We are in the midst of the digital era, where it’s no longer optional for businesses to be on social media. And in this era, the average internet user has the power to publish their opinion and the potential to be heard by thousands. But this well-meaning attempt can viral out of control and, have fatal consequences.
Your online persona is impacted by every social media post you make. Businesses take advantage of the marketing opportunity social media presents to enhance their brand image, strengthen customer relationships and contribute to business growth. Occasionally businesses encounter a few mistakes, perhaps due to lack of time, diligence or inferior judgement.
Here are fifteen crucial social media mistakes which could be negatively impacting your online social persona:
- Not Being Consistent Across Brand Profiles
If you have varying usernames across all social media platforms, how do you suppose people will find you? How will your customers determine the profile they’re searching for is you? A consistent image will reinforce your brand identity and help to build brand awareness. Wherever possible, try to maintain the same username. Also, company logos work particularly well as profile images. A consistent tone of voice demonstrates personality and professionalism too.
- Wrongly-Worded Profile Descriptions
Not painting an accurate self-portrait can be damaging. The public information you share on your profile should describe you, what you business is about and why people should take an interest. Never keyword-stuff your profile descriptions, or use empty words which say very little. Additionally, the posts you share should further endorse this image. An underlying theme of woe or bad grammar could harm your reputation. Make sure you maintain an overall balance of you.
- Not Understanding Your Audience
Each platform is different and boasts it’s own unique community. To be effective on social media, you must understand each platform and audience. For example: what may work on Twitter, probably won’t work on Facebook. You must find what what works for each audience. Hashtag campaigns are incredibly effective on Twitter, not so much Facebook. However, photographs on Facebook receive the best engagement levels.
- The Same Content Across All Platforms
If you’re posting the same content on each platform, your customers won’t want to follow you on each platform as they’re not benefiting from your content. Sure, it saves time linking the same content across all platforms, but it’s a quick way to loose followers too. By modifying each post to suit the culture and audience of each platform, you’re increasing the likelihood of the post being engaged by followers.
- Not Being Social Or Engaging
No one likes shuffling through spam to get to the important information. For some reason, some brands forget this and begin to alienate their fan-base by scheduling continuous advertisement. People join social media to be social (kind of the point), the occasional reminder of a promotion is okay, but you must strive to share relevant information which will provide a benefit to your following. It’s important to be personal and appropriate with your content.
- Failing to Respond to Customer Engagement
Social media prompts for a quick and personal response. Yet some businesses take too long to respond to customer queries or worse, fail to respond completely. Customers want to be able to contact you around the clock, you must monitor all your accounts at all times. If you’re not there to deal with queries, it’s advised to state your opening times on your profile description.
- Implementing Auto Responses and Replies
Auto responses to customer queries, or distributing an auto message when somebody follows your account is a bad practice. You’re basically sending your customers a spam message, and these users can usually tell. It’s unnecessary, annoying and has caused many businesses trouble in the past, famously American Airlines. To personalise your customer social experience is to show knowledge and professionalism.
- Posting Little and Often
People follow you because they like you, they’re interested in your opinion, like what you’re saying and what you stand for. This is great, they’re engaged with your brand. However, if you’re posting too often you will disinterest them and loose them as a fan. When posting ask yourself: will my audience even care? Determine which posts will resonate with your audience and which does not.
- Hijacking Hashtags
Sometimes businesses want to demonstrate they’re social savvy by joining in with real time conversation. However, such tactics have seen some businesses involved in a PR disaster, such as when DiGiorno used a hashtag about domestic violence to sell pizza. Likewise, hashtag campaigns have been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons, such as #SusanAlbumParty. When this happens there is now way of stopping what is unfolding right in front of you. Your only option is to prevent such disasters from happening in the first place.
- Deleting Negative Comments
It’s hard to see counter-intuitive testimonials on your social media public for all too view. But it’s a great opportunity to make customers happy in a very public place, or address problems you perhaps didn’t know. You cannot make everyone happy, but you can soften the blow and look good while doing so. It’s not the negative comment which defines your brand, it’s how you deal with that comment what counts.
- Like-baiting Posts for Comments and Shares
Like-bait, very much like click-bait, is the practice of using provocative or controversial headlines to stir up some social media attention. Like-bait rarely provides the reader with any new or insightful information, and has nothing to do with the companies business objectives, it’s carried out for the purpose of generating a few likes, shares or retweets. As a result, the engagement received is hardly engagement. The best example of like-bait is ‘like, share, comment or ignore’ posts on Facebook.
- Buying Followers or Likes
Acquiring likes or followers to quadruple current following sounds like a great idea, right? This is a widely used practice and one which is controversially bad. Your accounts will appear to be more popular with little or no work, however this number is empty and the quality of audience diminishes, as does the impact your social media posts have.
- Not Measuring ROI
Social media is an inexpensive way of marketing your brand. Nonetheless, if you calculate the hours investing in planning, engaging and executing your strategy, it soon adds up. It’s hard to measure the success of your social media investment. However, through engagement and reach you can see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Not Having a Social Media Strategy
Social media is no longer voluntary, you need to have an active presence and customers will expect the same level of service they receive in person. There are endless ways to build an online strategy and, different online tools to help you do so. You must build one which meets the objectives of your business and, one which is structured around a content calendar.
- Spreading Platforms Too Thin
It’s good to be actively committed to social media, but sometimes you simply don’t have the time to be. It’s better to be committed to one platform rather than spreading yourself thin across multiple. Be selective with your time, customers will loose interest in your business if you have half-heartedly posted information just for the sake of doing so.
Whether you are just starting to get way around the major social media channels, or have been a while on social networks, there are still some behavioral elements that you should know to fit right in. Each social media channel has it´s own particularities and in case you are wondering, here’s how to behave on each one of them.