A lot of articles and videos on the Internet tell you what you should do to succeed in using social media for your business – but there are not many out there that tell you what you should NOT do.
I have many clients, friends and readers that have asked me what are the NO NO’s when using social media for your business.
Social media etiquette and best practice should be first thing on the list to learn if you decide to start social media marketing for your business.
Some of the points mentioned below might work for your business in some cases – this is my personal opinion, and I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below. If ‘No No’s’ are working for your business, it would be great to hear your story.
I still see many companies that fail in their social media efforts, because they struggle to understand that what you share and talk about on your social media pages is NOT all about you and what YOU like.
It is your space to share your products, services, successes and the things that you as a company agree with or like – but you have to remember everyone has different opinions, likes and dislikes too. Make your fans, followers and customers happy – feed them good content that entertains, informs or educates them.
Not talking WITH them but AT them is a No No. Connect with your audience on their level; find out what they like by asking questions, testing different content and finding what works. You will not succeed overnight with 100+ likes or shares on all your content – it takes time, be patient.
Producing content, coming up with ideas, staying ahead with the trends and graphic design all takes time. If you want to be successful you need an employee or team, depending on the size of your business that deals with your social media as their designated job.
If there is one thing social media requires a lot of: time! After all the content is out of the way, engagement has to happen – comments that needs replying to, conversations that need to happen and customers’ needs that has to be addressed. And when all this is done, listening has to happen too. You have to track your competitors and what is being said about your company by using tools like Hootsuite, where you can set up streams to look for specific keywords.
‘Doing’ social media is much more than just posting a picture or sharing a piece of content for the day. Don’t employ someone to do your accounts, social media and admin – you will ‘pay more’ in the long run.
This is extremely important in any workplace. Your employees should know exactly what they can say and or share on the company pages. They should know what is acceptable and that there will be consequences for their behavior in the company’s public space.
Employees and owners should also be reminded that saying anything negative, sarcastic or pointing out mistakes publicly on social media is not going to help your company image at all. Yes, I still see this happening. Can you believe it?
Employees can be your best brand advocates, but only if used right. Brands become stronger by getting employees involved in social media efforts. At the end of the day their employment and professional reputation rely on the success of the brand.
Companies who recognise the potential of their employees are likely to have a monetary advantage – connecting with a greater number people, more rapidly, and on a deeper level.
Just because you have a Facebook profile and Twitter page yourself, doesn’t mean that you know how to use social media for your business.
Get employees, bosses and owners involved by all means by getting suggestions from them, make them feel a part of the company by listening to their opinions – but this doesn’t mean that ‘because the boss said so’ it should go into the social media strategy.
Social media is a place to be social. People use it to connect, chat and share with friends, families and brands or businesses they like. If your audience is talking to you, you should respond. Would you ignore a client’s call or email to you? No you wouldn’t, so why do it on social media platforms?
It is very important to not delete a comment from an angry customer. Instead, address it very professionally and politely. Angry customers can be a very good tool for marketing if handled well. Your good customer service should shine through.
Also respond to positive interaction as much as possible. Thank your audience and make them feel valued by your business.
This one seems pretty obvious, but some companies still get this wrong. It is very important to have branding on your content; even having a small logo in the corner is fine.
You also have to use the same tone of voice across all platforms. Make sure the logo or same picture is used for your profile picture so people can easily recognise you through all the noise.
You think it is ‘cool’ to add words to your posts or comments like bullshit, idiot, crap or bastard – it is not ‘cool’ and can be construed as limited intelligence and can also be indicative of a lack of class. Also remember that under-aged users might be part of your following.
That being said though, overuse of high English can also be considered arrogant by some. I think the easiest way to manage this is to post statements you’d feel comfortable sharing with your clients in person.
In summary, if you decide to use social media for your business you have to take everything into account. If you give it half the attention it deserves, you will see half of the results. You have to realize like I said earlier ‘doing’ social media is much more than just posting a picture or sharing a piece of content for the day.
Over to you: Please share your experience or questions with me in the comments below!