Here at Three Girls Media, we enjoy writing blog posts that offer insights and helpful tips and tricks to running a successful social media, marketing or public relations campaign.
While these are helpful in telling you what you’re supposed to do, what about all the things you’re supposed to avoid – the things that will hinder or ruin your campaign, making customers run away? Keep reading for a new set of insights, tips and tricks that will help you avoid blunders along the way of your social media marketing journey.
7 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media
If you’re creating social media accounts for your business and don’t regularly use Facebook, Twitter or the other platforms for personal use, you may be engaging in bad habits or ignoring social media etiquette and not even know it. Bad habits on social media not only make you look unprofessional, but they can also scare away potential customers. Here are 7 things to stop doing on social media now.
- Auto-Posting Facebook Posts to Twitter (Or Any Other Social Media Account)
Auto-posting is when you have your social media platforms connected and every time you create one post, it is published on every platform all at once. It is also when automatically promoting a blog post via a plugin each time it goes live.
While this may seem like an easy and simple way to make sure you get a post on all your platforms, it is important to write specifically for each platform. You can absolutely share the same link on your different platforms, but write a unique post and share them on different days and times of the week.
- Posting the Exact Same Content on Every Platform
When you send out a message on social media, do you copy and paste it into every social platform? Different platforms require different approaches. For example, on Twitter, keep it short (within the 140-character limit), but on Google +, you can go longer, making your post keyword-rich. Instagram is the place to share images of your products, services and even behind-the-scenes shots of your business at work. Make each site a little different and unique for those followers.
- Overusing Hashtags
Using too many hashtags can make your post look unprofessional and a little hard to read; #DoYouReallyWant #To #Read #An #EntirePostLike #This? Depending on what your update is about, it is appropriate to hashtag keywords in the post and to include specific industry or business hashtags you use. However, the rule of thumb we recommend is to only use up to three hashtags in one update.
It’s also important not to use hashtags where they aren’t appropriate: LinkedIn is one platform where you should not use hashtags at all.
- Posting Too Much Content at Once
While you may want to share everything at once, customers can feel overwhelmed when you flood their feed. You want to maximize views and engagement, not become unfollowed or have customers hide your updates. Instead, spread them out. Learn when to post content on certain days of the week and what times here.
- Asking People to Follow You Back on Any Platform
If there’s one that thing that’s sure to turn off followers, it’s for you to follow them and then immediately write, “Just followed/liked you! You can follow me too!” This may seem like a nice way to ask for a follow and build your connections, but it’s unprofessional and makes your account look like spam.
Instead, engage with your followers, respond when they ask a question or leave a thoughtful, personalized comment on a post and they’ll most likely follow you.
- Posting Without a Plan
It is a dangerous idea to go into a social media marketing campaign without a plan. Posting randomly can impact SEO results and cause customers to miss your updates.
On social media, an editorial calendar is used by bloggers and social media managers to create a plan for their posts and updates. These calendars include notable events of the upcoming weeks and months that they want to include. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way stay organized and help you to not forget an important date.
- Ignoring Customer Comments
This is crucial and cannot be overlooked! Customers expect and assume that a business will respond to their comment or direct message in a short amount of time. Interacting on social media is important because it not only lets customers know you care, but they also expect it. A recent study by Eptica found the average response times for email, Facebook and Twitter are:
- Email: 7 hours, 51 minutes
- Facebook: 1 day, 3 hours and 47 minutes
- Twitter: 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes
So that’s how long it generally takes for businesses to respond through email, Facebook and Twitter, but how long are customers willing to wait? The expected wait time is drastically lower than how long it takes a business to respond:
- Email: 6 hours
- Facebook: 6 hours
- Twitter: 60 minutes
If you need more information on how and why to interact on social media check out this blog post appropriately titled, “The Importance of Interacting on Social Media.”
Now that you know the behavior and bad habits to avoid on social media, let’s review what NOT to post on your channels.
What Not to Post on Social Media
It is important to remember that your professional small business’ social media pages are not the same as your personal profiles, and they should be treated separately. Check out this list of what not to post on your business accounts.
- Offensive Content
There are so many types of posts that fall into this category. This can be anything from a divisive political comment or graphic image to crude jokes or swearing, just to name just a few.
Business owners may not think it’s a big deal to occasionally post a distasteful joke or questionable picture, but it should really be left out. This lack of awareness and respect can cause irreparable harm to your brand.
If you’re not sure if you should post a link or image, it might be better to just skip it all together. Take a look at these huge social media fails and how major enterprises have a hard time
coming back after a controversy.
- Attacks on Customers
When someone says something negative or bad against your company, product or even employees, it may be tempting to lash out. Social media is considered to be the new source for customer service, and handling complaints and concerns should be done the same way as a customer service desk in a store.
One recent example of poor customer service came from makeup company Z Palette, who was accused of bullying customers on social media. They responded to customers by calling them broke and unattractive among other rude comments. Click here to read more about this company and how it cost them customers.
If you’re looking for tips on how to handle negative interactions, check out this blog post that outlines what to do: “How to Use Social Media for Outstanding Customer Service.”
- Not Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
If you’re going to share other people’s work, whether it’s images, articles or anything else, it is important to attribute the content to them. You can often tag their name in the post or link back to their original post; it’s fine to share, you just need to acknowledge the original author.
- Speaking Negatively About Employees
As a small business owner, if you’re going to have employees run your pages, or even if you run them yourself, your business accounts are not the place to air dirty laundry about your company. No one needs to know about internal drama or who did what to who and when. Keep all your posts and updates professional and positive, and relate everything back to your industry.
- Sharing False Information
Before sharing a post or article that is meant to be sensational and eye-catching, always be sure you know what’s in the link. Sharing posts that end up being scams or ones that are just click-bait can send the message that you’re naïve or that you don’t care enough to fact-check. Snopes.com can be a fantastic resource for checking an article’s legitimacy.
- Posting Content You Want To “Take Back”
When you put something on social media, you have to assume it’s out there forever. Followers take screenshots of blunders and there is no ‘taking it back’, even if you’ve made a mistake and delete the update. Before you post anything remotely personal or sensitive, ask yourself, “Do I want this to be online forever? How will this impact the reputation of my business? How will it reflect my brand?” It’s also important to proofread your posts; spelling and grammar errors can make your business look sloppy.
Get to Posting!
Now that you know what not to post, it is time to get posting on social media!