Social media for business can be a dangerous beast – or bird, if you’re partial to Twitter. Just look at some of the epic fails of companies that have mishandled a social media campaign … McDonald’s and Qantas spring to mind …
So what are some basic tips to prevent your business’ social media efforts from meeting the same fate? This handy list of social media “don’ts” will help you to manage your campaigns like a pro!
1. Don’t let questions and concerns go unanswered
Being able to listen to your audience by promptly addressing their questions and concerns on your social media page is a reflection of your business’s customer care. Leaving these concerns unanswered is a big no-no, especially if the comment is negative. Not only does the customer who has made the comment know that you’re ignoring them, all your other fans or followers will know it too.
2. Don’t delete what others have posted
By deleting a comment, whether it is good or bad, you are ignoring and insulting your audience. Social media is based upon authenticity, so by deleting posts you’re indicating to your audience that you are uncomfortable with what your brand is doing and what it represents.
Instead of deleting or leaving posts unanswered, address the situation head-on and with full transparency. This will earn you more brand loyalty and shows others that you believe in your product and service, you care about your customers, and you have nothing to hide.
3. Don’t write only about your business and services
Although there is nothing wrong about promoting your product or service through social media marketing, to be engaging you need to think about what will add value to your fans and followers. By giving helpful advice and being part of the online conversation about your brand, you will have a more interactive social media page and your fans will be more inclined to pay attention to your posts, return to your page, and share your content.
Think of your social network pages as normal business networking vehicles. When you meet someone at an event, do you just talk about yourself and pressure the person to “Like” you? No, you discuss interesting topics and share your thoughts and opinions in order to try to find a common ground. Your social media networking should be done the same way.
4. Don’t be inconsistent
Make sure that your social media pages and accounts include the same business information and follow a similar theme. A person with multiple personalities can be confusing and hard to engage with, and the same goes for a business using social media. To build your brand you have to know your message, and be clear and consistent in delivering it.
5. Don’t be repetitive
While it’s good to have consistency in your brand message, don’t be repetitive or robotic in your posts. If you’re posting the same thing day-in and day-out it becomes less of a conversation starter and more of a snore – hardly effective for building an engaged community. So have variability in your posts and embrace a human presence in your social media activity. Make the effort to find different types of content to share, aiming for a mix of articles, websites, videos, images, and anything else your audience will find intriguing.
6. Don’t spam or post sporadically
I recently unfollowed a Twitter account for this very offense. Tweeting the same topic 10 times or sharing the link to your website repeatedly can annoy your followers. At the same time, being a drive-by Tweeter that posts 5-6 comments then leaves for weeks and months at a time is also ineffective and spammy. In your fans’ eyes, when you are known as a spammer, your message becomes less relevant and you are more likely to be overlooked or unfollowed.
Making mistakes is an unavoidable part of life and many businesses are bound to make at least one mistake on social media. However, by keeping these simple tips in mind, you can avoid the more common missteps and be a better leader of your social empire.