Social media networks are a powerful marketing tool. However, when used incorrectly, they can actually do damage to your reputation, annoy your customers and drive potential customers away. Here are 5 social media faux pas that you should never commit.

1. Using your social media network exclusively as a sales tool. This is the surefire way to get “unfriended” and “unfollowed.” People already have enough advertising coming at them from all angles online and offline, they don’t want it overtaking their social networks where they come to communicate with friends, family and their favorite brands. It’s okay to send some sales messages but they need to be spaced out between engaging, useful content that your reader will enjoy. People love to hear about promotions and sales but too much advertise-y talk will definitely turn your followers off and encourage them to give you the boot.

2. Posting the exact same content to your Facebook as you do to your Twitter. This makes it obvious that you don’t really pay attention to your social networks; you’re just on there to spread your message, not interact or engage. You want your fans to follow you on both Facebook and Twitter, right? Well then why would you post the same thing on both networks? Those who do as you wish and follow you on both will get duplicate information and no one wants to waste their time on that.

3. Asking your existing fans to help you find more followers without rewarding them for doing so. Nothing will make your current fans feel less important than begging then for more fans. They’ll think, “What? Are we not good enough?” and who wants their fans feeling unappreciated? Everyone wants more fans, but don’t beg your current audience to help you find more. Instead, make your content so great that they’ll want to share with other and recommend you to their friends.

4. Pretend the negative feedback you receive on your social network just didn’t happen. Let’s face it, we can’t make everyone happy. There will always be a disgruntled customer who will try to leave rude comments on your brand’s Facebook or Twitter. When this happens, it’s important to address those irritated customers in a concerned manner and try to troubleshoot the problem. One annoyed customer can potentially go on to tell their friends about their bad experience with your business. That’s why when a less-than-impressed customer is brought to your attention, do what you can to make them happy. If they hated the food and service at your restaurant, invite them to come back for free and try it again. If you handle the problem with grace in public on Facebook or Twitter, you’re allowing the world to see how much you care about every customer.

5. Open a promotion to “new customers only.” It’s great that you’re promoting a special discount on your social network; but don’t ruin it by only opening it up to new customers. This will make your current customers feel left out and unappreciated which is a definite no-no. Keep in mind that it’s important to reward your Facebook and Twitter followers as a whole, because they already are a segmented group of your entire customer base.

Stay away from these 5 social media marketing no-no’s and you should be free from the dreaded “unfollow.” Remember to always post engaging content that your followers will be interested in and good luck in your social media marketing endeavors!