this post as a Wrong Way sign—because sometimes, of course, a Wrong Way sign is as useful as any other sign on the road.

The paragraphs that follow will list a number of ways to do social media marketing, all of them entirely wrong-headed and sure to lead nowhere good. With that said, some of them may seem enticing, or at the very least innocuous enough; others may be issues you’ve never even thought about before. All should be avoided, and this post will explain why.

Neglecting the Call-to-Action

For starters, if you want to be totally boneheaded and ineffective in your social media marketing, by all means neglect to include calls-to-action in your content. A call-to-action is the section of a blog, or even a Facebook post, in which you tell readers what you want them to do, inviting them to take further action by calling, emailing, or visiting your website. Some think that a CTA is too promotional for social media marketing, but that’s not the case at all: Your posts should be informative and non-promotional, but they should end with an action step readers can take to receive further assistance. Else, you’re not going to generate nearly the response that you might like.


Social media channels are great for humanizing a business, making it seem more relatable; sharing some behind-the-scenes photos, videos, or stories can be effective here. There is a fine line, however, between being human and simply betraying too much information. Avoid the TMI by being strategic and sparing in your behind-the-scenes posts; your readers don’t need to know about every company happy hour or in-house baby shower that you hold.

Making it Too Formal

The flipside of the coin: Some companies have social media channels that are simply too formal. Your blog is not a press release, and neither is your Twitter feed. Be strategic and professional, but also conversational and engaging.


Is it a good idea to post the same content to Twitter that you do to Facebook? To reuse your LinkedIn status updates on Google+? Not necessarily: A little automation can be helpful, but if your social channels are all identical then why would anyone want to follow more than one of them? Ensure that each one offers unique value.

Scoffing at Promoted Posts

It used to be that you really didn’t need sponsored posts if your content was really stellar—but times have changed, and so have the social networks. It is appalling to note that the average company Facebook post is seen by just a small cross-section of followers, but it’s true, and it points to the need to beef up a few important posts with some paid sponsorship. Not every post—but a few strategic ones.

Obviously, there are plenty of ways to get your social media marketing wrong—but doing so can be costly. All the components need to be in alignment for social marketing to be a moneymaker, so fall into these traps at your own peril!

Photo Credit: The Wrong Way on Social Media Marketing/shutterstock

Join The Conversation

  • Justin Belmont's picture
    May 12 Posted 1 year ago Justin Belmont

    Great post! It can be helpful to approach the idea of social media marketing from this negative standpoint. I like what you say about call-to-action. Prose Media tries to emphasize this a lot in our social media posts!

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