We now live in the fast pace era of everything “digital.” Whether we like it or not, the online world is becoming our main world, where we get everything we want with only a few clicks! Social media is now the medium brands are using and abusing; possibly exploiting its availability to reach their target audiences.

Now, I will neither be talking about what social media is, or how important it is to integrate this medium into every marketing and PR strategy, nor about how I’m totally addicted to it! Throughout this post - and for a change - I will be giving my eight commandments of social media, which are inspired by the deadly sins brands are committing on a daily basis; be it through organic growth or paid, one click after the other.

1. Thou Shalt Not Be Greedy.
Ok, this is one of the ugliest sins, both, online and offline! Greed here is when a brand focuses on numbers… Number of fans, followers or likes, instead of focusing on the more important figures, including but limited to, ROI, levels of engagement and conversation rates.

2. Thou Shalt Not Steal.
Neither captions nor visuals are up for grabs; create your own content instead. It’s not a sin to develop or get inspired by some ideas that you find online. Plus, make sure to use stock image services, such as Getty Images or Shutterstock Images, I do not want you ending up with copyright lawsuits. 

3. Thou Shalt Not Ignore.
Do not ignore your online audience. If they ask a question, answer them; if they leave positive feedback, thank them; and if they complain, apologize and please, try to fix whatever made them complain. Ignoring people online will result in losing credibility, hence, brand disloyalty. 

4. Thou Shalt Not Give False. 
Do not share wrong information! Researching before you post is key here - Google is free. Also, NEVER post fake brand facts, or over promise your audience with false or high expectations.

5. Thou Shalt Not Post for the Sake of Posting.
Yes! This is one of the worst sins on social media! Have an online marketing strategy, and plan out your online content calendar accordingly. Make sure that your content is informative, engaging and entertaining. Plus, it is totally okay to not post on daily basis!

"The focus should be on the quality of the content and its engagement potential rather than quantity.” Says Kosta Petrov, CEO at P World and Huffington Post columnist (@kostapetrov)

6. Thou Shalt Not Be Repetitive.
Do not, I repeat, do not repeat the same post more than once, and if you do, make sure there is at least a 2 weeks period between these posts. I highly recommend boosting the posts for a longer time rather than reposting it.

7. Thou Shalt Not Be Lost in Translation.
Stick to your target market’s language or languages. And please, pretty please, do not use Google translate! 

8. Thou Shalt Not Get Over Exposed.
Any publicity is good publicity; but in the life of a social media agency, this sometimes leads to a digital crisis! Do your research well before launching any hashtag or a campaign, to insure that it won’t backfire in one way or another.

“When brands create an open ended hashtag to crowd-source content, that exposes them completely, for example, when McDonald’s launched their campaign: #من_حقك_أن_تعرف” said Omar Hussein, Public Figure and Communications Consultant (@Omarhuss)