Mistakes, Blunders, and Oversights: Social Media 101
As more businesses join social media, it’s become more evident which companies are striving and which are struggling to keep their heads above water. Often times the businesses and brands that are having a hard time on their platforms are making simple mistakes that can be corrected. While there is no handbook for social media, we’ve compiled a brief checklist of common social media mistakes to avoid.
Here are a few simple mistakes, bemusing blunders, and blatant oversights in social media marketing:
Not Posting Enough
If you’re not a “native” social media user or it’s not something you use regularly, you might find yourself going days without posting to your social networks. While spamming is its own problem (more on that later), posting sparingly means your audience doesn’t know what to expect from you or how often. One of the keys to garnering a sizable, loyal following is to make it as easy as possible for them to figure out what it is you do and how often you do it. Figure out a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is necessary for any social media strategy.
All You Do Is Sell, Sell, Sell…
Can you imagine the same person coming to your house every day, knocking on your door, and trying to sell you the same product every time? In today’s digital landscape, constantly selling without storytelling or interacting sincerely with people and brands is the equivalent to the unwanted solicitor bugging you at home. The key is to build a relationship with your audience, one that’s mutually beneficial. This means injecting some humor and honesty into your strategy instead of hard-selling at all hours of the day.
Sounding Like A Robot
Whether it’s to save time or to avoid backlash, many companies rely on the same tired responses to frequently asked questions. “Thanks for your business!” and “Please contact our customer service phone number” are common examples. Successfully managing your social outlets means providing an interactive, human experience on an otherwise digital platform. Personalize your responses to connect with your audience. Users want to feel like they’re speaking to a person and not a robot. Speaking over the phone with an automated messaging machine can be painful when you know speaking to a real person could save so much time and energy. Don’t make the same mistake of subjecting your social media audience to the same robot treatment.
The beauty of social networks is that they are curated spaces where people can learn more about the people and brands they care about. When you infringe on that curated space with annoying direct messages or by flooding timelines with repetitive messages, people are understandably bothered. Doing this enough times will land your business on the chopping block, one message away from getting axed from their feeds forever. Remember to focus more on providing value and less on peddling empty content.
Put Your Foot in Your Mouth
The Internet is littered with tales about the careers of social media managers gone wayward after an inappropriate joke or comment went viral. There is always a place for humor online, but crude, offensive jokes threaten the delicate relationships you have with your audience. When speaking on culture, tragedy, or politics always tread lightly. If you really have to sit down and think about it, chances are you should stay away.
A business’s social media is ultimately a reflection of them and an extension of the brand – its voice and its messaging. Making mistakes can jeopardize any company’s audience engagement and brand recitablity. When crafting your brand’s social media strategy, keep our checklist in mind. Navigating social media and avoiding mistakes is an imperative part of making your business better for the digital age.