For new businesses and marketers, social media can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. Though it offers so much potential, it’s undeniable that it also has pitfalls. There’s no book on how to use social media the “right way”, but, unfortunately, there is a wrong way for you to use it. Whether it’s the customer’s comment or the company’s post, negativity is always present.
Of course, when mistakes do happen, there’s always a way to make it up to your viewers. There are things you can do to rise back up. But even with the knowledge of how to manage mistakes, it’s still best to not commit any when possible.
The best way to avoid mistakes is by knowing what not to do. Here are 9 things you should never do on social media:
Forgetting to Edit Your Posts
When you write a blog or any article, you wouldn’t dare publish it without editing and proofreading it, right? The same principle should be practiced on social media. Don’t tweet or publish any post without editing and proofreading it. Everything you post on your social media becomes a part of your digital footprint, even the things you delete, and miscommunication can change your customer’s perception of your brand. A single typo could sink your credibility and deplete your customer loyalty.
Concentrating on Only One Platform
You might think it would be easier to just be on one platform and concentrate your brand growth there. Maybe you’d choose Facebook since it has over 2-billion active users every month. The downside of only limiting yourself on one platform is that you’ll miss out on other connections you might make on other platforms.
Different social media platforms have different audiences, and they are designed to meet the needs of various types of people. Just like your business has a target audience, so too does Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Take for example LinkedIn – a social network for professionals and B2B marketing, that rather than followers and subscribers, you have connections and groups.
Other platforms, like TikTok, are far less professional and are widely used by the younger generation. If your target audience is between the ages of 14-24, you’d lose traffic and potential customers by not having an account here.
Branch out and find out what platforms work best for your brand. You need not have accounts on all platforms, but you do need to know on which platforms your target audience hangs out.
Marketing Without a Strategy
Having a business plan and goals maps out your road to success. Having a strategy for social media marketing is the same. Without one, you’ll be driving around in a circle, never knowing the direction you ought to take. No matter how great your content is, if there’s no one to see and read it, your efforts will be in vain. You should include these things in your strategy:
- The target audience for each platform in use.
- Content schedules.
- Communication tactics.
- Metric tool management.
- Time investment.
Sharing and Referencing Sensitive Material
Social media is a place of calm and relaxed atmosphere, it’s a part of its charm where people relieve their stress and get inspired. Social media lets businesses interact with their customers less formally. Aside from the casual conversation, it’s important to protect your reputation so as much as possible, avoid sharing offensive material.
Ignoring Negative Feedback
A grave mistake any marketer can make is ignoring customer feedback, especially the negative ones. Negative feedback brings light to the experience that your customer had. When a customer has an issue with your product or service, an apology should be issued. Not all companies have money-back guarantees, but all should have the common courtesy to apologize.
Ignoring a customer complaint has an adverse effect. It’s just one person, so it might not be worth your time, but that negative feedback is visible to everyone. The way a company deals with negative feedback has a great impact on consumer opinion. Here are some tips you can do to deal with bad reviews:
Honesty. Nobody’s perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. If the fault is yours, then be transparent about it. Your consumers will appreciate your honesty.
Recompense if possible. Not all situations will require a refund, but when it does, offer it to the customer. Sometimes, all the customer needs is an apology, and that’s okay too.
Be empathetic. When you can’t do anything, try to see the situation from the customer’s perspective. Empathizing helps.
Be professional. Some negative feedback may be rude and can sometimes hit below the belt. When this is the case, it can be hard to keep your cool but don’t forget that this is not personal. Stand behind your brand and be the voice that you want your customer to remember when they see your company logo.
Being Too Formal and Uptight
It’s important to always stay professional, yet social media is where businesses can be a bit laid-back and relaxed. After all, it’s where you engage with your customers. This is your opportunity to relax and have fun. This is where you show your content in a lighthearted manner so that you can show this other side of your brand to your audience. Try different types of posts that will humanize your brand, maybe some tasteful humor, personal anecdotes, or some behind-the-scenes footage. Try posting content like:
- “Introducing the office” videos
- Memes that poke fun at your own brand
- Contests which include audience interaction
Separating your Social Media and Website
Your online presence is made up of everything you have online that your brand takes part in, this includes all the social media you have, your website, blog, press releases, etc. All the content that you can control should be connected to all platforms so your brand can be coherent.
Separating your social media and website will mean that you’ll lose precious traffic. Make sure that your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media links to your website, and vice versa. Having your social media buttons on your website will help users share your brand with their family and friends. This will then drive more traffic, higher conversion rates, and revenue increase.
Disregarding and Not Monitoring your Automated Tools
It can be tempting to make things simple by automating everything and then forget about it, but this isn’t the practical way to do things. Automation tools may let you schedule posts to multiple platforms but they are not perfect. Bugs and human errors can occur and should be considered.
Have a second set of eyes on your automation tools, this will help keep things run smoothly and mistake-free.
Sharing Political Posts
Nowadays, social media is too often used as a platform for people to share their political views. While this is fine for customers to do, as a business it would be best to remain neutral.
For example, celebrating Pride Month. This is great but there is a less aggressive way to do so. Doing a post about encouraging people to vote is a much better thing to do than pushing your personal political opinion. You won’t only have the possibility of offending people, your brand could also lose business by having a strong political opinion. This is one area that you need to separate your personal and business life.
Social media is a great marketing tool, and like any other, it requires a plan and confidence from the people working behind it. Do your research, have regular maintenance and keep a strong sense of customer service to achieve success.
Mistakes occur, that’s inevitable, but no matter what happens, it’s possible to come out of it and bounce back. There are ways to deal with them, and how you deal with these mistakes is what matters most. However, knowing what not to do can help you avoid these mistakes beforehand, so make sure to keep the things stated above in mind.