There are some very common social media mistakes that business owners make which are not only annoying to consumers; they can (and do) actually drive customers away from your brand.
Social media can be an absolute boon for your business and for your brand.
Yet if you get your approach wrong, it can quickly destroy your social reputation. Once your brand’s reputation is damaged, it is very difficult to rectify this.
With unlimited competition just a click or two away, it’s extremely easy for consumers to find another brand to fill their needs if you turn them off with the way you use social media, by your tone, or how you post.
You want your social media presence to be commendable as opposed to cringeworthy.
Why do people follow brands on social media?
- They are interested in a product or service
- They are offered incentives
- They are interested in promotions
- They find the social media profile entertaining
- They wish to communicate with a brand
- Their friends or family follow the brand
Why do people unfollow brands on social media?
- Too many promotions
- Too much tweeting/posting
- Irrelevant content
- Inappropriate use of jargon or slang that doesn’t comply with brand identity
- Erratic posting
- Failure to reply to comments /messages
What social behaviours by businesses are most annoying to consumers?
(aka what NOT to do!)
1. Poor grammar and spelling
Aside from copious numbers of selfies and political memes (which have no place on a social page that is used for business in any case!) poor spelling and grammar are the top most annoying things to social media users as a whole, according to market research.
It is critical that you get these correct – so employ a professional editor or proof-reader to check your posts before publishing them if you are unsure.
Your business page needs to reflect your brand identity, and no matter what that identity is, even if it’s fun and casual, it needs to comply with a basic level of professionalism and attention to detail.
Lack of care with spelling and grammar reflect poorly on you and your brand.
Some social media users will be none the wiser if you get these things incorrect, but many will – and they will not look upon you favourably for it.
2. Begging for likes
If you are too obviously focused on getting likes for your page (which makes it all about you, not your audience) you will lose credibility with followers.
You should be using social media to engage with your target audience – not to boost your own ego with likes or broadcast without reciprocation.
Instead of blatantly asking for likes, shares, and comments, provide content that compels audiences to do so: Create content that makes your audience excited to join the conversation.
3. Improper hashtag use
Some people really love the hashtag – the more of these they can squeeze into a single post the better.
These are often the same people who are likely to pepper their verbal conversations with “hashtag: awkward” and similar statements.
We get it. Use them to your heart’s content on your personal pages – some people will love it and it won’t matter so much if others think you are a tool for doing so.
But when it comes to any business profile on social media, you need to use hashtags wisely and appropriately.
Use a limited number of hashtags per post – two or three at most – and make them count. Only use hashtags that are appropriate to your business, industry, or individual post.
Never hijack trending hashtags for business purposes if your content doesn’t relate directly – for example, don’t use a natural or social disaster to promote your business with a hashtag.
This is unforgiveable and people will notice you for all the wrong reasons. Don’t use a hashtag to buy into a conversation that has nothing to do with you or what you are offering.
And consider very carefully before you use hashtags on Facebook – they are much more effective and appropriate to Twitter and Instagram.
4. Ignoring criticism
You are going to receive negative feedback or criticism in the public forum of social media at some point, no matter how great you are.
It may be deserved; it may be from an online troll. It may be constructive criticism, venting, requesting customer service to solve an issue, or from someone who simply likes to complain (many people do!).
You can’t ignore negative feedback – except when it is obviously from a troll, who is looking to provoke and escalate.
Always respond calmly, concisely, and offer to take the issue to a private forum such as a phone call, email, or direct message. Be polite and non-reactive – you need to be proactive, even in the face of negativity that is completely undeserved.
5. Posting too often
You need to maintain an active presence on social media, but be wary of overwhelming your audience.
Too many posts can be annoying to the point that followers hit the “unfollow” button, and too much posting can result in your posts becoming lost in your followers’ newsfeeds.
Be aware that not every single follower will see every post. Ideally, post to Facebook once per day – twice at most – during times when you have analysed that your posts get the most response.
Instagram and Twitter can receive more frequent posting, but remember to keep it to a basic level so that your followers actually want more and are looking forward to your posts.
6. Posting untruths
Authenticity is key to keeping and building your fan and follower numbers on social media.
Posting or sharing content that is blatantly untrue or later proven to be a hoax will not stand you in good stead.
Check before you share that what you are sharing is true. Check your facts. Never knowingly spread false information.
If you do share or post content you later learn is incorrect, delete the post and apologise for your human error.
7. You’re all talk
Social media is the place to show your audience what you can offer them – so you need great quality visual content.
There’s nothing wrong with posting text-based content, but include appropriate visuals to connect further with your audience. This applies even to text-based Twitter, where tweets with an attached image perform markedly better than text-only tweets do.
A few other things to avoid….
- Liking your own posts
- Being spammy
- Following everyone who follows you
- Following nobody
- Neglecting your profile
- Relying 100% on automation
Social media works for branding and business marketing precisely because it differs so greatly from traditional marketing and advertising.
Consumers look for deeper connections with the brands they choose and when you do social media marketing properly, being yourself and considering your audience first and foremost, you personalise yourself and your business, fostering these connections and developing relationships for loyalty and lead generation.
You need to work mindfully to make sure you avoid the above mentioned social media mistakes.