The Worst Things You Could Do On Social Media
We all follow those companies and friends on social media that just make us cringe. It could be for a number of reasons like: your Great Aunt Sue who likes and comments on every single photo on Facebook, or the realtor that only retweets Twitter posts, but never has anything original to say. Although these social media habits make us annoyed, we can actually learn a thing or two from these behaviors.
Whether you use social media personally or professionally, here are some of the worst things you could do on social media.
Over-posting can be compared to the “cry-wolf” case. When we post about anything and everything, our audience will eventually tune us out. So when we have something really important to say, it won’t be heard because we’ve “cried wolf” too many times before. Over-posting can also become intrusive and cause our audience to unfollow us. Remember, less is more!
On the flip side, under-posting can be just as irritating to your audience - and it certainly does not help your brand image. When you post once a month and then drop off the radar, people question if you are even in business still - and we don’t want that!
The key is to have a plan. Post consistently, even if it’s once a month. We strongly recommend using a content calendar so you have designated days you’re committed to posting on social media. This will help fix the problem of posting 3 times in one week then not posting again for a month. A content calendar will also help you create a streamlined message for your audience and they will come to expect certain types of posts from you.
2. Being Unresponsive to Messages and Comments
Did you know that Facebook actually gives you kudos when you respond to messages? This credit is given because Facebook understands the importance of responding to private messages in a timely manner - and how that makes your audience feel. We understand that it is never fun to receive that 1 star review on Facebook or the negative review on Google. If you want to see your boss get frustrated, show him/her a bad review of their company!
“Social media is based upon transparency and authenticity”
Not responding to messages, reviews and comments can give your audience the impression that you aren’t listening and you don’t care. Most people take to social media to vent and rant about their experiences primarily because they are trying to get acknowledgement from another party. In the end, people just want to be heard. Social media was designed to allow individuals and businesses to be transparent. This can work to your benefit! You have a platform to respond and prove that your audience is being heard.
We’ve said it before, the smartest thing you can do is respond. So first and foremost, have a social media response plan. Initiate guidelines for when it is appropriate for negative reviews to be flagged, harsh comments to be removed and when it is time to ban people from your pages. A social media response plan isn’t just for the negative interactions. Comment and respond to the positive comments and reviews! Why? Because it adds a humanistic level to your company pages and shows that you care and you are listening.
Over-promoting and being “salesy” on social media is just annoying. Companies and individuals who boast about how great they are or posts that glorify their services, can expect a quick unfollow by their viewers. It’s important to express your expertise and level of experience, but it’s more important to provide value to your audience. First and foremost, earn the trust of your followers…the sale will come.
Abide by the 80/20 rule. Build into your content calendar the 80/20 rule. Provide 80% valuable content that will interest and engage your audience. Then the remaining 20% of the time, create self promotional posts - but, don’t be salesy. No one likes to be told what to buy!
4. Consistency in Your Message
Remember that your social media platforms are a representation of your business, and more importantly your brand. So when you post incredibly long posts, ramble on for days or have a post full of typos - that is a reflection on your business and brand. Another thing to consider is your graphics. Again, your graphics and videos should represent your brand. So posting funny memes may or may not be part of your social media strategy. When it comes to using clipart and Google Images - does that represent your brand? It just might - but, think before your post and ask yourself: how does this serve my audience, is it relevant, and does it represent my brand?
Use digital content such as photos and videos - this is vital. But, make sure your content stays consistent to your branding - colors, fonts, themes, etc. Make sure your audience can identify with your brand when they see a graphic or video. Brand recognition from your viewers stems from the aesthetics of your social platforms. Secondly, proof read! Use tools like Grammarly to help catch those “your/you’re” mistakes.
5. Ignoring Analytics
How do you know if your content is effective if you aren’t paying attention to the stats? Sure, we can measure our success and campaigns based on actions on social media, but it is so important to monitor your analytics. This data can give you insight into what content your audience likes most, when to post, when not to post, what time to post, etc. You can then build this into your content strategy and even better, align your content calendar based on the data you collect.
There are some great (free) analytic trackers out there. Most social platforms have analytics built into the platform. Facebook, for example, has an incredible analytics section. Instagram also has some decent insight into post performances. There are also tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social (a paid reporting tool) that can give you an even deeper insight into your social media performances. Our recommendation though, is to do a thorough analysis every 3 months. Nit-picking over a single month just is not ideal. Give it a couple months to marinate.
Social media can make a world of difference for your business and personal brand if used effectively. Keeping your audience at the forefront of your social media strategy will help you be successful. If you’re looking for a tune-up on your social media best practices, or want to sit down for a social media review and training session, feel free to reach out to us!