Unfortunately, there is no handbook to using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. We learn as we go and pick up on different techniques. Sometimes we don’t realize what we’re doing is annoying to our followers. Sad, but true. Just like there are unofficial do’s and don’ts to using social media on a personal level, there are things we should avoid on a professional level. If you’re looking to improve your company's official sites, here are seven things NOT to do on social media!
1. Having automated responses
While I understand the convenience of having just one automated reply to everything you receive…it’s a bad idea. Not everyone will be saying the same thing. If you think your company will only receive positive comments, then it’s time for you to come out from under the rock. More often than not, the first (and only time) people will contact your page is if they’re unhappy about something. If Deborah in California tweets you about her bad experience with your company, it will only make matters worse if all she heard back was “Thank you. We hope you had a lovely visit.” Not only would that make no sense, but it comes off as insensitive.
2. Posting the same picture on every site
If someone follows your company on every platform, they’re going to get bored if they see the same picture on every site. What ends up happening is that they’ll only follow one platform instead of all three. They don’t want to see the same picture three or four times. Keep things interesting and post a different picture on each site. That way, everyone will be more inclined to follow all of your sites.
3. Posting too much or too little
If you post too much, you’re going to annoy your followers. If you post too little, you’re not going to have many followers. It’s important to constantly update your social media, but not every second of every day. Not even every hour. Designate two special times a day to post something. This keeps your accounts updated at all times, and it’s spread out enough where people won’t get annoyed.
4. Ignoring criticism
Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Especially when you need to know what’s being said about your company. It’s easy to put your sunglasses on and ignore the haters, but sometimes you need to know what they’re saying. It’s the only way you can fix a problem you might not even know you have. Whether it be about customer service or being unsatisfied with a product, listen to what they’re saying. Use it as constructive criticism, build on it, and use it to help improve your company.
5. Ignoring everyone
Just like you shouldn’t ignore the haters, you shouldn’t ignore your supporters either. After all, they’re the ones who’ll give you business. If they tweet you or comment on your Facebook wall post thanking you for your service or how satisfied they are with a product, be sure to reply. Thank them. The friendlier you are, the more business you can generate. If you ignore the positive comments, they can very well turn into negative ones. Try your best to avoid customer service related social media mistakes. Remember: your customers directly influence your business.
6. Treating all platforms the same
Going back to #2, you shouldn’t post the same picture on every site. You also shouldn’t post the same content. Change up your language for each platform. Always keep your buyer personas in mind and which network they’re most likely using. Every platform has a different audience; you can be more playful on Twitter, but you should be more professional on LinkedIn.
7. Misinterpreting trending topics
One of the biggest mistakes is misunderstanding a trending topic. If you notice something or someone is trending, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t jump on the bandwagon and post about the trending topic immediately. First find out why it’s trending. Then decide if it’s relevant to your business. If you can’t find a way to connect it to your business, don’t waste your time. This can help you avoid posting something that comes off as insensitive if it’s a tragedy related trending topic.
Sometimes companies fail to realize how pertinent social media is to a business. Following simple suggestions can help significantly. Whether it be misusing a hashtag or posting the same picture multiple times, it’s important to know about all the different things that can boost your online presence. To know how else your company can improve and what mistakes to avoid, check out why local review sites are important and how to choose which one is right for your company.