Let’s face it, businesses today need to be on social media. We can’t avoid it, and it doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you have to be active on some form of social media. Restaurants should use Facebook and Twitter, lawyers and accountants need Linked In, and contractors should embrace Pinterest or Instagram.
Social media is here to stay and if you want your business to be here to stay as well, you need social media. That said, there are a number of things you shouldn’t do on social media; the following list is not everything that shouldn’t be done, but it’s a good start for what to avoid.
- Automate too much
- Post uninteresting content
- Buy followers
- Ignore negative responses
Small business owners (and marketing department professionals) are always pressed for time and are always looking for short-cuts. We've all also learned in life that short-cuts save time, but might not be the best route if there are potholes in the road. In social media, the potholes are automated responses that arrive in Twitter feeds or inboxes mere seconds after a lead fulfills a certain set of parameters. Sure, the information that was automatically sent is important, but when it arrives so fast, the lead knows it was automated. Setting a time delay helps with this. Yes, some things should be automated, but personal responses are always better.
Have you ever seen a boring blog title in a tweet and clicked on it to read more? Of course not! So, do not write boring tweets, Facebook posts, or post sleepy time videos unless you're selling sleepy time videos. Instead, listen to your customers, learn what interests them, both in your industry and in their lives, and write about that. Or, simply link to those items. Engage your customers with a question to answer that will supply you with interesting tidbits to explore. You'd be surprised at how much your customers know!
3. Burning money
Your followers must be organic in order for more people to see your company as honest, which leads to more genuine followers. Savvy, prospective clients and customers understand that followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest can be purchased, so they know that a small, local business in Chester County, Pennsylvania won't likely have 3,000 followers from China. And yes, prospects do click on followers to determine if they are real. Bottom line, just don't do it.
4. If I don't engage, they didn't say bad things, right?
Wrong. If you don't engage with a negative review or comment, you lose the opportunity to fix a problem. Sure, people remember problems, but even more people remember how problems were solved. Thank them for their comment, offer to help and continue to follow up. Sure, some reviewers just like being trolls, but for the most part, taking care of a negative review will create a repeat customer or at least show other customers you are listening to their needs.
These are just a few of the mistakes businesses make on social media. There are many more (and we've learned from a few of them ourselves), so keep checking back for more social media tips!