This article will help you avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media. Violate these guidelines and you could damage your online reputation and cause yourself irreparable harm.
Maintaining your online presence is a great way to promote your company and services, engage your existing audience and reach new customers. That said, Social Media just like everything else has a set of rules and ‘etiquette.’
Social Media should be a fun and pleasant way to reach out to your followers, keeping them engaged and happy can do wonders for your business.
Most people will make buying decisions based on friends or family recommendations, a large amount will refer to online reviews to research companies before making a buying decision, so how do we make sure we keep things positive?
These tips and guidelines should help you avoid the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media.
1. DON’T have incorrect information
It seems like common sense, right? Wrong! You would be amazed at just how many small businesses fail to include the correct details about their company. Wrong addresses, website links, missing phone numbers are all missed contact opportunities. And a very common sin of social media.
I recently helped a local music artist promote his new material. The artist proudly shared his Instagram informing me that the link to his new, and what he considered to be some of his best material, was on the profile of his account. And it was. Right there, front and center.
Unfortunately, when I clicked on it, it was broken and took me to an error page. See what I mean? How many potential buyers or new fans had clicked that link? Every click was a failed opportunity to reach someone and get his music in front of them? Check your information – twice! More marketing tips HERE
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2. DON’T use the wrong platform
Once you get on Social Media the temptation is to use EVERY platform you can get your hands on. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Telegram, YouTube, and more besides.
Like we’ve talked about before, Social Media Management is time-consuming. If you spread yourself too thin there is a risk that you will not be able to keep up with all your social media streams – A Cardinal Sin! No posts mean followers lose interest. There are of course many, many tools out there that can help you with the process, but if you are just starting out it may be better to stick to one or 2 social media accounts.
Which Social Media Platform Should I Use?
Depending on your business different platforms may serve you better. If you are a painter or interior designer where your business is very VISUAL you may be best with Instagram where you can share your photos of finished or before and after shots of your work.
A musician or performer may find YouTube is the way to go so you can showcase live video of your shows. If your company or service targets a younger audience then Snapchat may be useful.
A bit of research in this area can serve you well, ensuring that you are targeting your correct audience and preventing you from using accounts or social media platforms that will not give you results.
Get more Social Media Marketing tips HERE
Deadly Social Media Sin 3 – Don’t Post TOO Much
This is another function that depends on the platform you are using but it can be one of the top 7 Deadly Social Media Sins. There are optimum posting times and frequencies with most platforms that you may have to experiment with to hit the ‘sweet spot’.
On Twitter, you can tweet and retweet throughout the day reposting the same content and you will most likely gain likes and followers.
Follow the same methodology on LinkedIn and you might find yourself fast losing users. Some more tips on posting schedules HERE.
How Much IS Too Much?
There is no definitive answer for how much is too much, (or too little), but with a little attention, you will be able to perfect your posts and times so they work best for you.
It will also be worth using the built-in analytics tools that are included on most platforms. This will help you target the most active times of the day and see what sort of content is resonating best with your audience.
Personally, I feel that some type of consistent posting schedule is key. Once you have determined if 3 or 8 posts per day work best for you then you can make sure you post that daily amount at the optimum times.
There’s not much to gain from not posting anything for 5 days then blasting your audience with 16 posts all at once. Spread it out, keep it even. After a while, your customers will become accustomed to your schedule and almost expect to see your content each day.
4. DON’T oversell
Meaning; 80% of your content and posts should be engaging, informative and friendly and only 20% should be trying to drive sales or product use. Focus more on the business, the people in it and your customers.
You can invite people to relate stories about their experience with your service or share information and case studies of recent services performed. What you DON’T want to do is bombard your followers with sales pitches or invitations to buy your goods.
You will find that your number of followers rapidly begins to dwindle. Instead, focus on your customers and try and build relationships with them.
To avoid Social Media sins some experts also use a 1 in 7 rule similar to the 80/20, where 1 post in 7 should only be sales-related. Either way, keep it sparse.
5. DON’T be unprofessional. You Are What You Post
Shouldn’t that be ‘You Are What You Eat”…? Well, not in this case. The principle behind this is that your online content and posts are a direct representation of you, your company and its guiding principles. So THINK about the content you are posting.
To your readers is it reflecting you in a positive light, or is it causing some negative effects? Great article HERE about preventing negative impacts and avoiding social media sins for your business.
A good guideline here is to remember the old saying of ‘Never discuss religion or politics’. Meaning, this is about BUSINESS and the way you are perceived in the marketplace. You may hate the current leadership in the country, or think that there should be harsh penalties for sloppy dressers. But your customers don’t need to know that.
They will form an opinion about you and your company based on what you post. So keep it business-like and professional. Don’t get drawn into venting your opinions online – keep that for your personal pages or conversations with friends.
Learn more Social Media Tricks and Tips HERE
6. DON’T forget to use photos…and spellchecker!
Studies show that posts with images or photos receive higher engagement numbers than those without. So use nice, high-quality images wherever you can with your posts. Don’t forget about video content too.
Recently video posting has been proving to be King when it comes to engagement. Don’t be frightened to do a quick live stream of your day or a project you are working on. It also is a way to ‘talk’ directly to your followers and let them see you as a real, human, individual that they can connect with.
Also, with all this content you are posting PLEASE take a moment to read and re-read your posts. Make sure they make sense, are worded well, and that everything is grammatically correct.
Yoo don’t want 2 p0St a bunchh ov content that MAkeS yoo looook like un idiot@! That’s a social media sin if ever there was one!
7 – DON’T buy cheap followers
Possibly the very worst of the Social Media Sins. I know it can be tempting when you look at the vast number of followers that well-known companies have. But for smaller businesses that can simply be a ‘vanity’ metric and its not one that serves your best purpose. You’ve all seen it, do you REALLY believe that a small local plumbing firm has 24.4k followers on Instagram? Of course they don’t.
Wouldn’t you rather have 300 real followers genuinely interested in your business than 10,000 fake followers from Uzbekistan or India? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you buy followers from one of the many online services.
It’s cheap to do, but after a while, it only clogs up your pages with irrelevant accounts and information. If you have too many, you might even miss some posts or engagements from your real followers. So it’s not worth it. Keep it real.
These suggestions should keep you on the right track when promoting your company and services and avoid the 7 Deadly Social Media Sins. Most of it is just common sense. But some thought and attention will go a long way. It will help maintain a professional, friendly image for your company.
What social media tips have you learned that helped your marketing strategy?