Social media #socialmedia has woven itself into just about every fabric of our lives and has forever changed the business landscape. Used correctly, it can be a powerful tool to boost your enterprise. Here are some social media tips for things you should avoid.
However, many companies are still making the same fundamental errors time and again. Bad news for them, good news for you, as their mistakes provide valuable, salutary lessons. Avoid these social media banana skins that can trip up your #marketing efforts and damage your business reputation:
Over promoting – the endgame of all endeavours is to increase the customer base and boost sales. But don’t flood your networks with sales messages. This is perhaps the most difficult lesson #lesson for many small business owners to learn.
Social media is not all Me Me Me. It’s about building credibility and trust #trust, interacting and forging relationships. If you are in continuous self-promotion mode you will come across like the frightful bore that everyone tries to avoid at a party. Less than 10% should be self-promotion.
Talking at your followers– social media marketing is all about engaging with your audience. Continuously pumping out press releases and PR#pr puff pieces is the fast track to failure. Talk with not at your followers, otherwise they won’t stick around for very long.
Hijacking a hashtag – here’s a cautionary tale. Fashion Brand Kenneth Cole hijacked the #Cairo tag associated with the 2011 Egyptian riots. The tweet read:
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumour is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at…” The Twittersphere glowed red hot with thousands of complaints about the tweet. Even though the company apologized for its insensitivity its reputation took a hit.
Being a social media island – the clue is in the word ‘social’. Your content is meant to drive engagement and start discussions with your followers. If you fail to respond to comments or take forever and a day to answer then you will lose your audience. Show how interested you are in what others have to say. Share links to blog posts and content #content of other key industry players.
Getting too personal – showing the human side of your business is savvy social media, but don’t get too informal or let your professional #professional standards slip. That means no airing of political views or talking about the flaming row you had last night with your partner.
Being in too many places at once – you have an irresistible urge to jump on every new social media site that springs up, fearing you might miss out if you’re not on board. But you don’t have to be everywhere in the digital space and it’s counterproductive to even try.
You are a small business owner with limited time and resources. Just select a small handful of networks that you feel are going to reap the most rewards. When new networks appear, sit back for a while and see how they perform.
The truth is that many new sites falter within a few months. If you do sign up to a new network always ask yourself: What benefit is it to my business? Can it help me in ways that my current social channels do not?
Neglecting your social media channels – once you have established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et al, you will need to maintain it. Don’t leave your followers in the lurch. After a few weeks you’ll be able to judge how often you’ll need to post and respond to comments. It could be once a day or only a couple of times a week. But once you have found a routine and rhythm, stick to them.