Knowing your customers is one of your top priorities. Since utilizing social media is one of the best ways to get plugged into your consumer market and develop relationships, it’s become a must. While getting on Facebook and Twitter creates unprecedented opportunities to get personal with potential buyers and current clients, sometimes letting your personality shine can backfire. When you have real people monitoring social platforms, they are bound to screw up now and then. Here are a few frequent mistakes and what to do if you find yourself making them:
Saying the Wrong Thing
You want your social media presence to have personality. While whomever is running your channels may be tweeting or posting under the name of your brand, people want to know there’s a real person behind it. However, you need to pick a professional who knows what they’re doing. Most people have their own Twitter or Facebook, and it can be disastrous when someone posts personal content under their employer’s name. Nevertheless, it happens. Another tragic error, according to John McMalcolm on Marketo’s blog, is to post something insensitive or offensive. While world events can often be a great excuse to plug your products, never use any event in which people were physically harmed or killed, like Kenneth Cole did. The brand used riots in Cairo as an excuse to advertise its spring collection. Naturally, it garnered widespread criticism for its insensitivity.
To avoid these missteps, companies should always plan out tweets in advance. If your social media expert has a history of creating questionable content, have someone read over their work before it gets published.
Sometimes when businesses start out on social platforms, they simply have no idea what they’re doing. This can lead to situations like those above, but other problems can result, as well. Some companies don’t know the rules of the game they are playing. For instance, you don’t simply jump onto Twitter, search for anyone who may be interested in your services and start following them – or worse – messaging them directly.
Social media isn’t self-serving, it’s about establishing relationships that help you know your customer and ideally, help them get to know you too. For every post you make promoting your own services, reblog or share a news item from your industry or community that may interest followers.
Before implementing a social media campaign, do proper research about the channel. See how people behave on it, and which companies are using it effectively.
Using the Wrong Data
Having thousands of followers doesn’t guarantee prospects are actively engaged with your company. According to Jeff Bullas, not all customer analytics are created equal. Applying the normal metrics to social media may not yield the same results. Check to see how people are actually responding to what you put out there, don’t just assume followers have seen it.
Connecting All Your Accounts
Many companies use too many different platforms. In an effort to save time, they end up linking them up to publish simultaneously. This can be very irritating for those who follow you on multiple channels. It can also be annoying to those who don’t. Most platforms link up, but in less-than-ideal ways. Do you really want your Twitter feed to tell followers “I just posted a video to Facebook” every time you upload something? Everyone knows the message is automated, and it comes across as lazy. Similarly, when users link Twitter and Facebook status updates, anyone who follows both will see the exact same message.
As a best practice, write posts individually, keeping in mind what makes each platform unique. Instagram and Facebook are great for visual media, while Twitter may be better for linking news items and blogs. Better yet, don’t take on more channels than your marketing department can manage.