By now it's a foregone conclusion that your business should have a presence on social media - which means moving from the "why" to the "how." You probably already know many of the things you should be doing, like posting regularly, sharing relevant information, interacting with others, and so on.
However, there are definitely faux pas that could cost you in terms of authority, brand loyalty, and even followers. What makes these especially dangerous is that it's very easy to cross the line from healthy activity to activity that could end up damaging your business on social media. Here are the Seven Deadly Social Media Sins to avoid on all of your social accounts.
When you post to your social media profiles, is it all about you—your business, your specials, your latest event? If so, you’re not getting nearly the value out of social media that you could be. Make social media about your followers. This way, you’ll be conversing with them rather than simply talking at them.
Boost the level of your conversation. Ask your followers questions, and ensure that you're using hashtags so that people can retweet you. Make your followers feel like a part of your inner circle, whether you offer your Facebook followers an exclusive inside look at what your business is doing, or a free giveaway on Twitter.
To the above point. “Sell, sell, sell!” That’s what it’s all about, right? With social media, things are a little bit different. People don’t browse Facebook or Pinterest because they want to be sold to. They’re there to be entertained and informed. The better a resource you are for them, the more they’ll like you (and people love buying from businesses they like).
How do you entertain? Don't be afraid to experiment! Social media's a great place for humor, trivia, fun facts, pictures - all the reasons you enjoy your personal social media accounts. Start with a question: what kind of things do you like seeing your favorite businesses posting?
Yes, it is possible to overdo the social media. One of the biggest mistakes companies make it trying to do it all. This is the surest way to get the least value out of social. Pick two or three social media platforms, the ones where most of your customers are, and focus on doing them really well.
To this point, avoid the urge to spend all your time on social media. It's easy to get lost in consuming blog posts, articles from your Twitter feed, or quizzes posted on Facebook (and who hasn't wasted an hour or two on YouTube?). Pick some time in the morning and some time in the afternoon and schedule it as your "social media time."
Not only is posting all the time a waste of your time, it’s also incredibly annoying to your followers. Posting to Facebook 15 times a day will only cause people to unlike your page. Retweeting the same link every hour for five hours in a row won't do, either.So when should you post on social media?
There are many guides to help you determine when the best (and worst) times for activity on each platform is. Quicksprout recently released this updated guide, which is an extremely helpful resource for you to see where to rein in your posts, and where to post more frequently.
It turns out that if you want to get the most out of your social media, you’re going to have to produce your own stuff to share and develop your own voice. While you should absolutely share content others have created, make sure to direct people to your own now and then. Down the road, the content that you create will help you to develop your brand, as your unique identity becomes more and more defined. People may begin to think of you as the business they trust in your niche. Without your own content, you'll never get there.
And never, ever steal a trending hashtag that has nothing to do with your business. This won't win you any new fans, and it'll just hurt your credibility.
Buying followers and friends might seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, it only ends up hurting you in the long run. These people aren’t following you because they actually like you, so they’ll never engage, causing your posts to lose value. It boils down to a single question: what's the point of paying for 10,000 followers that have no interest in your business?
It's also important to consider how buying followers might harm your reputation. When you get found out (and you will), do you want the responsibility of having to explain that appearances meant more to you than authenticity?
If people are talking with you, respond. If a topic related to your business is trending, talk about it. If you can add to a conversation, do it. Being apathetic will make people think you just don’t care. The key to social media, the magic thing that makes it all work, is engagement. Without engagement, there would be no way to turn strangers to your business into raving fans!
Be engaged even when you feel like you're not actively being engaged. You can't expect people to start tweeting at your business overnight, or for no good reason. It's only when you start the conversation that anyone will see there's a conversation to be had.
Social media mistakes could cost your business.
The good news is, they don't have to! By avoiding major pitfalls like the seven listed here and making sure that your social media strategy is highly focused and organized, your company's time on social media will be time well-spent. Remember that results don't happen overnight, so be vigilant!
If you don't have a social media marketing strategy in place, or if you do but you're just not seeing any benefit, let us know! We love helping other businesses use this increasingly powerful tool to their advantage.