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HubSpot – 10 Social Media Blunders Even the Big Brands Make


By Carly Stec

November 21, 2013

While we know a bit more about marketing than we do about fashion, we do know enough about which faux pas to avoid.

For example, I’m fairly certain that under no circumstance is it acceptable to leave your house wearing socks and sandals.

While many of you may be nodding in agreement, there is a new breed of faux pas sweeping the social media scene that you may not be so in tune with.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 social media setbacks equivalent to the sock/sandal combo (listed below) that have been committed by several big brands, proving no one is above suspicion (not even us).

While we’ve all misjudged the success of a marketing effort a time or two, the goal is not to dwell on it, but rather learn from our miscalculations and move forward.

10 Social Media Mistakes to Learn From

1) Starting a Tweet With an @ Mention

To avoid looking like a rookie on Twitter, be sure that you are well-versed in the difference between a mention and a reply.

For example, if you start a tweet with @HubSpot, it’ll only be seen by you, HubSpot, and your mutual followers. This is considered a reply. Include a period before a person’s @ handle, though, and all of your followers will see your tweet in their streams. This is a mention.

Replies are commonly used when you want to reach out to someone to address something that may be relevant to them, but of no significance to the rest of your followers. If you use @HubSpot anywhere else in the tweet, you’ve got yourself a mention.

This means that the tweet will appear in your Twitter stream, where all of your followers can see it. While it’s easy to confuse the two, this simple mistake can cost you an opportunity to share your tweet across a wider reach.

With good intentions, our Senior Account Manager, Erica Dube, sent out this tweet expressing her excitement towards our company’s feature on the HubSpot blog:


To her dismay, only our mutual followers with HubSpot could share in her celebration, because her tweet was formatted as a reply, rather than a mention. While we applaud Erica’s enthusiasm, we hope that her miscalculation brings to light how easy it is to muffle your voice on Twitter.

To avoid this, we suggest inserting a period before the @ like IKEA did here:


When replying to customers, IKEA was able to quickly transform a reply to a mention by starting the tweets with a period. This simple technique allowed the business to share their responses and suggestions with all of their followers.

2) Failing to Utilize Circles on Google+

One of the most valuable features Google+ offers is the ability to use Circles to segment your audience. Rather than address your audience as a whole all the time, Circles allow you to speak directly to specific groups when the content is geared for them.

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