Often used in a playful or lighthearted way, an “ick” is a feeling of discomfort or aversion towards something or someone.
And when it comes to those who work in social media, there's a long list of "social media icks" — from unrealistic job expectations to the dreaded in-caption URL.
Here's what they shared (and our tips for what to do instead).
7 Things to Avoid on Social Media
According to social media managers, these seven "icks" are what brands (and fellow marketers) should avoid doing on social media — ASAP.
Links in Instagram Captions
QR Codes on Social Graphics
Not Using Camel Case for Hashtags
Liking Your Own Posts (From The Brand Account)
TikTok Watermarks on Reels
Buying Fake Followers
Unrealistic Job Expectations
#1: Links in Instagram Captions
The most commented “ick” from our audience? Links in Instagram captions, by a landslide.
Why? They're unclickable and visually unappealing.
Plus, you're not able to copy and paste a caption — so the likelihood of remembering a long URL and then typing it out is slim to none.
#2: QR Codes on Social Graphics
Much like including links in Instagram captions, adding QR codes to social graphics won’t do much.
Unless you have a friend in close proximity to do the scanning for you, social media managers are practically begging you to stop.
#3: Not Using Camel Case for Hashtags
Hashtags are an important part of the discovery experience on social media — but writing them improperly is an impactful (and common) mistake.
Using #CamelCase (capitalizing each word in your hashtag) makes your content more accessible to those who have a vision impairment or experience blindness.
Plus, it taps into an audience of over 7M people. Win-win.
#4: Liking Your Own Posts (From The Brand Account)
No, we’re not talking about liking a company post from your personal account — we’re guilty of this too.
But liking the company’s post straight from the company account can be seen as off-putting and unprofessional.
#5: TikTok Watermarks on Reels
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good crosspost — but a lingering TikTok watermark on Reels can impact your feed post ranking on Instagram.
But don’t fret, you can remove TikTok watermarks for seamless reposts.
TIP: Repurposing content can help you beat writer’s block, avoid creative burnout, and post more consistently. Triple win.
#6: Buying Fake Followers
Spoiler: Social media managers can tell when you’ve purchased Instagram followers.
If your comment section is flooded with emoji strings and what appears to be spam, it can signal to others (and the social media platform) that your account is illegitimate.
The result? Tarnished integrity, stunted growth, and possible banishment from the platform.
TL;DR: You can’t fake your way to online fame.
#7: Unrealistic Job Expectations
PSA: Social media managers are not interns, “ninjas”, “gurus”, or “wizards.”
We're looking for a rockstar ninja, unicorn, mermaid, wizard, vampire, social media manager 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩— Danielle | Social Media + Nonprofit Support (@daniellecneal_) October 13, 2021
They’re strategists and specialists, and deserve more realistic job descriptions that don't expect them to do 10 different roles for (typically) little pay.
Our take? Employers looking to build a social team should take the time to learn what social media managers actually do and properly invest in their online strategy.
In conclusion: Social media “icks” aren’t going away.
But by knowing how to combat them, you’re equipped to strengthen your social media habits, solidify your online brand, and keep social media managers everywhere happy as can be.