As start-ups and small businesses, there are many reasons to use social media to grow your business. Larger businesses pay staff or outsource social media experts. However, in the wrong hands social media can damage your brand, ruin your personal reputation and decimate sales.
Here’s my guide of things to ensure you avoid at all costs:
1. Using bad language, being racist, sexist etc
Quite clearly I shouldn’t have to tell you that being derogatory to another person or business when posting from your own business social media channels however what some businesses fail to realise is that their personal Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter feeds can be accessed by potential clients and because business is about buying from people, the potential client is buying from you NOT your logo.
If you remain professional at all times then you have nothing to worry about. There is a school of thought that believes that personal Facebook accounts are just that, personal. BUT, in this day in age when you can use the internet to find out someone’s deepest and darkest secrets I’d have to say that there is nothing that is personal or private about social media accounts.
2. Get into disagreements
I once saw a supplier of mine enter into a bitter war of words on Facebook after they were questioned about the salary they had placed on a job advert which they had posted on Facebook and shared via their personal profile. It was a very low salary for what appeared to be a senior management role requiring several years of experience and qualifications.
You can’t prevent people from commenting on anything you share on social media but you can respond in the correct manner OR not at all! Sometimes a dignified silence speaks volumes about your character.
3. Sharing out of date or incorrect information
Remember you’re representing your brand and you need to make sure that if you link to another person’s blog or another business’ website or post that you are sharing factual, relevant and up to date information. You will look rather silly if you give credence to a post that is factually wrong or out of date. READ everything thoroughly and check facts.
4. Don’t try to be all things to all people
Work out who your ideal client is and then use the social media platforms where they can be found.
For example an accountancy practice should be using a professional forum like LinkedIn but Instagram would be totally pointless. Who wants to see images of calculators and carrier bags full of receipts!
If you’re a network marketer then most of the platforms could work for you but you’ll probably get the most out of Facebook.
5. Auto-posting to disaster
It’s always a good idea to schedule your posts….or is it?? Always ensure that if something catastrophic occurs that you check what you have scheduled in your social media. The death of a celebrity, a terrorist attack or natural disaster coupled with an insensitive post would look at best inept, however you could look insensitive, rude or inhumane!
6. Don’t BUY affection
Don’t post for the sake of posting and ENSURE that your content is relevant to your audience. If you set a post around a competition to achieve an objective don’t make it about likes. You want your page likes to be from your perfect customer. Facebook algorithms ensure that only a fraction of your likers see your posts so you need to make sure that those likers are your customers.
7. Don’t shout “BUY MY STUFF”!
Customers will engage much more effectively (and faster!) if you build a relationship with them. If all your posts are about selling your product or service then they’ll get bored and turn off. You wouldn’t go up to a guy in the street and say “I’m selling carrots, how many do you want?” You’d advertise your grocers shop with a lovely window display, nice signage and you’d chat to your customers when they came in. You need to have engagement and interaction before they buy. You just need to ensure that you balance your sales posts with engaging posts too!
Look out for our blog on social media success coming soon….