Social media has great potential for business looking to increase their reach, traffic and leads. But when it is not used properly, it can actually damage your brand’s reputation.
This blog post will walk you through eight social media marketing mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Your social media managers/ executives are the face of your company online. With social media now driving almost a third of all referral traffic, it is absolutely critical that those responsible for driving these referrals are up to the task.
While mistakes cannot always be avoided we have seen too many examples of inexperienced, untrained or poorly supervised employees getting free reign of the company’s social media accounts. Avoid posting irrelevant content and make sure the content is not out offence.
Not responding to negative feedback
Negative feedback is going to happen. You can choose to ignore it, fight back or take it in stride. How you respond says a lot about your brand. Some brands operate under the assumption that they can simply delete negative comments without any repercussions. Others believe that ignoring negative or inflammatory comments is the way to go.
Rather than avoiding, why not use these situations as opportunities to shine? Respond thoughtfully and promptly to negative comments, and use them as opportunities to showcase your commitment to customer service.
Buying followers and likes
Buying fans or followers is risky business. Some brands still believe that padding their numbers by paying for fictitious fans is a harmless endeavour. But did you know that buying Facebook fans can actually hurt your brand by decreasing your overall reach?
Fake fans will never interact or engage with your page, signalling to Facebook that your content is not interesting or valuable to your audience. This leads to an overall algorithmic decrease in your post reach and visibility. You should also find your account being closed, banned or deleted should Facebook find out about your schemes. It is far better to focus on attracting real, interested fans who will engage with your posts.
One way street
Posting the same types of content again and again can convey the impression that your brand is boring, uncreative or just not in tune with your audience. Instead of posting link after link or quotes after quote, change things up by posting a wide variety of content.
When you get hung up on posting same types of content again and again, your followers will become less engaged and are more apt to think you simply do not care about posting engaging content.
Promoting your products
There is a time and place for promoting your business or products, even on social media. However, too many brands are still using social media as a channel for pushing their marketing message.
Social selling is all about building relationships and trust that will ultimately lead to sales. Do not abuse the platform by using it as a billboard or commercial. The 80/20 principle is a good rule of thumb, post engaging, high value content 80 percent of the time and promote your products no more than 20 percent of the time. Better yet, think about how you can move your social media fans and followers into your online marketing funnel. Then you never have to directly promote on social media.
Do you have a schedule for when and how often you post? Do you have a consistent voice that you use across all your social media profiles? Do your profile and cover photos convey what your brand is about? How do you respond to negative feedback or criticism?
The best way to be consistent in your social media marketing is to have a strategy in place. This will include, among other elements, guidance about how and when you will use social media.
– Guidelines for how to respond to negative comments
– A frequently asked questions documents that various team members can refer to. This will help ensure consistency in messaging.
– A repository of brand related images staff can use for profile photos, cover photos, etc.
– A posting schedule for each social media channel.
Having a social media plan in place will help you respond to questions and comments in a consistent manner. But the “cut and paste” method of responding to comments, particularly to criticisms can lead to some pretty significant backlash.
While having prepared responses in place for commonly asked questions can certainly save you some time, use them with caution. Keep in mind that criticisms, negative feedback and specific questions should generally be met with thoughtful, personalised responses.
Which channel works for you?
Just because a social networking site exists does not mean you have to use it. Spreading yourself thin by committing to too many networks can mean you are not using any of them effectively.
Instead of spreading your valuable time and resources between eight sites, considers choosing the top five, three or even two sites that are the best match for your target market. It is better to fully commit to a regular posting schedule on a few networks than letting many lie dormant.
Avoiding these mistakes all comes down to ensuring your team is properly trained, using your resources wisely and responding to your fans and followers in a professional manner. When it comes down to it, treating your social media followers the same way you would treat in-store customers or clients will help you avoid the worst of these mistakes.