There are some big brands that are still getting it wrong in social media today, with everyone looking for a new way or new ideas in social marketing and ‘getting their brand out there’. Sometimes this can cost them dearly and be damaging to their brand. Here I just wanted to share with you interesting points I have read and also share my thoughts on social media ‘Do’s & Don’ts’.
1 – Don’t just create a business page in social media for the sake of it – have a purpose
Having a Facebook or Twitter business page just because your competitors has, isn’t always the answer. Have a clear marketing purpose and ‘Do’ have a plan! Evaluate what you want to get from it and set clear goals.
Once you have a page, do you have a plan to maintain that page? Have you designated someone within your company to maintain the page?
2 – Don’t use the wrong URL for your Facebook page
You no longer need 25 fans to help create a custom business page. Obtain a URL for your page that has your company’s name in it. For example, it can contain your brand name be www.facebook.com/yourbrandname instead of the former random number URL assigned.
3 – Don’t leave large gaps in posts!
Make sure you post often, without it being too spamy! To post frequently and then to leave your pages for a week, would be bad practice you want to keep your followers/public involved and engaged. Without consistent and regular posts they won’t have a reason to follow you or your page, give them new regular content and a reason to keep reading.
4 – Don’t spam
You might not think your sales messages are spam, but posting the same message too many times, could really upset your followers. They like to be spoken to, not shouted at – BUY! BUY! BUY! – constantly can get boring and result in people giving up following you! Have a good mixture of content include your sales messages but integrated within the grand mix! Remember to word it so it isn’t to sales targeted or aggressive; include call to actions – but don’t go over the top!
5 – Don’t be a robot – have a voice
If your social media presence is for your brand and not you personally, you may find you are more successful when you bring in some personality into your communications. This can be as simple as thanking people for retweets or offering your expertise to help others, whilst sharing a little of your personal side. It is good to have an opinion and being a human voice rather than a robot is what people will relate too.
6 – Don’t self-promote all the time
This again could come under spam, I know self-promotion is why you are originally on social media but these networks are vastly different from other marketing tools. A good rule of thumb would be to balance your self-promotion by promoting and helping others, connected to your business/market. Find similar pages/markets to share content, this is another way of varying you’re content and keeping your audience captivated.
7 – Do use the right social media channels for your business
There are loads to choose from and not every social media site is right for certain business, do your research. LinkedIn might be the obvious place for B2B but does this also fitting for your market the obvious choice isn’t necessarily the best choice! Wikipedia has a list of all the good social media sites. Do you research; find out who your competitors are using and if they are using them successfully – take note!
8 – Don’t outsource your social media to someone/companies that do not know your brand or target audience
If there is a team responsible the social media or you are out sourcing it to an external agency/company make sure you ALL share the same tone of voice as not to confuse your audience! Remember one wrong message will go noticed and could spoil years’ worth of brand building. Make sure you are all giving the same messages.
9 – Don’t avoid reacting to negative feedback
One of the downsides to social media is the uncontrollable element of it. While you can’t control every detail or who they share it with, one element you can control is how your business responds to their feedback. With the right social media tracking you can respond to these comments and if they are negative look how they can be turned into a positive. Depending on the subject matter would depend on how you would respond. You could get the user to email you to sort out behind the social media scene or respond directly to them online. You’ll be surprised how responding as a voice can help or win over a lot of customers, just knowing they are being listened to or getting a response, could go a long way. (Be careful though not all instances can be turned in to a positive but the fact that your brand is saying – ‘Hello I hear you’ can help!).
10 – Do use it as an outlet to amplify a message
Don’t over-focus on social media’s ability to amplify a message and create awareness, always remember it is also about engagement and connecting with customers. You can retweet a message several times, if the message isn’t something interesting enough for them to care about it will not matter! Make sure it is written well and even add some humour to it if the subject is apt.
There are no hard and fast rules of what you should or shouldn’t do, so these I would only see as best practices to help create successful engagement on social media sites. I would also say read the official guidelines for the particular social media site you are using and keep reading them they can and do change and are always a good place to start, for example:
The Power of Social Media Today.
This article was unbelievable it is a true story about a man who takes a hostage for 16 hours and announces it on Facebook only to see the his friends and the police join in negotiation. This to me shows the extent in everyday life (not just in business), in which we are using it or how is it being used. Last month saw ‘The Drum’ (marketing and media magazine), cover an article about how Seabrooks crisps broke the rules with their competition on Facebook.
2010 saw some great social media campaign’s on the link above it has the ten best success stories that brands have had with social media marketing, one of my all time favourite was the ‘Old Spice’ campaign, I remember wrapping up ‘Old Spice’ for my dad at Christmas as a little girl – this really was a great come back for them, getting across that this brand is not just for old men – more spicy men!
Thanks for reading my blog, please share your comments about your social media ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ or have you seen anything about social media that has shocked you or made you smile, we would like to hear your stories!
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