Knowing how to use social media effectively is becoming more and more important for businesses. Avoiding some of the key mistakes as outlined below can help you grow an organic online community. Some mistakes are more obvious than others. For example, responding professionally and positively to negative comments.

1. The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is a useful guideline on how to mix promotional social media posts with relevant news and articles. This keeps your social media feeds sounding natural and not too self-promotional. Around 80% of the posts can include relevant news from your industry, expert advice, relevant entertaining content (memes, videos etc.) and relevant articles. The other 20% can be focused on promoting your business. You can use the 20% for updates on products, special offers, competitions and vouchers.

2. Responding to Negative Comments

As your business and customer base grows, it’s inevitable that you will have to deal with unhappy customers whether you were at fault or not. The most important thing when dealing with these comments is to remain professional and to not get in to arguments! First, don’t delete the comments. This will usually make the commenter question your honesty and they may leave more comments or try to interact with your other customers. Of course, if the comments are inappropriate, that is an acceptable reason to remove them.

You should always respond to the comments. Even if you don’t have all the answers, responding positively gives a better impression than ignoring the comments which shows you may have something to hide. Furthermore, try to respond in a timely manner as delaying can make it seem like you don’t care. After you have responded publicly, consider a private message to try and address the problem.

Finally, it’s a good idea to offer other options for complaints such as a dedicated customer service department. Clearly, this is a better option for larger businesses for more resources. Following on from that, if your social media accounts have multiple employees accessing them, make sure there are guidelines in place so they can avoid the mistakes in this blog.

3. Using Hashtags

Three of the biggest social media platforms that most businesses are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All three support hashtags but do you know how to use them effectively on each platform? Our social media management team in Plymouth do and we can help you too if you read on.


Hashtags are not limited on Twitter but you need to always remember about the 140 character limit. Twitter hashtags support letters, numbers and underscores. Usually, you will want 1 to 3 relevant hashtags for your tweet as engagement drops off sharply for more.


Facebook adopted hashtags a few years back and similarly to Twitter, they support letters, numbers and underscores. Again, there is no limit to the number of hashtags but there is also room for quite a lot more characters! However, posts without hashtags tend to perform better than those with hashtags so be wary of using them frequently on Facebook.


If you’ve seen some of the popular Instagram posts, you’ll notice a number of different hashtags and posts with 11 or more hashtags tend to have the highest interactions. Instagram also supports letters, numbers and underscores but there is a limit of 30 hashtags per post.

Hashtags Summary

Now that we’ve covered those 3 social media platforms, let’s go through some dos and don’ts.


  • Research the hashtags you’re looking to use and if they’re currently trending.
  • Create hashtags for events, campaigns and your brand.
  • Use hashtags for relevant keywords.
  • Find hashtags related to your post content.


  • Use too many hashtags in 1 post.
  • Make hashtags too long.
  • Use a hashtag for every word you write.
  • Break a hashtag by using something other than letters, numbers and underscores.


Getting Social Media Management Right

These are just 3 tips for improving your social media content. If you’re interested in more advice and assistance in getting your social media up and running, contact our social media management experts in Plymouth.

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