By now you know that social media has become more than just a way to chat with friends and reconnect with distant family members — it’s a bona fide marketing must-have for businesses.
Social media provides a fun and interactive way of connecting with your followers and reaching new customers — and with 2.1 billion social media users worldwide, that’s a huge opportunity to bring new eyes to your business.
Despite all the good social media can do for your business, there are still some common errors that can drive your social standing straight to the ground. These entrepreneurs and top marketing professionals are sharing their biggest social media don’ts to keep in mind when striving for those coveted likes and conversions.
Using Automation Bots
Don’t automate your social media accounts. By automation, I mean any tools that automatically like, comment, or follow other users. Automation is inauthentic and reflects poorly upon your brand. Social media should be a two-way conversation, and automating your engagement with your target audience shows them that you don’t care enough about this conversation to dedicate the necessary time to build real relationships.
It’s also very transparent – people can tell when your comments are automated. And it’s risky. Automation is against the ToS of a lot of social platforms and you risk having your account shut down. Instead of automating your social media, spend the time engaging authentically with their posts. Focus on building real relationships and actually being social.
Steph Taylor, Founder of Wildbloom Creative
Deleting Negative Comments
Don’t delete negative comments on social platforms. Whether someone screenshots the comment, or other customers see it before you delete it, there’s no way to completely hide a public comment on the internet. Instead, address it head-on. Give the negative commenter a method to reach you and let them know you’re excited to fix the problem. Once things have been resolved, comment on the interaction saying that you’re glad everything worked out.
Not Thinking Before Posting
Don’t forget that social media posts are permanent, and to post on sensitive topics should be thought about in detail, whether through a business or personal site. Think twice and use common sense. Ask yourself: could my message be misconstrued? Would anyone take offense to it?
As business owners, we always research new potential hires, business partners, and clients’ social sites to make sure that they agree with our firm values. Don’t forget that if you are ever trying to develop new professional relationships.
Dennis Doble, Owner of Doble LeBranti Financial Group, LLC
Pushing Your Politics
Unless you are a political organization, please do not assume the politics of your customers. I see so many brands making political statements to and on the behalf of their customers. If you take the time to read the comments you’ll see that customers are not happy about this trend. You can be a passionate activist, but it is just not good etiquette to use your business’s social media platform as a tool to shame, judge, or attack people based on their politics. Keep your social profiles inclusive by focusing on your products, services, and values.
Most businesses make the mistake of sharing promotional content on social media. While it can be helpful to offer discounts through your social pages, clients ultimately don’t want to hear about how great you are or how cool your new product is. They want content that’s going to help them.
It’s important to share content on social media that answers customers’ questions or helps them solve a problem — something that provides value, in other words. At Company Folders, most of our clients are graphic designers, so we share design tips and tricks that help them do their jobs better. We also create clever ads and custom images to make a more entertaining experience.
Vladimir Gendelman, Founder & CEO of Company Folders, Inc.
Choosing Quantity Over Quality
Nobody wants their feed flooded with content from the same company or person. One common mistake many companies make is providing too much information to their followers before the launch of a new product. The whole point of having a launch is to attract the most attention possible around the unrevealed product. So be careful with the amount of content you publish before the big day, and don’t give away any details that could possibly detract from the popularity of the launch.
Jameson Slattery, VP of Global Marketing at Colorescience
Ignoring the “Social” Side of Social Media
The biggest don’t I see businesses make is not being social on SOCIAL media. They don’t respond to comments – positive or negative. Many just think it’s a platform for them to share what they want with whoever is watching, but you need to take it further. As a consumer, when I tweet or write on the Facebook page of a business I’m using and they respond, I take note of it and my experience is automatically more positive. When they don’t respond, I forget about them because they aren’t giving me a reason to keep them top of mind. When I have a complaint and they don’t respond, they’ve lost me as a customer.
Using Hashtags Incorrectly
Don’t add hashtags on Facebook, it isn’t the right platform to use them on. They hurt your algorithm and no one looks for hashtags there. The whole point of using a hashtag is for your post to be found when people are looking through other posts that included the same hashtag. Use them on Twitter when they fit into the 140 character limit and jump in on their trending hashtags! That’s a great way to be found! Use as many hashtags as you can on Instagram, especially now with their new algorithm. You have 30 chances to be found on Instagram because you can include up to 30 hashtags per post. Make them worth it!
Posting Generic Content
Business owners must, at all costs, avoid posting generic materials that have no distinctive branding attached or incorporated. For example, we regularly see the same memes, stock photos, and wording in social media postings. In a saturated marketplace it is vital to ensure that all of your content fits your brand and stands out from the crowd and it’s impossible to do this with re-used material and ideas.
Group tags are outdated. Group tagging fellow business owners in hopes of growing a new startup business by reaching others’ connections are no longer acceptable; in fact, it is amateurish and frowned upon. It is far better to join a business group or business network to learn how to professionally and organically grow clientele than to group tag fellow business owners and risk losing business connections that could help in the long run.
Linda Murray Bullard, Business Strategist at LSMB Business Solutions, LLC
Abandoning Your Brand Identity
Before you share anything, make sure it matches the brand guidelines. Establish an online brand guide – what things should be shared? What things shouldn’t be shared? Create a list of words that focus on what your business is and isn’t about.
Not Updating Enough
When it comes to Twitter, you need to update — a lot. Active Twitter users follow so many accounts that it is difficult to get any momentum if you don’t Tweet often. Sure, some people may stop following you if they feel you update too often, but I’d gladly trade losing a few followers for the added benefits that Tweeting many times per day brings to your brand. Don’t be afraid to re-use your best content! And, get a tool such as Buffer so you can set it in advance and concentrate on what you do best — running the daily operations of your business!
Neglecting Your Analytics
Once you start managing your social media profiles you should definitely take a regular look at your Insights (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ all offer special section for that). Analyze the information and adjust your social media management based on the results.
What Are Your Social Media Don’ts?
What are some of the biggest social media don’ts you’ve seen online? What kind of social media don’ts have you committed with your business in the past? Share your thoughts in the comments!
One of our biggest social media don’ts for businesses is not being on social media at all — are you ready to start building a social media presence of your own? We take social media off your to-do list so you can focus on building up your business. Reach out today to get started!