Social media is a huge force online and practically every company is trying to take advantage of it. However, with how quickly posts go viral, it’s essential that you avoid beginners’ mistakes. Otherwise, your brand can take a major hit in a matter of hours. To keep your brand safe, here are a few social media marketing mistakes to avoid.

Choosing the Wrong People To Manage Your Account

When you choose members of your social media marketing team, you should opt for individuals who have a great deal of experience on several platforms and know how to navigate the virtual space. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses assume that just because employees are young, they must understand how to use social media effectively. Make sure your team demonstrates their skills before you turn them loose or you may end up with embarrassing accidental posts.

Using Hashtags Without Understanding Them

Hashtags are vital to reaching a wide audience; they’re how users track their favorite topics and connect with other people. However, like much of internet communication, hashtags don’t always mean what they say on the surface. A trending tag may be sarcastic, a sexual innuendo or connected to a tragedy. By all means, use hashtags to your advantage — but do your research first.

Trying To Capitalize on Tragedy

Social media is where people get their news, connect with friends and share their thoughts. As a result, many trending topics are about tragedies, such as terrorist attacks, celebrity deaths and natural disasters. While it can be tempting to connect your brand with a trending topic, take care when it comes to tragedy. If your company comes off as trying to profit from people’s suffering, audiences are going to react with vitriol.

Automating Without Oversight

Bots can be incredibly helpful and are often used as moderators or customer service reps. However, things can get out of hand very quickly when automated bots are released into the wild without oversight. At best you’ll get something embarrassing and at worst you’ll get your reputation dragged through the mud.

Posting Media Without Understanding the Context

If you have a photo or video you want to post, you better know the story behind it. While the world may be full of fake news, there are thousands of internet sleuths who can track down media’s origins. You don’t want to post a supposedly feel-good piece that turns out to have a darker story behind it.