Social media has become a powerhouse tool for marketing and communicating, and the vast array of capabilities social media affords is exciting.
With opportunities for businesses to connect and promote, social media presence has become a necessity for any company not wanting to get left in the dust. There is no definitive guide or rulebook for businesses to adhere to when either developing a social media strategy or evaluating a current one, as every strategy is different. There are, however, four pitfalls every business should avoid.
DON’T Overdo It
With so many outlets and functions in social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using every single opportunity to gain exposure and participate. Don’t overdo it. Don’t jump on every trending hashtag, don’t post every three minutes, don’t follow any and everyone.
Some companies will use social media without understanding best practices, and they become a nuisance to followers.
Social media shouldn’t be used for the sole purpose of increasing brand visibility at the cost of your customer experience. Your social media use should produce meaningful connections with the right people, using carefully crafted content.
The Takeaway: Before you tweet, post or reply, take a step back. Think about how or if the message is pushing your brand forward in terms of lead generation. If it’s not, you may want to reconsider clicking send this time.
DON’T Stay Silent
Social media is just that: social. When you’re socializing at a party or event, you’re likely engaging in a two-way line of communication. It should be no different on social media.
Don’t use your social media channels as a one-way avenue to sell your products and company. Instead, engage with followers and target leads. Ask questions, answer questions, insert yourself into the social conversation using hashtags.
So many business see social media as an outlet for promoting themselves, yet they fail to understand the true purpose of these sites: to connect. Capitalize on the engagement capabilities of each social platform and begin building relationships by connecting with your audience. When your company engages on social media, it’s showing prospective leads that you’re interested, you’re listening and you care about the consumer.
The Takeaway: Treat your online interactions like in-person ones. Social media is not like traditional, one-way media. Technology has enabled conversation, and blasting out your message without listening won’t work anymore.
DON’T Hate Your Haters
Something else to consider is responding to criticism.
Often, businesses ignore negative comments from users on social media, not wanting to attract attention to an issue.
However, this is just another opportunity to show you’re truly interested in listening and understanding your customers. Properly responding to criticism can bolster perceptions of your company, as it allows a chance to showcase how you handle adversity.
There are several ways to respond to negative comments on social media. Carefully assess the situation, and decide which response is best. Even when dealing with a self-inflicted social media crisis, companies who involve themselves in the conversation and respond to backlash often come out on top.
The Takeaway: Embrace your haters. Social has high visibility, so whether you respond well or badly, people will take notice.
DON’T Stick to One Platform
It’s unlikely in any business that all consumers or potential leads can be lumped into a single, specific demographic category. Just like certain services appeal to different clientele, certain social media platforms appeal to different demographics.
If you want to reach your highest target audience, don’t stick to one social media platform. Research who uses what platform, how and why, and incorporate it into your social media strategy. It’s absolutely okay to begin with one platform, and monitor success or even necessity, but once you’ve established a social presence, diversify it and begin adding other platforms to maximize reach.
The Takeaway: Different platforms have different capabilities. Find the ones that reach out to different segments of your audience.