No Social Media Activity
Without a doubt, the most common mistake businesses make on social media is simply not using it. How can you expect to get any traction from a platform you never use? Many companies create an online presence with the best of intentions. However, they soon find out that it takes a lot of effort to do it right, and end up stopping. All this does is kill your social media. If you are going to have a presence, ensure you are committed from the very beginning to do it right.
As much as not posting can be a fatal mistake, it is equally as bad to post too much. People like to commit to companies and brands. They like to feel like they are talking, and that others are listening. What they do not like, on the other hand, is for their feed to fill up with spam.
If you post too much, your customers will start to unfollow you, and actively avoid your pages. Spamming is death for any online presence. Without eyes to see your content, what good is it? The key here is moderation. Post regularly, but not so much that you become an annoying presence that people want to get rid of.
Being Too Pushy
One thing is true, regardless of whether it is in-person or digital: no one likes overly pushy sales tactics. In person, that takes the form of a salesperson who will not leave you alone, not taking “no” for an answer. Online, it mostly looks like companies that only use their platforms to make a sale.
If all you are doing is trying to sell, then you are missing out on the meaningful aspects of social media. What is that? Making connections. Giving the audience a chance to interact with your brand. Reaching out and allowing consumers to engage in a new and meaningful way.
To hijack a popular phrase: “If all you’re doing on social media is trying to sell, you’re doing it wrong”.
Removing Negative Feedback
No one likes to read a negative review. When that review is in print, there is nothing much you can do about it. When it shows up on your own social media page, it is a different story. Many companies look at these negative reviews and decide to do something about them. Many accounts decide to delete negative comments and reviews whenever possible. The problem is, you can bet those who posted them will notice the omission, and call you out on it. Deleting those comments shows customers that you are not willing to be honest and open with them. Bottom line: people do not like being lied to.
Poor Customer Service
Social media is a great and easy avenue for two-way communication. Because of this, it has naturally become another method for customers to contact a company whenever they have a problem. Platforms like Twitter allow consumers to message companies directly. The best companies – those committed to excellent customer service – recognize the importance of this and respond accordingly.
They listen to complaints and help out with problems. In this way, social media has become an excellent customer service tool. Even more, customers now expect this level of service. When they reach out, and you ignore it, it can destroy your reputation as a business that cares about customers.
Failing to Respond
Customers are looking for you to respond when they reach out with concerns and complaints. However, that is not the only response they are looking for. Because social media demands constant two-way communication, users expect a response. When you fail to respond, you send a message that you do not care about your followers.
It is vital for your followers to know that you are out there, listening to them. Respond as much as you can – not just the negative posts, but the positive ones as well. Or even the random ones. Every response you post shows customers that you care about them and what they have to say.
Being too Formal
In any marketing campaign, tone is crucial. Striking the wrong tone rubs your customers the wrong way. In social media, many companies make the mistake of coming across as too formal. They forget that social media is a place for friends and family to connect informally and casually.
Instead, they end up coming across like every other TV spot or billboard – which is exactly the wrong tone. Failing to adapt makes the company sound stiff, formal and out of touch with the times. Once you have this reputation, good luck getting rid of it! Obviously, this is not the look you want for your brand. Instead, keep it light, simple and informal without becoming too familiar.
Making Content Mistakes
It has long been stated that pointing out grammar and spelling mistakes online is a sign that you are losing an argument. That might be true, but those trivial mistakes take on a whole new significance when a business does it. When companies fail to send out posts that are error-free, it sends the wrong kind of message. It speaks to a brand that does not pay attention to detail. It begs the question: if a business is careless about that, what else is it careless about? It might seem small, but mistakes like that give people the idea that your company is sloppy and untrustworthy.
With all the negativity that abounds on social media, it might seem like bashing your competition is a no-brainer. After all, it is an informal place where people let off steam, right? Unfortunately, while that sort of thing might be okay for personal accounts, the public expects more from their favorite companies.
Slamming your competitors sends a message of elitism, mean-spiritedness and unfair play that you do not want associated with you. Instead, take the opportunity to keep your social media positive and uplifting. You will find your followers much more willing to respond to those sorts of posts.
Negative Public Reactions to Campaigns
A popular way to engage followers and make interactive content is by involving your audience. Hashtag campaigns, requests for consumer input – these are all ways companies get their followers in on the campaign.
The problem is, all too often these sorts of campaigns can get hijacked. When this happens, a well-meaning idea turns into a nightmare. Not to say that you should never attempt a campaign like this. However, it is good to be aware of how easy it is for one to go wrong. To avoid this, the best advice is to monitor the response – and do not be afraid to pull the plug.
While all of the previous mistakes are completely within your control, not all mistakes fall into that category. Sometimes, events happen outside in the rest of the world that you cannot plan for. Unfortunately, these events can wreak havoc with your social media timeline.
More than one company has made an ill-timed post that just so happened to tie in with an unforeseen tragedy. While these are nobody’s fault, the real problem comes with failing to act quickly to do damage control. It is understood that people and businesses are going to make mistakes. Failing to act promptly and do damage control can tank your brand’s reputation.
As you can see, social media is a tricky minefield. While some brands have done it right, more than one has made one of the fatal mistakes listed above. If you would like help in getting your social media presence just right, contact us at BGMS today.