Scary Social: 6 Strategies to Avoid

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 02 Oct, 2013

As we tread through the month of October, many brands are getting in the Halloween spirit by adding some spookiness to their social strategies - whether it be through holiday-related cover photos or Halloween-themed contests.


And while incorporating some spookiness into your digital strategy is surely a good thing (it's both relevant and fun for consumers), some brands unintentionally execute scary social strategies the whole year round. Although there is no magic potion for social success, some of the most common social tactics could actually be pushing your fans away from your brand. Learn more about six of these scary social tactics, and how to avoid them:


Spelling/Grammar Mistakes

Why it's scary: Spelling and grammar mistakes happen, after all, social media managers are human and so are editors. That said, these mistakes should be far and few between. Moreover, spelling mistakes should never be found within promoted posts or social advertisements. JustFab, for example, has run an ad on Facebook with an obvious typo. This type of mistake can haunt a brand, as it is damaging to the company's credibility.


How to avoid it: The obvious way to avoid spelling mistakes is to have a second (or third) pair of eyes read your social message before it is posted, especially if it is a post that will be promoted. That said, Facebook also launched an "edit" feature, which allows users to edit their posts and comments when phantom spelling errors appear in the newsfeed.


Incomplete Profile

Why it's scary: Having an incomplete profile not only lowers your visibility on Facebook, but could also cause potential followers to avoid your brand on Twitter. Facebook's Graph Search feature, for instance, helps consumers find local businesses, so by not choosing the correct category for your business or by neglecting to include an address in the "Page Info" section, you lower your brand's visibility opportunities on the social network. In addition, most Twitter users look at profile bios before clicking the follow button, so by leaving this information blank or not clearly stating what your business does, you are likely scaring away followers on this social network - especially if your brand is not verified.


How to avoid it: Luckily, this issue doesn't take magic to resolve. Businesses must simply fill out the important information within the "About" or "Bio" section of their profiles on all social networks.


#Hashtags #Overload

Why it's scary: Hashtags were created to organize content - allowing social users to easily click on topics to find collections of related content. However, many brands abuse this feature and instead use hashtags to worm their way into trending topics.



How to avoid it: Let unrelated hashtags rest in peace, and only use select hashtags when they pertain to your brand and content that you are publishing. Also, try to avoid using more than two hashtags per post.


Auto Responding

Why it's scary: Consumers don't follow brands to interact with a computer, so don't use automation software to thank your fans for a follow. While it may seem like a nice gesture, this type of virtual witchcraft can actually turn off some of your customers.


How to avoid it: Be authentic with your social interactions. If your brand is too big to personally (and privately) thank your new followers on a regular basis, simply spend time engaging with the fans that interact with your brand's posts. In fact, by replying to fan comments, your brand becomes more relatable and approachable to consumers, which is a much more genuine way of fostering engagement than having a computer doing the work for you.


Begging for Likes/RTs

Why it's scary: This strategy is all too familiar. And although it sometimes works, it is a bit tactless. Although the goal of social is to obtain engagement, this involvement should come naturally, as a result of good content. Constantly asking for actions like retweets, comments and likes can turn off people from engaging with your brand.





How to avoid it: Sweep the cobwebs off your social strategy and revamp it with new tactics that result in natural engagement. To get started, check out these 16 tips for creating social posts that get clicks.


Buying Fans

Why it's scary: Imaginations are running rampant during the Halloween season, but that doesn't mean you need make-believe friends. There are many ways to increase your social following, and while most tactics take some time and a lot of planning, obtaining real fans is much more rewarding (both ethically and financially) than purchasing fans.


How to avoid it: Leave the tricks for Halloween and simply don't do it.