You have invested time and perhaps resources managing your social media platforms and your online brand, but if you are making these three mistakes you could be sending a message that defeats all of your efforts. Social Media is more about the SOCIAL than the MEDIA and these mistakes show your audience that you are not in it to be social.
3 Mistakes and How to Fix Them:
Of all the mistakes a business could make, this one chaps my hide this most. It does more than show ignorance on social media, it shows a complete disregard for your audience. It’s like posting your 800-number on your website and then not hiring anyone to answer the phones. My husband, Kirk, is a gadget king and loves buying into kickstarter projects. One early adopter products he bought was the Misfit Wearable, a physical activity monitor. We were following them on Twitter and of course there were lots of tweets going out promoting the new wearable product. When Kirk got his in the mail, he immediately got it set up and attached it to his waistband to hit the gym. Somehow between our front door and the gym door the device magnet separated and it was lost along with the $80 investment. We both sent a tweet about the disappointment of the weak magnet causing it to come off and become lost so easily, but heard nothing back…not one tweet. I asked a question to an identity theft expert on his Facebook page and through Twitter, regarding the type of shredder he recommended, but never got an answer.
It is better not to have an account at all, than to have an account on a social media platform and never check on comments or questions. Like email, you need to check a few times a day to see who has retweeted your content, or left a question for you. Yes, you will have to check your direct or private messages, as well as your replies and retweets on Twitter. You will need to check your Facebook notifications to see if someone commented on one of your posts, or if they have any private messages that need your attention. On LinkedIn you will see notifications of messages and on Google Plus and YouTube you will also be notified of messages left. If that seems like too many places to check each day, you either need to hire someone to manage it all or don’t open the doors to that platform to begin with. (see: Is Anyone Home)
Another mistake that many businesses make is trying very hard to get people to follow them, circle them, or like them, but then not reciprocating with a follow back. On a personal account, you can choose not to follow anyone and simply use your social media accounts for reading content, but for a business, it shows a one-sided relationship which is neither social or smart. We manage a few hotels and there have been times when a guest wants to voice a complaint or as a question in a private message, but if we are not following that guest back on Twitter, they cannot send a private message and will have to post it for the world to see. Our rule of thumb is to follow back, or circle back anyone who follows or connects, as long as they are not an obvious spammer or a whack-nut! The first is easier to spot than the latter at times. If they have a profile photo and their posts are not all spammy, we connect back.
Social Media allows us a chance to have real conversations with our fans, our customers and people who could influence others to buy from us. The key is to be SOCIAL. This means listening more than you are posting. Replying to what others are saying on the social channel. Spend time on other pages and profiles reading, liking, sharing and having these small conversations. Go to your social channel and look down the string of posts. Is it all you posting content and talking, or do you have conversations going on? On Facebook or Google+, when someone makes a comment under your post, thank them for being social and ask another question or make a statement that invites the conversation to continue. On Twitter, be sure to spend time reading content from others and simply commenting back or retweeting their posts to build the relationship and show that you are indeed, social.
What are other mistakes you see businesses make on social media?
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