Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ – these social media networks / websites have been around for quite some time and people are well aware of the role they play at home and especially in businesses. Perhaps you are also ‘in the know’ when it comes to the best practices in social media marketing. Maybe you’ve got a couple of tools, tricks, hacks, and other cool stuff in your arsenal.
But have you thought about the stuff you should NOT do in business social media? Few have taken a look at the darker side of social media. Believe it or not, many social media tactics used by many can be very damaging to a business’ reputation. Worry not however. Read the rest of the article and learn what NOT to do…and just as importantly, what to do instead.
No Social Media Strategy
Today, social media is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a ‘MUST have.’ Many businesses have admitted that social media is now an integral part of their PR and marketing processes. This is not surprising as – especially for SMBs – it’s the only point of contact for consumers. Being of great of importance, it is expected that businesses treat social media with the same level of thought, analysis, and care as with other mission-critical aspects of their overall strategy. However, this isn’t always the case. Many businesses treat social media as simply a matter of raking up the likes, followers, etc. – and are punished for it.
Don’t go in blind. You should take the time required to determine what exactly you want to accomplish via social media; which networks or channels to use; and how to get to where you want to be. It is also important to note that there is no end-all-be-all strategy or silver bullet when it comes to social media. The ways you can build your following and achieve your goals are endless…and picking the right one requires thought. You want to analyze the size and type of business; location; brand and reputation; demographics; and those are just to name a few. Also, in forming your strategy, you should focus on organic growth and the level of engagement. These 2 should always be integral to your strategy.
Posting Way More Than You Should
Your subscribers, followers, likers, etc. are around because they like you and what you deliver. Not only that, they’re engaged and a lot more receptive to your brand, which is always great. But while they’re loyal and receptive, you don’t want to bombard them with tons of posts day-in and day-out. That leads to post fatigue…and they’ll soon grow tired of you and your non-stop posting.
Make no mistake about it – posting regularly is one way to keep your followers ‘warm.’ But one should exercise restraint when posting to their social media pages and profiles. One good way to decide if a post should be published or NOT is to think about your audience and ask yourself: “Do they care about this?” If they don’t, then there’s no reason to publish it. You sure don’t want to lose them because you’re spamming their feeds. Also, it is highly recommended to use an analytics tools to analyze your previous posts. With the insight afforded by closely tracked statistics, you can tell which type of posts resonate with your target market / audience. Some tools can even help you determine when your target audience is most active…allowing you to publish your posts at times when they’d have more impact.
Deleting Negative Comments & Pretending They Don’t Exist
Whether you’re running a multinational company or a mom-and-pop business, you’ll get negative comments on social media…and how you deal with it is crucial. Many make the mistake of fixing the issue (which is good) but deleting the negative comments instead of keeping and acknowledging it. You might be asking: “Why would I want to leave a negative testimonial in my page!?”
There are many reasons. First, a negative comment is an opportunity to make a customer happy publicly. So one of your customers complained about a defective product? Cool! That’s a chance to show off how fast you respond and how effectively deal with such issues. Today’s savvy consumers know that there’s no “Perfect, 100% Of The Time” company or business. But they do want a company who responds quickly and effectively when trouble arises. Second, it’s also an excellent way to discover problems you didn’t know about…and appreciating the complainant’s effort in pointing it out. Not only will you have one less issue to worry about, but the complainant (and others too) could also end up as loyal followers of your brand.
Using Social Media As A Sales & Advertising Platform
Increased sales and profit is the aim of every business. Marketing, PR, customer service, partnerships, etc. – all of these and more are established to achieve that straightforward goal. However, to build a social media campaign with the goal of simply advertising products and increasing sales is a recipe for failure. Think about it, why do you people log in to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media networks? It’s because they want to socialize and find something that could tickle their fancy. In a world where there are ads everywhere you turn to, the last thing they want is to be bombarded with even more ads.
Sure, you can give your followers a heads-up about a sale or promo. That’s OK. But to plug and advertise every hour is a quick way to turn off your followers. It will only dull engagement and lower the trust of your customers and fans. As mentioned earlier, organic growth and engagement should be prioritized. Social media isn’t just for promotion…it’s for connecting with your audience. So instead of advertising all the time, share great content; post something entertaining; and interact with your followers. Don’t hard sell, just do your best to keep your brand in your consumers’ mind (in a positive way of course) and you’ll do well.