(What not to do)
Social media can be your greatest asset and your biggest downfall. Do it right and you can gain new followers, create loyal customers, and successfully grow your brand. But a few missteps and you can turn away potential customers.
If you get your approach wrong, it can quickly destroy your social reputation. Once your brand’s reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to rectify. And with so much online competition just a click away, it’s extremely easy for consumers to find another brand to fill their needs if you turn them off with the way you use social media, by your tone, or how you post.
So let’s start with why people follow certain brands on social media:
- They are interested in a product or service
- They are offered incentives
- They are interested in promotions
- They find the social media profile entertaining
- They wish to communicate with a brand
- Their friends or family follow the brand
And why people unfollow brands on social media:
- Too many promotions
- Too much tweeting/posting
- Irrelevant content
- Inappropriate use of jargon or slang that doesn’t comply with brand identity
- Erratic posting
- Failure to reply to comments /messages
So what social behaviors are most annoying to consumers? Here’s what to avoid:
1. Poor grammar and spelling
Poor spelling and grammar are the top most annoying things to social media users as a whole, according to market research. (A close second is the abundance of memes or political cartoons that have no place on a business social media account). It is way too easy to use spell check or hire a professional editor to check your posts before publishing them to make sure everything is correct. Your business page needs to reflect your brand identity, which should always reflect professionalism and attention to detail.
2. Begging for likes
If you are too focused on getting likes for your page you will lose credibility with followers. Social media should be used to engage with your target audience – not to boost your own ego with how many likes you have. Instead of blatantly asking for likes, shares, and comments, provide content that encourages your audiences to engage and gets them excited about being included in the conversation.
3. Improper hashtag use
Some people really love the hashtag – the more they can squeeze into a single post the better. But when it comes to any business profile on social media, you need to use hashtags wisely and appropriately. Use a limited number per post – two or three at most – and make them count. Only use hashtags that are appropriate to your business, industry, or individual post.
4. Ignoring criticism
No matter how great your company is, at some point in time you will receive negative feedback. It may not be deserved, but you should never ignore it. Always respond calmly, concisely, and offer to take the issue to a private forum such as a phone call, email, or direct message. Be polite and non-reactive – you need to be proactive, even in the face of negativity that is completely undeserved.
And address criticism quickly. The longer you wait to address complaints, the angrier the customer becomes. 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. Read reactions thoroughly, respond quickly, and defuse the situation before it becomes a major deal.
5. Posting too often
There’s a fine line between maintain an active presence on social media and completely overwhelming your audience.
Too many posts can be aggravating to the point that customers “unfollow” you or simply result in your posts becoming lost in your followers’ newsfeeds. Be aware that not every single follower will see every post. You should post to Facebook once per day – twice at most – during times when you have analyzed that your posts get the most response. This is critical!
6. Having a bad website
Every interaction a consumer has with your business counts…whether that is on social media, in a brick and mortar store, or on your website.
For the 64% of you who have a website, remember that this may be the first impression someone has of your business? If they have a poor user experience, chances are they will not follow you on social media or become a loyal customer. The site should look professional and clean, include a menu so users can easily find the information they are looking for, and have links to your social media accounts.
The majority of website visitors (55%) spend less than 15 seconds on a page before bouncing. Make sure your website is worth the extra time.
A few other things to avoid….
- Liking your own posts
- Being spammy
- Following everyone who follows you
- Relying 100% on automation
On social media consumers are looking for deeper connections with the brands they choose. They take time out of their day to read your posts, watch your videos, and like and share your content. When done properly, social media marketing can create loyal brand ambassadors that will increase the growth and success of your company.
So work mindfully to make sure you avoid the above mentioned social media mistakes.