When it comes to branded social media, there are endless lists and articles about the things you should be doing – tips and tricks that will help your brand win at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & more. From using visuals to help get your point across to using your public feed as a chance to tackle customer service concerns, there’s a plethora of information to help you with the Dos, but what about the Don’ts? Unfortunately, for every great social media marketing idea there’s a few terrible ones right behind it that brands have had to try & fail at before getting to the good stuff. Here are just a few of our social media don’ts that will help you in 2016 & beyond.
One of the worst things a brand can do is ignore feedback coming directly from its consumers. Think of your social media profiles as the perfect opportunity to give some great customer service, and don’t be afraid to answer any questions or comments that come your way through these mediums. Depending on the size of your company and the amount of traffic you tend to get through any of these platforms, anyone charged with posting to your social media accounts should also try to be as accessible as possible for real-time interactions
Responding Too Quickly
And while responding in a timely way is important for creating and building a rapport with current and future consumers, responding too quickly may make things worse depending on the nature of the original feedback. An angry customer posting a long, directed rant for the world to see has to be handled delicately – but still efficiently and in good time. It doesn’t hurt to also have a standardized PR strategy on hand that you can refer to. It might not be pretty, but you’ll have to consider a few worst case scenarios – from Twitter rants, flooded comments & even press attention – so you have a bit of a better handle on how to deal with the situation if it ever does come up. These are the moments where it will be imperative to not let the intern who may typically man you social accounts handle it. Treat complaints on social media with the same care as you would if it were a letter, email or phone call.
Sticking To Self-Promo
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t talk about your brand at all. That’s what your social media is all about! But try to have a healthy mix of useful and creative content that fits your brand voice so your feed isn’t inundated with directions to “buy now” all the time. As much as social media is useful in digital, remember it’s initial purpose was to be social. It’s not a space to simply post content and let viewers come to you without any sort of back & forth dialogue or without the consumer getting a better feel for your brand voice.
Too Much Automation
As convenient as any of these posting tools may be, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. While there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a few standard tweets, think creatively about the kind of timely information you want to post – and when. This goes back to using your accounts strictly for self-promotion and not to be social with your followers or fans. It’s crucial your feed is more than a run down of pre-scheduled posts. It’s also important to be mindful of posts that may be perceived as offensive based on the time they show up. Brands have come under scrutiny before for posting poorly-timed messages that seemed insensitive in light of a recent event or new story – even if it was scheduled beforehand. This is why it’s important not to schedule too many messages too far into the future, a week or two should suffice . This will help keep your content timely, relevant, and appropriate once it goes up.
It’s impossible to make an exhaustive list of don’ts since social media is changing so quickly. Things that were acceptable even a few years ago are less effective now that we’re all a little more social media savvy. Social media isn’t going anywhere for the forseeable future, so make sure you’re keeping up with it’s quick pace and changes so you and your brand are always in the loop.