Social media mistakes – What businesses should avoid

From a personal perspective, social networks have revolutionised the way we interact and communicate with friends and family online. Although individuals predominantly occupy websites like Facebook and Twitter, more and more businesses are starting to recognise their huge potential.

However, some sort of social media management is essential, as posting status updates and sending tweets on behalf of a business is a lot different to that of a personal profile. While it still remains important to create an appealing identity, it is sometimes easy to make potentially damaging mistakes. So here is what any organisation should avoid while using social networks.

Not responding

When it comes to communicating with people on social media, the clue is in the title. The whole purpose of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or any other communal network is to be social. Therefore, not responding to comments or messages is a cardinal sin.

Even if you have an influx of questions or queries, it is important to take the time and respond. If a customer has gone to the effort of finding your page and getting in touch, you should have the common courtesy to reply.

Infrequent posts or erratic activity

What is the point of having a social media page if you never post any content? If you forget to stay in touch with consumers and ignore the huge potential that exists, prospective buyers will go elsewhere.

What’s more, status updates or tweets should be regular and consistent. An unreliable or constantly changing page will put people off.

Posting too much

There is nothing worse than having an old school friend or work colleague that constantly posts irritating and annoying content. This applies to businesses as well. And because the Internet is a global marketplace, friends or followers in a different time zone might wake up to see a page clogged up with the same sort of information.

Therefore, posting social media content is a balancing act, which might take a bit of practice. But once you get it right, the benefits and rewards will be obvious.

Having no personality

The majority of social network uses want to be entertained and amused, so a corporate and informal stance should be avoided. Make sure the individual or department in charge of social media understands the essence of the brand, as this needs to be effectively communicated.

It is also essential to remain professional, honourable and ethical. There are bound to be some customers or contributors who frustrate and antagonise, but stooping to this level and retaliating to hostile behaviour can ruin your online image.

Concentrating on sales

While selling products and making money is fundamental for any company, explicit promotion of goods and services on offer is a big mistake. As mentioned previously, social network users want fun and interesting content, not a sales pitch.

By all means, post links to new product information or your latest advertisement, but don’t make this the priority for your social media strategy.

Becoming complacent

Social networks are evolving all the time and need constant work and attention. Even if you receive thousands of likes or favourites and hundreds of shares or retweets, the job is never complete.

Most of all, posting content and interacting with the online community should be a pleasurable experience. Mixing it up with a combination of text, photos, videos and links will ensure audience interaction remains positive.

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