We've all had our fair share of bad advice. Thankfully, over the years we get better and better at discerning the good from the bad. But when it comes to your social media marketing, you can’t afford to listen to bad advice—not when its costing you return on investment. Not to mention, that you're posting on a platform where everyone is watching. (This could spell PR disaster). Here are the top 5 Don'ts for Social Media in 2021.
Don't be on every platform
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Snapchat, TikTok… why not dominate them all? While in theory it sounds like a great idea to manage a presence on every channel – it’s important to keep in mind that not every platform will deliver results. Not to mention, trying to publish quality content on every channel will spread your efforts very thin.
Do use the platform based on your target audience
Instead, narrow down your efforts based on who your target audience is and which platform will be the best way to reach them. Then you can focus on publishing memorable content where it will give you the best return on investment.
Don't always answer bad comments
While you should always find a way to address negative comments – it’s imperative that you do so with strategy. Some issues can be resolved with a simple reply while others may call for a personal message. On the rare occasion you will come across the internet troll who is a lost cause. Social media admins should avoid battling trolls in the comment sections on their posts. You do not want to go back and forth publicly on your social media page. And if a user continues to post and harass your page, the last resort is to delete their messages and block them from the page.
Do use comments as a way to interact with users on a personal level
Using the comments section as a way to answer questions, respond to positive feedback, and reinforce engagement with users is a great way to utilize social media. Not every user will have the same opinion about your product or service, but remembering that how and if you respond can be dissected should stay front of mind. When in doubt, it's better to not say anything at all, or invite the user to send an email to address issues than hashing them out on a thread for all to see.
Don't post as much content as you possibly can
The last thing you want to do is bombard your audience with information. Similar to a telemarketer that calls you 8 times per day, content overload can lead to brand fatigue. This is a common issue with new product or service launches, but just remember that while what you have to share is important, being mindful of how and when content is shared is equally important.
Do remember that less can be more if done right
Keep it simple. Find out what works best for your specific audience, then be consistent and stick with it. It’s also important to post the right type of content for the platform. For example, if you’re focused on creating content on Facebook, users prefer articles, photos and videos over text heavy content while on Twitter you should focus on copy-oriented posts.
“If you’ve researched the buyer persona for your business, you should know the desires, aspirations and pain points of your ideal customer. Promoting one blog post per week that provides highly specific, actionable advice for your ideal customer is far more effective than using social media every day in a generalized, unfocused manner.” - Ragan International
Haven’t heard of using buyer personas? You may be intrigued by the inbound marketing strategy.
Don't use AI or Bots to boost followers
Also known as social media automation, using bots may seem like an innovative approach or an easy shortcut to a building a strong social media presence. Bots will Like photos on your behalf; follow people on your behalf; or even comment on your behalf. However, these interactions are artificial and can reflect poorly on your brand. You can’t automate the kind of human interaction people expect from brands. Not to mention, the use of bots goes against Facebook and Instagram’s terms of service.
Do create a sustainable following organically
By creating and sharing relevant content that matches the platform used, the followers will come. By realizing that these changes won't come overnight, you can temper your expectation and focus on crafting the image and personality of your brand in a way that draws people to you instead of manipulating user numbers.
Be real, and speaking of being real...
Don't have a different persona on Social Media than in real life
Customers who follow you value your approachability and realness. That is to say, your social media presence should reflect your ideals and values as a company. The best example of this is the infamous Wendys™ Twitter page:
Now we don't recommend roasting your followers or engaging them unnecessarily, (see #2 above), we do however, recommend transparency. In fact, according to a 2018 study, 81% of customers said that companies MUST be transparent on social media. The bottom line here is that who you are on your Facebook feed as a company, should reflect who you are at a trade show or in an email.
Do use Social Media as an extension of your brand or company's values
Does your firm support sustainable building methods? Or do you host a company blood drive every year? Sharing those types of activities in a way that doesn't virtue signal, or seem fake, can give your followers a sense that you care about more than just the bottom line. The interesting correlation here is that the more connected a user feels to a brand, the more loyal they are to it and the money will follow. While this end result should never be the goal of these efforts, being who you say you are everywhere does lead to monetary returns.