Social media misfires and how to avoid them

Social media failsTo succeed in the world of digital marketing, social media must be part of your strategy – and you can’t afford to get it wrong. In fact, according to a study by Pitney Bowes Software, 65% of consumers say that they would stop buying from a business that upset or irritated them with their social media behaviour. Here are some of the most common social media faux pas and how you can avoid them:

Saying nothing

The whole point of social media is that it is social (surprise!), so one of the worst things you can do is set up your profiles and then stay schtum. Do everything you can to connect with your audience – statuses, retweets, favourites and shares – and don’t forget to comment on other people’s posts as well. Part of building a community is engaging in conversation – ignore everyone else and you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Mishandling negative feedback

Social media is an open forum, so it’s entirely possible that you’ll receive some negative feedback at some point. Your initial feeling may be one of embarrassment but this is actually a great opportunity to demonstrate your excellent customer service skills to the world. Giving a helpful, timely answer can turn the situation around and turn a negative into a positive. On the other hand, saying something rude or condescending (or saying nothing at all!) will see your reputation plummet in a matter of minutes.

Automating everything

Social media marketing can be really time consuming, and scheduling software like Tweetdeck, Sprout Social and Hootsuite can certainly help to take some of the pressure off – but whatever you do, don’t schedule everything. Consumers can tell if you’ve loaded up all of your tweets for the week in one day – this robotic lack of enthusiasm can be really off putting, and you’ll miss out on any breaking news or exciting stories that might come up in your industry. By all means, schedule some of your statuses, but be sure to get in on some real-time action too.

Talking shop too much

You’ve created your social profiles for your company, so of course, you’ll be posting content that’s relevant to your offering. However, one of the key points that many companies don’t realise is that it’s perfectly fine to talk about other things too! You can engage in conversations about everything from breakfast to birthdays, local news to life choices – as long as you stay professional, it’s good to have a timeline with a little diversity, because it gives your brand a bit of personality.

Focusing on fan count

Many brands think having lots of fans is the ultimate sign of success – and whilst having lots of followers and fans is often a good sign, it means nothing if your engagement levels are miniscule. Regardless of whether your pages have 100 or 10,000 fans, try and interact with as many of them as possible. A good service and a friendly attitude are what will inspire your fans to do business with you, and that’s true irrespective of the total number.