The Biggest Mistake Companies are Making on Social Media


From Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest to Instagram, social media can be one big party. Party hats and reveling aside – your organization could be throwing a wet blanket over all the fun, perhaps without even realizing it if you’re making the biggest mistake companies make on social media platforms. What’s the mistake? Trying to sell stuff.

Why is Selling on Social so Wrong?

Think of any of the real-life parties you’ve been to, where people are hanging out, kicking back and generally having a blast. They’re exchanging information, telling stories, showing off photos of their dogs and sharing a few laughs. People are there to socialize, which is the same reason folks head to social media.

Now think of a real-life party you’ve been to where someone meanders over to the conversation and starts going on and on about a time share he has in Florida, the water purifier she’s selling online, or the revolutionary cat exercise wheel (no pun intended) she’s selling from her car.

You found a way to leave the conversation pretty fast, right? The same thing can happen on social media, with people un-liking, avoiding or even starting to badmouth your company for coming around and ruining all the fun.

People are not on social to buy. They are there to build, maintain and enhance relationships.

geralt / Pixabay

What You Can Do Instead

Instead of trying to get folks to invest in your Florida condos, why not talk about the weirdest facts about the Sunshine State? Rather than hawking your cat exercise wheel, why not discuss cat health, cat habits, or post a funny cat video or cartoon? You get the gist. Sharing items that interest, entertain, amuse or educate are the way to go.

These items can include:

  • Interesting articles on topics related to your company
  • Your own blog articles, e-books, whitepapers, or other advanced content created for your buyer personas
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Questions, quizzes, contests
  • Success stories
  • Tales about your customers or employees
  • Company photos or events
  • Info on charities or giving back
  • Cartoons, videos, illustrations and other compelling content that targets your ideal customers

The above ideas are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Anything is pretty much fair game on social media, as long as it’s useful, entertaining and designed to strengthen relationships and enhance the users’ social media experience. So that means anything except straight-up sales pitches that can stop a conversation in its tracks and throw a sopping wet blanket over the entire party.

This article originally appeared in The Lynton Web Inbound Marketing and Technology Blog.

This article was written by Roman Kniahynyckyj from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to