The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media Marketing


Social Media Marketing is a vital part of any and every business, however there are many do’s and don’ts that should be followed. In this article, we’ll be unpacking the 7 deadly sins of social media marketing so you can avoid them when growing your social media accounts—allowing you to use those accounts to drive sales.

1. Buying Followers

Instagram has been cracking down on fake followers for a while now, and it won’t bode well for your account if you have them. Instagram’s new algorithm places your content in a line on your followers’ feed based on how engaged they are with your account. Because bot accounts don’t engage at all, Instagram may push your content down on your other followers’ feeds which would crush your engagement rates. They also may delete those same bot accounts which will result in you losing massive amounts of followers at once. So, keep away from buying followers, even though it may be tempting, it’s just a vanity metric.

2. The Follow/Unfollow System

Another popular way to increase followers is the follow/unfollow system. When trying to increase followers, many people will follow a ton of accounts that may be interested in their content each day. Then, after they get the follow, they will unfollow that same account. Over time, this can greatly increase your followership, however your new followers can see and recognize when you are running this type of scheme. This will result in distrust between your followers and you which will prevent you from having an impact on them and eventually turning their following into a sale.

True connection always wins.

3. Flooding the Feed with Sales Pitches

People follow social media accounts to keep up with current events, trends, and the people in their lives. They also follow accounts for inspiration, entertainment, and information. If your startup’s social media accounts are stuffed full of content asking your followers to spend money with you, then they will probably unfollow you pretty quickly. You need to provide valuable content for them and only sprinkle in those sales pitches.

4. Backlash at Negative Feedback

Every once in a while, you are going to have a disgruntled customer engage with you on social media. It can be frustrating and easy to attack them back. However, this is detrimental to your business. Your followers will see how you respond to customer service issues online and this may determine if they decide whether or not to do business with you. So, when you come into contact with a disgruntled customer, make sure you handle the situation with understanding and poise. This will hopefully resolve the issue, make that customer a continued source of business, as well as show other potential customers how you conduct your business.

5. Failing to Interact with Followers

A lot of big corporations lack a personal touch on their social media accounts. They don’t interact with their followers, and when they do, it’s pretty easy to tell if it is a bot or not. When followers comment on your picture, comment back to promote conversation. This will also help increase your engagement rates. If you notice any particularly loyal followers, send them a direct message thanking them for their engagement or send them a personal discount code!

6. Not Tracking Your Analytics

There are so many social media analytics tools out there these days, that you really don’t have an excuse to skip your analytics. There is so much information to gather based off social media analytics that you can really change and improve your social media strategy by implementing the information you find. You can see a deeper glimpse into your target market, see what posts promote the most engagement, and track your growth. Be sure to use social media analytics to your advantage because the sooner you do, the sooner you can see how to improve your growth!

7. Not Posting Consistently

One of the most important things a small business can do is post consistently. Other, bigger companies post multiple times a day across all of their social media accounts. It’s easy to stretch yourself too thin and not be consistent across all of the platforms we have available. To combat this, pick two or three platforms to truly focus on. After you have a good system with these accounts, have an active following, and are consistently putting out great content, then you can add another platform to your list or hire out a social media marketer to help you with the work!


For small businesses, social media is an inexpensive and effective way to increase sales. You can use this to your advantage. Having a presence on social media is vital to the success of every startup nowadays. Make sure you don’t commit any of these 7 deadly sins of social media marketing and you’ll be on the right track to strong social media growth!


Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage

Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.

As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.

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