Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Yelp — the choice of social networking sites to consider using for your business are numerous
Social media has taken the marketing world by storm in the past few years, and more businesses are using these sites to engage their targets and advertise their services and products. Though an investment in a social media campaign can pay off, the task of strategizing and executing the plan might seem daunting, especially if you’re new to social networking. Whether your business currently uses social media to connect or you’ve yet to post your first status update, there are pitfalls to the process. Here are some of the most, and potentially damaging, mistakes we see made on the social media frontier, with tips on how to avoid them.
Avoiding social media altogether due to a fear of negative comments
Don’t let fear of negative comments being posted about you keep you from using social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are public forums, so there is only so much a company can do to control the negative comments of disgruntled customers and clients. Instead of avoiding these comments or fearing they’ll hurt your business, treat them as an opportunity to help solve issues with consumers and turn detractors into brand ambassadors. Most cranky customers aren’t out to sabotage; they just want their issues resolved and their confidence in the brand restored.
Posting too much, too frequently
You know that person — the Facebook friend who, to everyone’s great consternation, posts way too much useless information, way too frequently. Likewise, your customers don’t care to be spammed by the brands and businesses they like. Constantly inundating fans with the same boring content every day is a surefire way to lose their trust and interest. They’ll unsubscribe or stop following you. And once you’ve lost them, it’s very difficult to get them back
Neglecting fans and their comments
The objective to building a fan base isn’t solely to increase the number of likes or followers you have; you want your followers to be engaged once they connect with you. Think of this social interaction as a chance to have a conversation with your fans. Instead of merely posting a link to an article and expecting your fans to read it, post it, then post a follow-up question or comment about the article to get your fans talking. The more interesting the conversation is for them, the more inclined they’ll be to revisit your page frequently.
Too much business, no play
Yes, the overarching goal of a business Facebook or LinkedIn page is to bolster sales. But it’s about creating buzz and dialogue, too. To accomplish both, be creative and in some instances, less formal, in your posts. Social networking sites are about getting to know others on a more personal level. Find common ground with your followers and get to know what they like. This allows you to tailor your business-related content around what piques the interest of your customers. For example, Burns & Wilcox featured a poll on LinkedIn asking followers what influenced their holiday shopping habits. On the surface, it was a simple and fun question for people to answer. From a business perspective, it gave insight into the fact that consumers are still heavily influenced by direct mail and are easily swayed by the convenience of the Internet.Carelessness. For better or for worse, everything you say in a social media setting directly reflects back
Carelessness. For better or for worse, everything you say in a social media setting directly reflects back on your brand, business, or employer. Be sure to uphold the highest standards when posting online. Stay professional, and be mindful of what you say in public forums. Giving advice via the Internet may seem like a good idea, but it can open you up to E&O risks.