4 Common Fails of Big Brands on Social Media


By Charlie Balk

We all take cues from major, established companies as we learn how to build a brand and market it. However, many of the biggest brands make the most glaring mistakes in community building on social media. It could be because the bigger a company is, the less nimble it tends to be. Social media is all about nimbleness and reacting to changes in the social landscape. Don't let your brand fall into the trap of making these social mistakes.

Not Responding

Coca-Cola is inconsistent at best in responding to fans.

Coca-Cola is inconsistent at best in responding to fans.

The most basic component of customer care is listening, acknowledging and responding to customers. And yet, somehow, the trend seems to be that the larger the brand, the less likely they are to respond. Evolve24's study states that 70% of complaints on Twitter go unaddressed. How amazingly disrespectful is that to frustrated, paying customers? The most personal and memorable way a brand can interact with people is not to blast out one-sided content, but to have one-on-one conversation.

At Likeable, we respond to all comments and tweets. We work for our clients from sun up to sun down, so we're able to respond outside of regular working hours.

Incorrectly Sized Photos

You took the time to create customized imagery to promote your brand, but you didn't bother to check what size it should be? Would this mistake happen in any other medium?

This image from Disney is not sized correctly for an image post.

This image from Disney is not sized correctly for an image post.

In fairness, there is more nuance to Facebook specs than people may realize. To the untrained eye, the post above may look alright. But landscape images like this fit the link post image specs, rather than a regular image post. Fortunately, Facebook provides all the information you need to optimize your posts and images.


Incorrect Posting Type

While incorrect image specs may hurt performance a bit and waste valuable social real estate, the most damaging mistake you can make on Facebook is to post a link post when you're looking to drive engagement. OR, for example, posting a video when you want to drive web traffic.

Of course, there are exceptions to all rules, but more often than not, follow these simple rules: use image posts to drive engagements, link posts to drive traffic and video posts to drive views. This is such a common failure and so easy to correct.


Why not have that whole big image above be clickable, rather than that tiny little link in the caption? Verizon gets a double-fail for putting a silly link on the image... that's actually different from the link in their caption. Do they really think their fans are going to be manually typing "sharethehopeline.com" into their browser URL? Yikes...

Incorrect Link Posts

Okay, so now you know to size your images correctly, use the correct Facebook posting type and always, always, always respond to your fans. But there are easy traps to fall into when it comes to link posts, and you wouldn't be the only one doing it. Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn all autopopulate beautiful, clickable link previews when you add a link to your post. But once the preview autopopulates, too many social media managers fail to remove the ugly link from their caption. 


Not only is including the link in the caption unnecessary and unaesthetic, it can also hurt performance. Facebook writes, "We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions...we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions."

So regardless the size of your company, make sure to avoid these common mistakes in order to gain a competitive edge in marketing your business.

Did I miss anything? What are the most common mistakes you see brands making on social? Leave a comment with your pet-peeves!