10 Social Media Practices You Should Avoid
Again, it’s powerful.
But, when using social networks, there are certain practices you should avoid to prevent harming your brand’s image, credibility, and authority.
An article at Entrepreneur.com listed eight mistakes to avoid. Here is the gist of their list.
Social Media Practices to Avoid
1. Who’s managing the social media store?
If you have a social media department, you absolutely need to monitor the person in charge. One of the quickest ways to lose engagement and credibility is to have someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing controlling your posts, images, activity, and communications.
Be in control of your brand and what it represents on social media.
2. Negativity and responses.
In any element of marketing, there is bound to be someone who has something negative to say.
Keep in mind that social media brings thousands and thousands of people from all over the world to your doorstep. Negativity is bound to popup somewhere.
The Entrepreneur article suggests responding quickly and responsibly to try to calm the naysayer.
This is the advisable thing to do in any business situation. Be the one who keeps it low-key. Be the one who is the peacemaker.
Find out all the details of the complaint and work to find a solution that appeases the ‘negative one’ and works for you also.
Don’t ignore negative feedback.
3. Seen those Buy Like / Follow Ads?
This one should be a no-brainer. No legitimate business owner / marketer would buy ‘follows’ or ‘likes.’ It’s just unethical.
In addition to this, the social engines have ways to find fake followers or fans. Why risk having your account closed for unethical practices.
If you provide valuable content on a regular basis to your social networks, you will get followers and likes from ‘real’ users who value your content.
4. Same thing over and over.
What type of content do you post to your social network?
Is it the same thing over and over? Do you keep repeating the same blog post? Do you have lines and lines of individual ‘thank yous’ for everyone who follows you, who retweets your tweets, who shares your post, without any valuable content in between?
These are no-nos.
Try to mix it up. Give your audience what they’re following you for of course, but also give bits of this and that. Show your personality a bit.
5. Promoting what you offer is good, but . . .
In business, it’s important to provide much more value compared to promotion. The rule of thumb was 80/20, but I think that’s a bit low.
To be safe, you should provide 85-90% quality content and 15-10% promotion.
Your audience doesn’t want to be ‘sold’ to. They want to learn from you. They want to be entertained or engaged by you. Make it about them.
I’ve just recently started putting a promotional tweet every 8 hours or so to Twitter. It comes out to be every 8th or 9th or 10th tweet that I post. In between, I provide much more valuable information that will help my audience one way or another compared to my promotional tweets.
6. Are you consistent?
Whether it’s search engines or your audience, consistency rules. You don’t have to share content every hour, but whatever you do, be consistent. If you can, try for once a day for a minimum.
Don’t feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to write a post every day, just share a blog post you read that’s informative. There are tons of articles; you can certainly find one a day to share to your social networks. You can also share other users’ tweets and posts.
If once a day is too much, go for a couple of times a week. Just be consistent.
I started out tweeting and posting to my social channels three times a week, plus I shared the content of others here and there. I took it up-a-notch to every two-three hours. Now, I’m at around every hour. I work hard to keep it consistent. And, because of that, I have pretty good engagement.
7. Being robotic with your audience.
If you’re working social media right, you should be getting audience engagement. This means mentions, likes, favorites, retweets, shares, direct messages, and so on.
First off, acknowledge those who engage with you. Thank them, talk to them, share their content.
And, try to follow through on what you say or agree to.
Value and appreciate your audience. Be kind, thoughtful, and personal when the occasion arises.
8. You try to be everywhere.
I’ve written about this before. You can’t possibly work all the social networks and you shouldn’t want to.
Monitor and test the networks you’re working. Find the one to three that work best for you and work them.
I found Twitter, GooglePlus, and LinkedIn are good fits for my audience. And, I’ve recently started posting more to Pinterest, but don’t do much more there. Maybe when I have time I will.
Better to be effective with a smaller audience than be ineffective with a larger one.
9. What exactly is it you do?
The first thing I do when someone follows or connects with me is go to their profile. If the profile is blank or lists ‘this, that, and the other,’ I don’t connect back.
Sometimes, if I’m unsure of the user’s brand, I’ll scroll down his posts to see what they’re about. But, having to do this takes time.
Another problem that arises when your profile isn’t clear is the question of where to put you on lists. Social channels like Twitter and GooglePlus, allow you to put your connections in a particular list, such as writing, technology, content marketing, and environmental. This is a great marketing feature. But, if a user’s profile says she’s a wife, mother, baker, traveler, philosopher, race car driver, and marketing expert . . .
You get the idea.
Make your profile crystal clear as to what your brand is.
10. You send auto-direct messages to new followers.
This ‘practice to avoid’ is for Twitter users.
Your new connections will know the auto-DM isn’t a generic.
Some users will unfollow users who send auto-DMs.
For a bit more on using auto-DMs, you can read:
Social Media Marketing - Should You Use Twitter Auto-Direct Messaging?
So, this covers the eight tips from the Entrepreneur article and two more of my own. Do you have any other suggestions on what not to do in your social media accounts?
To read the Entrepreneur article, go to:
8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand
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