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These are the 8 biggest mistakes made by social media managers

We reached out to some of the biggest names in content marketing to ask for the biggest social media mistakes they've made. And you probably have too.

Sophie Thompson
13th September 2021

Being a social media marketing manager is a high-pressure job, and if it's one you've taken on - bravo! Social media managers are expected to be creative, analytical, quick, accurate, and adaptable all at the same time. Oh, and that's without the ever-expanding list of roles you'll be taking on too. Sound familiar? Mistakes are probably going to happen, and that's ok!

Funnily enough, however rogue your mistake might be, the chances are that everyone else has been there at some point too.

So, to help ease the embarrassment of any social media slip-ups, here are the top mistakes that are made by some of our favorite brands' social media managers literally all the time.

1. When you don't do your research

Being reactive? Great. Maybe not checking what you've said before you post? Yikes.

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"We ran monthly themed challenges to get people saving money. We named our October one the 'Locktober' challenge, telling people to lock away their money and not touch it. For the sake of your browser history, do not google what 'Locktober' also is."

Richard Cook, Monzo

2. The dreaded typo

If you don't catch it and Grammarly doesn't catch it, you already know your audience is going to catch it. So hopefully it's not an embarrassing one...

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3. Posting to the wrong account

...and not realizing until your boss texts you. Engagement is engagement...right?


"I was looking after the digital content for a beauty brand, including their UK social pages. As I'm super into beauty I follow a lot of the influencers I worked with on my personal Twitter account as well as the work account, so when one tweeted "I'm going to start linking my beauty Instagram to my Tinder profile for some new followers" I accidentally QT'ed it from the brand account with, "What an idea...updates link" few hours later my boss texts me to ask if I realized what I'd done - MORTIFIED!"

Beth Thomas, Deliveroo

4. Forgetting to un-schedule posts

Pros of planning to be reactive: You're prepared.

Cons of planning to be reactive: You can be too prepared and ready for every possible outcome. And then absolutely post every possible outcome.

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5. Choosing your influencers not-so-wisely

Influencer marketing is set to be worth over $13billion by the end of 2021, so of course you should be getting involved! Our advice? Use a tool such as GRIN to make sure you're working with the right people...

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"Pretty much everyone has seen an influencer who works with all of the best brands and you're like 'we have to get this person to do our promo' and everyone was insanely excited when they agreed. Spoiler: Popularity doesn't equal professionalism! Trust me, if someone gave me that amount of money to do a basic post I'd probably try not to embarrass the brand in the process..."

Sophie Thompson, ContentCal

6. The pressure of being an all-rounder

The role of a social media manager is ever-expanding - and whether you're pulling together events with the marketing team, or working with can be a lot.

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"Myself and our events manager had been working on a huge multichannel campaign and this event was our big finale. As we stood in the event venue wondering where the caterers were and getting nervous the event manager gave them a call - I watched his face crumble as he repeated back the date that we'd actually booked them for - and not the date of the event. I'm still not sure either of our skillsets includes making random 'to go' items look good on silver platters - but luckily we are both excellent at getting people drunk and hoping they don't notice"

Katie O'Leary, ContentCal

7. When jokes go wrong

A great brand has a great personality. And a really great brand has the ability to avoid issuing a groveling apology when you miss the mark, because you can win people back just by being you.

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"To try and shift some of our dairy-free range we invented a fake "conker milk", in the hope of creating a bit of buzz on social. Just before we announced it, we discovered conkers are actually poisonous. We assumed that people wouldn't care - who minds a little bit of harmless, deadly poison? Turns out, quite a lot of people don't like poison, and we got angry complaints from people who believed we'd genuinely release a poisonous drink. We worried someone might sue us, so we decided the only way to fix things was with the world's biggest conker-related public health campaign. We spent an entire weekend begging people to not eat or milk conkers. Turned into our second most successful social campaign ever, so a good lesson that even poison can be turned into a success."

John Thornton, Innocent Drinks

8. Don't oversell yourself

The temptation to add a little more vanity to your vanity metrics can be all too real. Until you get caught that is.

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Ready for your daily dose of marketing therapy or got a confession to share? Follow our new Confessions of a Content Marketer campaign over on Instagram, and anonymously submit via this form.

If you can relate to these marketing mishaps, then feel free to book a personalized tour of our content planning tool so we can show you every feature and trick to prevent them in future!

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