Social media marketing done well can be a great thing indeed. It’s largely free, and, if you connect with the right people at the right time, then you can suddenly see you brand’s popularity literally snowball overnight.
However, when it’s done badly, the opposite can be true. A poorly managed social media campaign can do irreparable damage to a brand’s image, which, once shot, is almost impossible to recover.
You’d think in this day and age when social media is all the rage (even your granny has a Facebook account, right?) that by now businesses would be well-versed in what they have to do in order to make their various platforms work for them.
However, as you will no doubt already know very keenly from some of the appalling messages that brands continue to put out into their social networks, this just simply isn’t the case.
Some things you can’t go wrong with: for everyone who follows you on Twitter, you follow them back – easy money. For every fan who leaves a positive comment on one of your Facebook posts, you like their comment and leave a smiley response J.
This is the bread and butter stuff that really no one should be getting confused with (and if you’re not doing these things, then for goodness sakes start now, as the rest of this article will likely give you a serious shock!).
But, just making these basic moves is not quite enough to ensure that you’re making the most out of your presence on social media. In fact, there may things that you are doing right now that could be having a negative effect on your brand and your online persona.
We don’t want you to be doing this, which is why we have put together the following list of 3 social media mistakes that you should be avoiding at all costs. Here goes…
Top 3 Social Media Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs
#1. Mishandling Negative Feedback
Not all the engagement that you get on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed is going to be positive. If you think it is, then perhaps you aren’t really quite cut out for the business world. The truth of the matter is that no matter how good you think your product is or services are, occasionally someone is going to disagree.
And when they do, the person in question might very well leave a decidedly negative comment on your wall – and when this happens you have to respond.
If you say nothing, then this shows quite publicly that you simply do not value your customers and their opinions. If you respond with equal negativity, then you are simply showing that you cannot handle criticism, and that at best you’re dismissive of anyone who has a different point of view than you, at worst that you’re simply rude and best avoided. Here’s what Tweeter Tammy Gordon let the world see when Hawke & Co decided to be rude on Twitter to one of it’s customers:
Remember, social media is public, and even if the person who submits his/her complaint only has a meagre following, the Twittersphere is just waiting for a brand to make a mistake like this, and you will not get away with it. Hawke & Co’s message went viral, but for all the wrong reasons.
#2. Paying For Likes And Followers
This is an absolute cardinal sin that really gets my goat. Brands who have to pay for likes and followers in order to make themselves feel successful are simply kidding themselves and the few real followers that they’ve actually managed to organically accumulate.
Regardless of what you might think, padding out your Twitter following with 5,000 fake followers is not a harmless endeavour. For one thing, your real fans will notice, and all of a sudden your credibility will plummet and you’ll actually end up losing the only people who were ever really taking an interest in you in the first place.
And the same goes for Facebook. Entrepreneur.com offers the following warning:
“Did you know that buying Facebook fans can actually hurt your brand by decreasing your overall reach?
“Fake fans will never interact or engage with your page, signaling to Facebook that your content isn’t interesting or valuable to your audience. This leads to an overall algorithmic decrease in your post reach and visibility. You could also find your account being closed, banned or deleted should Facebook find out about your schemes.”
Buying fake followers is no better than spamming real ones. Don’t do it.
#3. Resorting To Tasteless, Ill-conceived Posts
I’m not going to write muchfor this one – I just want to show you what I mean.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, Epicurious for some reason thought it was a good idea to tweet this…
… it wasn’t.
Fashion designer Kenneth Cole also made a similar gaffe when trying to piggyback the Arab Spring (of all things) as a means of promoting a new line of clothing. Prepare to cringe…
Mr Cole did at least apologise for this faux pas later on Facebook – but it really shouldn’t have got to this stage:
“I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate. Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer”
However, if we look back to point number 1 on this list – Cole’s response isn’t actually too bad for handling negative comments. He owned his mistake, and that’s about all he could do.
What are the most prolific social media mistakes that annoy you? Please share with us below.
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