Social media is an extremely effective marketing channel, but sometimes, it can be tempting to utilize gimmicky tactics. Stop the madness!
Everyone is on social media, which is why you are using it as a marketing strategy for your business. There is no need to convince your CMO of it's worth—there are 2.2 billion active users of social media today, with Facebook alone adding half a million new users every day.
But just because you're on social media doesn't mean that you're doing it right. In fact, some things that you do on social media could hurt your brand more than it helps.
Here are ten things you need to stop doing on social media if you want it to be an effective part of your marketing strategy.
Related Article: Don't Be That Guy: Bad Social Media Habits to Break Now
1. Sharing Things Before Making Sure They Are Not a Hoax
When you are sharing something online, your readers believe that you are sharing accurate information. Can you imagine how it makes them look to their audience when they are re-share your content only to find out that it is a hoax? Not good.
Everything that you share needs to be credible so you don’t kill your credibility. Remember when there was that viral hoax about certain stores not accepting food stamps anymore? Readers who shared that hoax were angry. Another example is the viral tax hoax that went around saying that the IRS was delaying refunds until October.
Bottom line: don’t share things on your social media networks before verifying them. All you will do is raise fear and other emotions over something that is not real. If something sounds fishy check it out on Snopes.
2. Overloading Posts With Hashtags
There is nothing more annoying than seeing a post with more hashtags than actual text, but hashtags can be extremely beneficial to a brand when they are used properly. You should consider using one to three hashtags and make sure they are very specific to the topic of your post. For example, if you are posting about a new product that you have released use your brand hashtag and another one such as #newproduct, #productlaunch, or #releaseday.
3. Spamming With Automated Messages
Direct messages are popular, especially now that Twitter allows them between all accounts. You can easily set them up to automatically go out, but they have become overused, and many are viewed as spam. Your audience is what makes your brand. They are real people and they love when they are connecting with brands on a personal level. If you just send everyone the same automated message, you will lose potential customers to your competitors, and you will have a lower click through rate on your direct messages.
If you feel you cannot skip sending out automated messages, make sure that they provide your audience with valuable information. For example, if you are a life insurance company, you could have an automated message with a link to a helpful and related article.
4. Publishing the Same Message Across All Platforms
Hootsuite is great tool to prevent publishing the same message to all of your social media networks simultaneously. You want to space them out so that not only more people can see your message, but also so that messaging is different on your different channels.
It is important to space out your messages across the platforms because many followers follow you on more than one platform. Therefore, if you publish the exact same message at the exact same time on all of your platforms, you will lose followers on some channels because the audience will feel as though they only need to follow you on one since you post the same messages on all of the channels.
5. Handling Negative Feedback in the Wrong Way
As a business owner, you are going to get negative feedback. However, how you handle the negative feedback is what determines if your business will grow from it or fail. It is important to remember to respond to negative feedback promptly and professionally. Remember that in most cases, negative feedback is an opportunity to turn your customer's experience around. The way you respond (or don't) can directly impact whether or not you're losing a customer forever.
Related Article: When Bad Reviews Hit: Should You Call Legal or PR?
6. Forgetting to Send Readers to a Landing Page
One of the worst things you can do that hurts your sales is not send your readers to a landing page with your social media posts. Any time you post a status or picture, make sure you have a link attached for them to learn more.
Nothing is worse than a customer clicking a link, thinking they will learn more about the product/service you are advertising than to find that the link in the message does not provide them with the information that they seek.
For example, if a customer comes across your post discussing cheap vehicle insurance, but when they arrive to the page, they see nothing related to cheap vehicle insurance, you will have missed some valuable leads. Therefore, it is recommended that you always post about things that are directly related to the page you are directing visitors to and over deliver, content wise, once they arrive to your page.
7. Doing “Follow Friday” Every Friday
Follow Friday is extremely popular, but also obnoxious. If you haven't seen it, follow Friday is done with the hashtag, #FF, and then the user lists other Twitter users that they think others should follow. It is a great way to bring attention to some of your followers, but it does not help your target group.
You have to keep in mind that while your audience may be looking for new followers, they don’t want to see a bunch of #FF hashtags showing up in their feed from a brand that they expected valuable information from. It is okay to do it occasionally yet if you do it religiously every week you will notice your followers declining.
8. Only Making Posts With Photos
While pictures and memes are cute and often re-shared, you want to make sure you are using social media to tell potential customers more about you. More importantly, you want to make sure that you are sharing articles and other information that pertains to your services.
Things like studies or informational articles bring in more viewers than a picture of your headquarters that is decorated for the holidays. Social media is designed for companies to be social, not to be a bulletin board or picture gallery.
9. Forgetting Your Followers Are “Real” People
Another thing that you need to stop doing on social media is using it just to post an update. People want to be interacted with, which is why social media is so popular. You want to make sure that when you post an update, you follow-up with the people who comment on the thread.
For example, if you ask your followers a question and receive a massive amount of comments on the post, it is your responsibility to interact with the commenters. While it is true that your followers want you to get personal with them, your efforts go to waste if you do not follow all the way through.
10. Focusing on the Wrong Numbers
Social media is a great way to build your brand. However, if you don’t focus on the right numbers you will feel as though social media is a waste of time.
When looking at numbers on social media do not just focus on the number of followers you have on the platforms. Instead, look deeper, into engagement rates, click thru rates, and the number of shares that you get.
You could have 50,000 followers but if they are not engaging with you on social media, it is going to provide you the same results as if you have 1000 followers.
Therefore, it is suggested that you look at your stats; they tell you so much more about your social media marketing strategy anyway.
Are you guilty of doing one of the ten things that we discussed today?