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Putting the ‘NO’ in “Annoying”

In 2019 your brand or business’ online presence is more important than ever, and it will only become more so with time passing. At least for the foreseeable future, anyway. And, like with most things in life, there’s a right way to do manage your social media presence and a lot of wrong ways to do it.

And while there’s no one size fits all module for each and every brand out there, there are some universal strategies to follow to not come off as annoying or irritating towards your brand’s followers. In essence, your customers and clients. And the last thing you want to do is to “chase” consumers away with bad, ignorant, or dated content – or with the management thereof.

We take a closer look at what not to do. Again, it’s not the be all and end all commandments for online presence management, but if you’re wondering whether your social media dealing is on point, it’s a good place to start.

The things that annoy social media users the most:

Poor spelling and grammar

Research has shown that mediocre spelling and grammar skills is the top annoyance brands could have on their social media pages. Upholding good grammar won’t necessarily get you new customers but failing thereof could drive potential clients away. It comes across as unprofessional and reflects badly on your brand – the last thing you want.

Therefore, it’s critical to get it right. And while not every business is able to hire a professional editor or proof-reader solely for this purpose, extra care can, and should, be taken. Check and double check post copy. The good ol’ spellchecker or online tools such as Grammarly will go a long way in keeping Likers and Followers around. It’s free – use it.

Woolies 1

A double whammy! While we can, unfortunately, not see the original post, it’s clear that Woolies have undergone a spelling mistake, not once, but twice. That had to hurt. But on top of not having their spelling in check, the page’s manager didn’t acknowledge the criticism/correction, yet reacted upon it – also something that followers find bothersome. In this case, some humble pie and a little gratitude would have gone down much better than any type of cheese they have on their shelves.

Posting too much

Never before has less been so more… Posting very little content is futile but posting TOO much can have an even worse effect. Overwhelming your audience comes across as spammy, and who can say that they like spam?

It’s important to take note that not every follower will see every single one of your posts but that doesn’t mean that you need to go HAM on your posting.

Each social platform is different that allows for an irregular amount of posting on each. There isn’t a right or wrong amount, there are many factors that play a role, your brand being one and the respective platform’s algorithm. But it’s generally “safe” to post once daily on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is a little more lenient and between 5 and ten tweets a day wouldn’t be considered “too much”.

While posting too much can be seen as annoying, posting the exact same content on all the brand’s social pages, at the exact same time, is also a no-no. Keep in mind that your followers, even though possibly customers too, are your fans and they probably follow your brand on several platforms. Seeing the same content over and over could drive them to the unfollow button. Mix up your post and at the very least, change the copy or media you use when doing so.

Automation can be bad

As a concept, automation is astonishing. The fact that we’re heading into a world where humans wouldn’t be needed to do the things we’ve been accustomed to do for close to the last 100 years, is equally exciting and terrifying.

And for interacting with consumers on your social pages, auto-replies can be useful. But it can also blow right up in your face, à la Ackermans…


With a personal query such as the one above, prompts are not the way to go. If you’re a big brand, managing all comments and queries can be daunting, in which case auto-replies is a handy tool. The secret is to not make it THAT obvious that it’s automated – therefore impersonal. Imagine how much better this response would have gone down if the last sentence was excluded. Better yet, no (immediate) response would have been more acceptable than “follow the prompts”.

We’d suggest keeping automation for the DM’s and have an eagle eye watch on the comments to avoid this kind of public mortification.

Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss

It almost goes without saying that staying current on social media is probably the, if not THE best, way to resonate with your audience, and for good reason. But one shouldn’t post something that everyone is talking about just for the sake of everyone talking about it…

Whatever you’re posting has to be tangible with your brand or business in a simple way. It could come off as being desperate and consumers pick up on this quite quickly and easily. Always stick to your own guns.

And even if you do have something current, something tangible and even, perhaps, something unique, do your research – Google is your friend. And if nothing else, have at least two or three channels of approval before posting:


Not only is the above post in bad taste and insensitive, but it’s clear that whoever posted it (because yes, it’s people behind posts) was extremely uninformed about the topic at the present and the history thereof. And while it got a massive response, it’s not the kind of response a brand wants. Yikes! We’d like to imagine that the brand would learn from this, but considering the amount of repeats they offer, it’s almost certain to happen again…

A Few Fast Ones to Avoid, Too

Relatively self-explanatory, some other things to stay away from:

  • Liking your own posts
  • Following everyone who follows you
  • Following nobody
  • Neglecting your profile
  • Begging for likes/RTs
  • Using improper and too many hashtags
    One would assume that all of the above would be common knowledge. It actually is, but companies still get it wrong. Because at the end of the day we, as social media managers, are only human. That is pending the inevitable automation takeover completely

It isn’t an exact science and different things work for different industries, but follow this not-to-do guidelines of ours and you’ll be just fine.