14 Mar 5 Social Media Bad Habits To Break Right Now
When you first catapulted your business into the social media universe, you probably didn’t think that managing your social media accounts would be that complicated. After all, if 13-year-old tweens have millions following their every selfie, surely your business can garner enough of a following to close a couple of sales.
But if your only experience with social media is from your personal profile, you’re missing out on important data that could make or break your business’s online presence. Unlike personal pages that can reflect the highs and lows of a single person’s mood swings, your social media presence needs to be consistent, professional, and engaging in order to bring any lasting benefits to your company.
Read our blog to discover five of the worst social media practices so that your business can avoid making the internet’s wall of shame with your social media posts.
1. Lacking Brand Guidelines
Businesses that don’t establish brand guidelines risk sounding like moody teenagers or inexperienced robots on social media—and they also waste time and energy on ineffective campaigns. Before you create a profile or click “Post,” decide what kind of persona you want for your brand.
Determine the tone of your company, the logos and visuals you want used, and your target audience. If you own a small craft business with a homey, local feel, use a traditional, simplistic tone to reach clients in your area. In contrast, if you market products for extreme sports, you’ll want to include high-energy expressions and edgy photos to capture the imagination of your client base.
Once you’ve established your brand’s personality, focus in on your purpose. Every tweet, Facebook status update, or Instagram post should have a specific strategy behind it. Train your employees to represent your brand, and you’ll create a consistent message to your potential customers across all social media platforms.
2. Monologuing Instead of Dialoguing
Once you’ve caught the vision of your company’s persona, you might think that you can start posting all about your awesome products and services. Your social media page is supposed to be all about you, right?
WRONG. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube are designed to focus on engaging with your customers—not shoving your products in their faces like a pushy mall salesperson. Take advantage of the ongoing conversation to find out more about your customers and then respond to their needs appropriately. If your page is nothing more than an endless stream of not-so-humble brags about your company, you’ll turn off potential customers and lose a loyal following.
3. Spamming Your Followers
We all know that one guy who posts five times a day to update the internet about what he wore, what he ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack, and what his inane opinions are about the changing political situation. The internet coined a word for this syndrome: oversharing.
To avoid inundating your followers with information they might find irrelevant or downright irritating, pay attention to when and how frequently you post.
Studies show that internet users look at LinkedIn and Google+ in the morning hours, and scan Facebook and Twitter in the afternoon. During these times, share a short, insightful blurb and include an image to visually stimulate your followers. Avoid posting too many updates close together at the risk of clogging up the news feed and causing your followers to hide all your notifications.
You should also take care that the content of your posts doesn’t appear spammy. If you retweet or reblog every single person that mentions your company, your readers will tire of seeing your name over and over again.
Even useful tools, like embedded links and hashtags, can weigh down your posts if you use them too often. If your #brand includes #toomany #hashtags in each and every #post, your #users will assume that you’re just trying to draw attention to yourself, and they’ll stop paying attention to your underlying message. Stick to one or two hashtags max, and avoid associating your business with hashtags that contain offensive, negative, or explicit content—no matter how popular they may be.
4. Measuring the Wrong Statistics
Just because you increase your followers doesn’t mean you’re increasing your reach. Half of your followers could be other brands trying to increase their following. An additional 25% could be bots created to win money from giveaways and online sales. Which leaves only a remaining 25% of your followers who can actually respond to your posts.
Access analytics software to track not just your likes and follows, but also your engagement level with your audience. Tools like Google Analytics or Hootsuite can help you compile data for all your social media platforms to track your popularity and level of engagement with your followers.
5. Forgetting the Conversion Funnel
When it comes to your purpose, less is more. When you focus on one intention (such as lead generation or brand awareness), you have a singular goal for all of your online posts and interactions. In contrast, when you clutter your social media pages with multiple objectives, you risk confusing followers, or even driving traffic to sites other than your own.
Craft your social media posts with a call to action in mind, and make sure every word, image, or link in your posts drives your readers towards that action.
As you can see, there are many wrong ways to do social media. But when you avoid these five common pitfalls, you’ll be free to create the brand you’ve always wanted and interact with your customers in a whole new way. Remember these five tips when you create, post, or revise your social media plan and you won’t have to worry about what the internet thinks of your business.