What NOT to do on social media as a business owner

5 things not to do on social media
The things you do on social media affect your business and reputation.
Your online reputation is more important than you think and this list of what not to do on social media will help you to keep it clean.

The lack of social media content strategy can lead to engaging in some questionable practices in an attempt to be noticed online or just for the sake of posting something. Doing that damages your reputation and is likely to turn your clients away. This list of what NOT to do on social media, gives you a good idea about the bad online habits you need to avoid.

1. Ignoring your followers

You would never ignore a client who walks into your premises or hang up on them on the telephone, would you? The same goes for those who comment or message you directly on social media. 

Reply to them, like their comments and be sociable. It’s called social media for a reason.

2. Ignoring or deleting negative comments

People leave negative reviews, comments and feedback all the time. In fact the chances of someone posting a bad comment are much greater than leaving a five star review. That’s the reality of it but ignoring, deleting and blocking anything negative sends the wrong message.

It gives the impression that you are trying to cover up for your mistakes and incompetences. People often review the negative comments first and look at your response.

Use these occasions as opportunities to set the record straight or tell your part of the story. Be as transparent as you can and find ways to address the issue in a positive manner.

You must also remember that some people thrive on spreading gossip and negativity online. In those instances, it’s best to avoid confrontation and report them if you think they are in breach of the Terms of Use. 

3. Participating in social media spats

This is a big NO for any business owner. It gives the impression that you are far more interested in publicity than doing your job. If you have strong opinions, you should express them privately and in complete disassociation with your business. That goes for your employees too. 

4. Participating in irrelevant trends and hashtags

Trends come and go, and so do hashtags. What’s “in” today is almost certainly going to be “out” tomorrow. It’s best to focus on content and updates which are relevant to your clients.

Don’t forget that you are in business to serve a particular segment. Sharing random/inappropriate videos which have no relevance to your business is a sure way to alienate your audience and distance yourself from them. 

Instead, write down important events, anniversaries and charity fundraisers that are relevant to the funeral profession and promote them on your social media channels as they take place. You could also develop a series of grief and bereavement related updates to help your clients with information and advice which can be useful to them.

5. Using social media only for self-promotion

It’s quite easy to fall into the habit of self-promotion on social media but that’s a sure way to become irrelevant to your clients’ needs. Remember that they are in need and are looking for a specific product or service.

Use your social media profiles to help your clients. If you can’t do that – point them in the direction of someone who can. It doesn’t hurt to share and re-tweet posts from other accounts in the funeral industry and bereavement charities.

Don’t forget the golden rule: it’s not about you, it’s about your client. So even when you share company updates, events, fundraisers and links to your website, make sure that you phrase them in a way which is informative, helpful and beneficial to your clients. 


It’s often better to miss an update than to post something which falls into any of the above categories. The easiest way to avoid doing any of the above is to have a content strategy in place.

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mark alexander content strategist

Mark Alexander

Content specialist helping funeral directors to build long-lasting customer relationships.

Journalist who specialises in health, fitness, travel, lifestyle and self-help.

Author of a No1 grief memoir and grief guides for Dignity PLC.

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