While a small piece of good advice can take you a long way to build a strong social media community, one bad advice is enough to destroy all your social media efforts. So for once ignorance isn’t bliss.
When you’re looking for social media do’s and don’ts to create a social media strategy you will come across quite a few ideologies that contradict with one another. For example, ‘social media automation is sin’ against ‘automate your social media updates’. Some of them are outrightly wrong, while some are partially incorrect; you have to be careful while sorting the wrong ones.
1.You Should be Active on Every Single Social Media Platform
“You gotta be active on social media!” This is a highly recommended piece of advice from the so-called marketing experts. But the question is, do you really have that much time and resources to spare only after social media sites? Practically you must have hundred other things to do for your business apart from actively participating on each and every social media site.
Yes, you can choose to open an account on all the popular social media sites, there’s no harm in being present. But it’s always better to be master of a few than being a jack of all. Also, remember it’s not just because it is difficult to maintain an active presence on all sites, but it’s not worth to spread yourself thin on all sites as its not going to work for your brand too. For example, if you are a local florist or into wedding photography business, you won’t get the desired response from LinkedIn as it’s rather a serious community, whereas you may get overwhelming response from Facebook or Pinterest. Likewise, if you are in a legal business like holding law firms or a financial advisory company, little you can make out of Pinterest.
2. Automate Your Social Media Updates
Social media demands a lot of time & patience. Unless you have a dedicated social media team to handle your updates on your behalf, you can’t be doing it all day. Though there are many social media management tools which allows you to schedule and post updates on social media sites automatically, but there’s also the need for engaging with your audience further. You have a solution, but that doesn’t mean you will be completely dependent on it. Nobody will be interested to participate in a one way robotic communication.
Social media is more about building relationships through interactions and engagement. People prefer to tell their own stories than to listen to your brand messages all the time; they prefer dialogues over monologues. To create engagement you have to interact, which doesn’t happens in an automated process and there comes the problem.
Again, it doesn’t mean that you can’t automate anything. You can do it for sure, like you can schedule the updates, posting links to your latest articles or even links to your old content, but you have to support them with real interactions and conversations. “To utilize social media tools effectively and properly, you must absolutely generate spontaneous communications in direct response to what others are saying or to what is happening in that moment. Be yourself. Be conversational. Be engaged.”
3. Posting the Same update Everywhere
This is one of those worst pieces of advice you frequently get. Each social media site has a different culture and a unique set of audience, and not all types of content performs well everywhere. Not only that the conversation tone and publishing guidelines are also different from one site to the other. So the updates need to be in compliance with the same. For example, Facebook gets better response on image based updates where as Twitter shows better engagement on text based updates.
Also, if the same update gets published at the same time on different social media platforms, it won’t be just monotonous for your readers across all these platforms, but it will also give the whole process a mechanical feel, and nobody likes to be friendly with a robot.
4. Post as Many Times as You Can
Many a times you will come across the so called social media ‘Gurus’ advice to post as many updates as possible on your social media pages. But they often tend to confuse higher engagement with greater number of updates. At times, one single update stirs the whole audience and generates huge response which even tens of them can’t do, so it’s just not about numbers; it’s about the content you share and it’s impact.
Simultaneously it is a fact that posting in numbers also works for many to maintain a certain level of engagement throughout the day. It all depends on your audience; but make sure you are not killing it by flooding their timelines.
Also this posting in numbers seems to be a misinterpretation with the insights provided by social media management apps like Buffer and HootSuite, which says that there is a best time to post your updates rather than doing it whenever you can. Though you can trust these useful apps to auto schedule your updates at the best times according to them, you can also test it on your own to see the response from your audience.
5. Don’t Show and Respond to the Negative Comments
If you ever take this advice seriously, you will be damaging your own reputation sooner than later. As a business owner it’s nearly impossible to satisfy each and every customer, something or the other can go wrong, and that is very natural; you can’t control it all the time.
Social media is a democratic medium of conversation and every social media user is free to share his/her own opinion. If some how any shipment gets delayed or reimbursement takes more time than usual, it’s very much possible for your customers to take up your social media pages to complain or show their disappointment, this too is obvious. But, if you try to cover up the mistake or try to ignore them just by deleting their comments or leave it unanswered, you are definitely committing a big mistake. ‘To err is human’ and your customers can very well understand that. Instead of ignoring this kind of complaints if you simply apologize and assure them or clarify the misunderstandings you can easily convert service complains into customer care appreciation. But yes, there are certain abusive and similar spammy messages which you definitely should moderate to maintain the general code of conduct and the sanity of your page.
The path to social media mastery isn’t elusive, but it’s time to face the facts. Be honest and be human while engaging across these social media platforms. Test what works for you then blindly following what others are doing.