7 Social Media Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand
Greg Miles | 8 September 2015
Social media is one of the most effective tools for building brand awareness, interacting with customers and finding new business opportunities. But it can also be a business nightmare if not used correctly. A poor social media strategy has the potential to damage your reputation and repel potential buyers rather than attract them.
Here are 7 social media mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs.
1. Posting too much promotional content
As a business, you want as many people as possible to know about your great products and amazing offers. Granted. But constantly pushing your marketing message on social media is one of the biggest turn offs for your potential customers. People don’t care about your offers as much as you do, and social media selling is all about building relationships and trust that will move prospects into the marketing funnel.
There is still room for promoting your products, but the primary focus needs to be creating value and giving people a reason to connect with your brand. Posting high quality, engaging content that adds value to your audience will increase your reach and see brand awareness skyrocket. Posting too much promotional content will get you ignored.
2. Buying likes or followers
It might be tempting to buy fake page likes or followers to “get the numbers up” but this is a truly pointless and unethical practice. Fake followers are never going to engage with your posts, and as a result can actually hurt your Facebook reach. Facebook uses an algorithm to decide which posts should appear on people’s timelines, and the lack of engagement from your fake fans signals to Facebook that the post is not interesting or valuable, so should not be shown to more people.
This leads to an overall decrease in visibility and your account can even be banned or deleted. Furthermore, savvy people will be able to see straight through your scheme – and who is going to respect a brand that tried to trick them into thinking it is more popular than it really is?
3. Inconsistent branding
Your brand needs to be instantly recognisable on social media. Your profiles should be fully filled out with accurate and compelling messaging, and they need to be consistent across every platform that you use.
Your images may vary due to the different specifications needed on the different social channels, but your branding needs to be clear when people jump between your accounts. Your brand voice and posts should also be consistent. Although different post types are more effective on some platforms than others, the type of content and the way you package it should be harmonious.
4. No social media plan
In order to be successful and maximise the return on your social media investment, you are going to need a plan. Jumping straight in and trying to “wing it” will restrict the effectiveness of your efforts, and most of your time and resources will be wasted.
Beginning with an understanding of your target customers and how you can best reach them, you need to devise a social media strategy that ties in with your overall marketing goals. You need to think about which platforms you should use, how often and at what times you should post, the types of content you should post and the tools you should use to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
5. Dealing with negative feedback poorly
Negative feedback is an inevitable outcome of business, and today social media offers unhappy customers a means of publicly complaining about your service. How you react to this will say a lot about your brand.
Some businesses ignore negative comments and others even delete them with the belief there will be no negative repercussions. This can cause the situation to escalate and give your brand a bad reputation. Instead you should view negative feedback as an opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service, responding promptly with a solution to showcase your commitment to keeping your customers happy.
6. Forgetting the human element
Social media is all about real relationships with real people, and yet too many brands appear robotic with canned and automated responses. This is another huge turnoff for potential customers. Instead of using overly professional language and sending out canned replies, treat each person who interacts with your brand with a genuine, human response.
Also stay well away from automated messaging – it just looks like spam.
7. Underestimating its value
Many business owners still see social media as a fad that doesn’t warrant any serious commitment. But the fact is it’s here to stay, and brands who do the best job of engaging customers and meeting their needs will come out on top. Today, fewer than 3% of millennials are influenced by traditional media, while 62% say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
It is still quite difficult to measure the value of social media marketing, but as we spend less and less time consuming traditional media, and more of it having conversations on social media, its importance will continue to rise for brands.
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