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  • Tanushree Vaish

Debunking Social Media Taboos

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Social Media Taboos, coming across this word for the first time? Let me break it down for you. Social media is a powerful tool, we receive a lot of information, entertainment from various social media platforms. Due to our presence on three-plus social platforms, we interchange what we do on each site. What is wrong with that? Well, each site has its own algorithm and each site has a specific type of content that works and lastly, each site has its own share of do’s and don’ts. We often confuse all these so-called “rules” and end up committing major faux-pas on social media.

Let us begin with the social taboos regarding your business account

· Never post about your personal opinion

Now, if your personal opinion is that you like pineapples on pizza, good for you. However, this is not connected to your users in any manner and to put it as candidly as possible, they could not care less. You, at the end of the day, are representing a brand and hence, you must keep in mind to not get into unnecessary brawls on the internet especially regarding one’s opinion as that always has a way of derailing. Personal opinions can sometimes create a sticky situation on social media. It could lead to you diving your users among themselves, soon creating a rift in your own customers, which is the worst as it can cause some cut-throat fierce debates to occur.

· Incorrect Information

Incorrect information can lead you in hot waters, for several reasons. Your users believe your social media account is what is going to be found on your webpage. However, if they notice that few numbers are askew, the statistics do not match, which creates a sense of unreliability among the social media users. Moreover, the presence of contradicting information leads to even more chaos. For example – your first post mentions - ABC is very good for your skin healthy and reduces breakout. Your third post on the other hand states that – ABC can cause a side effect of impacting your skin, leading to acne. Both the data create a juxtaposition and your social media account is deemed as unreliable and confusing.

· Don’t Bore with Hashtags

We know that hashtags do help our social media presence, the more the better and so on. Although, there can be a limitation to this. Your hashtags do need to be popular, however, they must also be defined. It can go sideways if people do not understand the point of your hashtag. For example, the popular fast-food chain McDonald's came up with the hashtag ‘McDStories’. They hoped that individuals would share the times they went to McDonald's to enjoy a burger and a community of fun, happy memories would be created. However, it went south very quickly when individuals began to share their horrendous, disgusting moments with said brand.

· Be Aware of comments

As easy as it is, to not view comments as they could be filled with monsters who gain extreme pleasure you trolling you, it is essential to keep up-to-date on your comments. Most viewers or users will provide their feedback or their thoughts about a product or your marketing in the comment section and when taken with a positive, optimistic attitude it is bound to help your business grow in the right direction. It is one of the easiest ways to gain feedback without much effort and without you having to constantly ask the audience about what they think. Sometimes, the comment section could create a negative mindset and it could make you want to re-evaluate your social presence, but it is essential to keep in mind that you cannot satisfy all your customers 24/7. If they have criticism, it is only going to make your work harder on your organization and on your products.

· Be Socially Aware

We live in a world, where it is easy to misinterpret some data or information. This could cause a lot of backfire to your business. For example – recently, the Indian ethnic brand Manyavaar received numerous amounts of hate for an ad. It involved a famous Indian actress called Alia Bhatt and she was seeing giving her stance on an old Hindu ritual and how it needs to be let go or shed off. This led to immense amounts of trolling and #BoycottManyavaar became a sensation. Being socially aware would include not attaching your product or webpage or social media platforms with relatively controversial topics such as religion, political views, tabooed topics and so on. Yes, at the end of the day the ad was viewed a lot and good or bad publicity is publicity at the end of the day. Yet, it is not enough to jeopardize your brand name and company.

· No Need to Take Down Other Brands

There is a common misconception that you need to take down your competition on social media. Kindly refrain from this as it only sheds a negative light on you. There is no need to mention another organization’s downside or their failures as it comes across as crass and it provides a huge advantage to the competitor. For example – In 2013, Pepsi put across an ad during Halloween in which a Pepsi can is seen covered with a Coca-Cola cape and it was paired with the tagline “We wish you a scary Halloween!”. Coca-Cola used it to their advantage and copy-pasted the exact same ad with the cheeky tagline “Everyone wants to be a hero!”. This took the internet by a storm and individuals mistook Pepsi’s ad to believe that Pepsi tried to wear a red cape for Halloween to be a hero, like Coca-Cola.

· Do Not be monotonous

Promoting your brand on social media is a must, however, do not just stick to the technical mumbo-jumbo of it. Make it as interesting as you can. If your social media account just contains your products and their price, it is not going anywhere. You need to realize that individuals have a short span of attention, they mindlessly scroll on such platforms for hours, it is your duty as a social media presence to be able to stand out from other posts, grab their attention such that while scrolling aimlessly, they do stop at your post. They are so intrigued by your account and they automatically go to check out your website.

· Maintaining Confidentiality

You are running a business social media account, there is no need to be very chummy- chummy with the clients. A certain closeness with the clients could make you want to share some private or confidential information with them. This is a hard no. The internet has an online footprint and what goes on the internet, stays on the internet. Confidential information could be used in malicious ways and can destroy your social media presence. Furthermore, it is important to know that not every employee of yours is comfortable with you sharing their picture on social media, it is vital that you have their prior consent and then upload their picture.

· Unnecessary Tweeting

Tweets work on the basis of relevancy, so in order to keep up your business presence, it always helps to be aware of the upcoming trends or the latest memes. A good sense of humour is bound to keep your clientele involved. Keeping this in mind, you also need to ensure that not everyone needs to know every single detail about your organization, you do not need to bombard them with unnecessary information regarding the statistics of your company or the numerical growth of. This can steer your users away.

At the end of the day, your organization needs recognition and awareness. It is not a simple task as the popular saying goes “Rome was not built in one day”. It will take time and a lot of effort to jump start your business’ social media presence. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know of the social media taboos so that you do not fail prey to such aspects. In addition, there are software tools, that do make your life easier on social media. For example, if you are in a fix and cannot find a suitable hashtag for your caption you can use tools such as Influencer Marketing Hub Instagram Hashtag Generator, All Hashtag and Ritetag.

Avoiding controversy of any type always puts you in the front run of your company growth. However, by this I mean avoid complicating issues, not running away from them when your company is involved. Most companies choose to remain silent when the users find a fault and start tearing them down. A half-baked apology is then presented to the users, which aggravate them further. If your company is facing such an issue on social media, use all forms of social media tactics to control the situation, such situations have a way of getting out of hand and cannot be controlled or subsidized after a period of time. To conclude, it is a rewarding task at the end of the day to see that your organisation’s social media presence is creating an impact and it will lead your business to an incline.


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