Social media is a great tool for any company or brand. It allows businesses to develop personal relationships online, whilst being able to share and learn useful information relating to their customers or industry. Furthermore if your brand shares and contributes to a significant amount of relevant news and information, you will be considered a thought leader and expert within your industry, which will enhance the reputation of your company.
Saying that, there are some risks when it comes to social media activity. Many companies now have a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, however without the correct knowledge and experience of the various platforms, a company’s chance of making a faux pas grows. There have been many famous instances of brands making high profile mistakes online, many of which could’ve been avoided by taking note of the following recommendations.
Not thinking before you post
You see this all too often on a company’s social media page. The occasional typo may not seem important however to a potential customer, that could communicate your lack of attention to detail, which then could be reflected in your products or services. Take great care when composing any updates for your social networks, ensuring that there aren’t any typo’s, that all links work and that it reads correctly!
More important than spelling or grammar is appropriateness. Does it reflect your company’s approach or social language? Does it have the potential to offend? Is the content inappropriate due to current world events? All of these factors and more have to be considered before any update is sent either directly from the company update or as a reply to a customer. Many brands have made very public errors when it comes to the sensitivity of their tweets, or moreover the lack of it.
For many marketers, scheduling their social media posts proves beneficial as it saves time and effort, allowing them to post updates for the upcoming week or month at their convenience. Furthermore, scheduled posts can help a business communicate to their customers at times when they themselves are unavailable to actively post e.g. Out of office hours. However this positive can quickly turn into a negative at times of crisis…
- You may seem insensitive- If you schedule your social media activity to go live at times when you’re not there, you won’t notice the activity from your audience regarding the post, and therefore won’t be able to respond in real-time. This may make your page seem less personal, and readers will pick up on that.
- Mistakes happen- Sometimes when you schedule several days’ worth of social media activity at once for a host of different pages, things get mixed up. You may end up posting the wrong link or misspelling words in your posts, and you won’t realize it until it goes live.
- Block updates for a variety of social networks may result in mistakes within your updates. For example, you may write a post for both your Twitter and Facebook accounts that contains an ‘@’ symbol whilst also exceeding Twitter’s 140 characters. You have now damaged your credibility across both sites as having a ‘@’ Twitter handle on your Facebook post looks unprofessional and shows a lack of attention to detail and similarly, exceeding Twitter’s character limit damages your post as your customers will not be able to see all the content.
- Your profile and its content may become out of date – By giving yourself the flexibility that comes with pre-scheduling your social media; you are reducing the relevance of your posts to current events. This means if a piece of breaking news hits, you won’t be able to incorporate it into your posts, even if it is relevant to your company. Also, if you do decide to create a separate post about a current event, and your scheduled post goes live at a similar time, your audience may feel like they’re being “spammed” by your content.
A constant mistake we often see on behalf of organisations is not communicating to their customers that they actually have a presence on social media! All companies should link their social media accounts to their corporate website. Ideally this would be in the form of both a live Twitter feed and direct links to their accounts via the networks icons.
Analytics data about social media and wider digital marketing is vital to the modern marketer. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to measure when your posts are getting the best engagement. For example do your tweets perform better in the morning or evening, during the week or on the weekend? Furthermore, how many visits to your company website are your social media accounts earning you? Have visits to your website increased since you created social accounts or after implementing new strategies?
Considering Social Media as a sales tool, not a marketing tool
Social media is not a sales tool and brands who treat is this way will not get the value of social media activity can bring. Of course that’s not to say that you can’t post links to products or services that you offer. Furthermore, you should also tweet sales messages or offers. Crucially, these self promoting sales messages should be interspersed with useful and interesting content that your followers and industry influencers will appreciate.
All too often, we come across social media accounts were the brand sends out only their individual updates, without taking the time to interact with other users by simply retweeting, liking or replying to posts. It’s important to monitor what those in your online communities are saying. By listening and responding, you may develop important contacts or relationships that can then be utilised offline.
Win Marketing can help you develop a social media campaign that will help you to listen to the market place whilst building relationships online. We use a combination of traditional marketing and PR skills with the latest knowledge and experience of social media marketing. We also offer Social media account implementation and training services.
Call Win on 01509 265890 to discuss any queries further.