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The Seven Sins of Social Media for Business

The Seven Sins of Social Media for Business

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 by

We all know the seven deadly sins, but did you know there are sins of the social sphere, too? Keep in mind that while there are many tips for what to do on social media, there are also just as many things you shouldn’t be doing. Don’t let yourself become a victim of these seven sins. If you do fall victim, don’t worry—you can always change your behavior and improve.

Let’s take a look at seven social media sins that could wind up damaging your online presence if left uncorrected.

Ignorance

Just like ignorance isn’t respected in the real world, it’s not regarded with high sentiment online, either. On social media, acting like your Online Reputation Management is the only one who exists in your industry and not catering your posts to a wide variety of people is ignorance. By ignoring others’ beliefs, attitudes and opinions, you’re ignoring a core principle of social media: engagement. Avoiding hollywood politics, religion and highly controversial topics on your social media page (unless, for instance, you’re a nonprofit promoting a particular ideal) is a good way to stay out of fire. While it’s important to maintain your business’s personality on social media, do so without being ignorant.

Tip for improvement:  Stay up-to-date on current events happening around the world so that you can be sure to cater to a wide array of opinions, attitudes and beliefs.

Misuse

This is a big one. There are tons of ways that businesses misuse social media, such as posting inappropriate links, images or language. Overly personal posts (i.e., talking about family troubles, financials, etc.) are always a no-no. And although Twitter caters to personal thoughts more so than Facebook, try to keep them on your personal Twitter account as opposed to your business account.

Furthermore, social media can be a wonderful opportunity to respond to your audience. It gives you the option to turn a negative review into a positive experience for that customer. For example, if you own a restaurant and a customer writes on your Facebook page that they had terrible service one night, sincerely apologize and perhaps offer them a discount to use next time they come in. Don’t commit the sin of misuse by using their negative commentary as an opportunity for backlash and rude response. For more info please get in touch with ontarioexteriorsolutions

Tip for improvement: Before you press the “send” button, double-check your post. Is it audience-appropriate? Remember, once something goes online, it’s permanent.

Overuse

Don’t spam your audience. Posting too frequently reduces the effect of each post—think quality over quantity here. Focus on posting a few, high quality posts every day rather than bombarding your customers with posts every thirty minutes. This strategy is more likely to encourage engagement (rather than encouraging people scrolling to find that “unfollow” button).

Tip for improvement: Every time you make a post, check the time your last post went out. If it was within the last hour, hold off.

Desertion

Don’t forget about your social media pages! Think of a plant that has to be watered and attended to regularly. Without constant care and maintenance, eventually it will die. Neglecting your social network will reduce your opportunity for engagement and lessen the chance that people remember you.  Staying top-of-mind on social media is the goal here.

Tip for improvement: Make a physical note, either on a post-it note or on your computer, that reminds you to check each social network daily to make sure you stay on top of your social game.

Arrogance

No one likes an arrogant person, so don’t be arrogant on social media. Self-promotion is certainly okay from time to time, but don’t make it a regular occurrence. If you have quality posts and are constantly engaging with your customers, promotion will come naturally.

Tip for improvement: Designate a few days (at most) a month to throw in a self-promotion type post. More than that may be overkill.

Irrelevance

Try to stick to industry-relevant posts. Of course, there are often holidays, major current events, and situations in which it would be more inappropriate not to post something on social media. But in general, try to stay within the realm of your knowledge. For example, if you’re in the auto industry, you probably won’t receive high engagement on a post about women’s clothing. Not only is it irrelevant, your audience most likely isn’t interested.

Tip for improvement: Stay updated on your industry’s news sphere. Read articles about what’s going on so that you can pull industry-relevant information for your social media posts.

Negativity

This ties in to the overly personal posts in the sin of misuse. Try to make your posts as upbeat as the personality of your company will allow. No one likes a Debbie Downer!

Tip for improvement: This one’s easy. Stay positive! When you re-read a post, it should sound friendly and human.

That’s a wrap! Are you guilty of committing any of these seven sins on social media? Try to keep your eye out for where you’re slacking on social media, and utilize the tips for improvement to enhance your social media presence. Either from observation or personal experience, what social media flubs have you seen online? Share in a comment!

Please visit our site for more social media tips and tricks.

Emily Weeks

Public Relations Student at UT Austin; Social Media Coordinator at HMG Creative; Alpha Epsilon Phi; Beach lover and Hook ‘em Horns. Follow her on Twitter @emsweeks

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