When it comes to sharing and posting online, social media mistakes can and will happen. Whether it is a grammar error, forgotten link, or you tagged the wrong social account, these things are pretty common.
However, many companies (even yours included) are probably making other social blunders still, affecting your ROI and brand results.
Social media is no longer just a “nice-to-have” for basic brand presence and is where customers and buyers hangout the most. Social media has to play an important role and that includes eliminating the below mistakes.
1. Diminishing the Value of Social Media
Back when social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were just getting started, it was easy for businesses to brush them off.
Even as the platforms grew, many executives viewed it as some place to be present but did not focus much time. Smartly, many businesses have shifted that mindset and put a great deal of effort, time, and resources to social media.
Similarly, there are still plenty of companies (especially in B2B) that allow social media to fade in the background with little support.
Social media mistake!
Why? Well, let’s look at just a snippet of social media stats:
- Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media. (Statusbrew)
- 91% of B2B buyers are active on social media. (IDC)
- 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds indicated that they use any form of social media, 78% among those ages 30 to 49, to 64% among those ages 50 to 64 (Pew Research Center)
Your company needs to not only value social media, but put time, resources, and budget into these platforms effectively.
2. Thinking Social Media is Only for Marketing
Of course, social media is a key component to marketing, but it should not be solely on your marketing teams’ laps. It is actually beneficial to almost every department, but some more than others.
Benefits for Marketing:
- Drive new website traffic
- Brand awareness
- Boost amount leads
Benefits for Sales:
- Connecting and educating prospects
- Can help close deals
- Drive more qualified leads
- Start conversations
Benefits for HR:
- Connect with potential hires
- Increase reach of job postings to a bigger job pool
- Improve employer branding by sharing work culture
Benefits for customer service/client success:
- Address questions and comments directly
- Improves brand image when customers are being responded to
Related: Learn how Kelly Services used social media and employees to recruit top talent. Get your case study here.
3. Treating Each Social Channel the Same
While social media outlets may have similarities, each platform is unique in their own way.
That means your company needs to avoid treating each social media platform the same. And posting the exact same way.
If not, you risk committing a common social media mistake, but one that can easily be corrected.
- LinkedIn is more business formal with longer character counts. Sharing content, ideas, research, and being in front of prospects and customers has a particular tone.
- Instagram is extremely visual with pictures and videos, your company needs to be more creative and not post generic imagery.
- Twitter is fast-paced, great for engaging audiences, starting conversations, answering customers, but with fewer characters than Facebook or LinkedIn.
It’s good to have a plan and customize your content, timing, and engagement levels for each.
There will inevitably some experimenting to test what works, but don’t post exactly the same stuff at the exact same times. Your social accounts will quickly grow stale and boast very little results.
4. Being Afraid of Employees on Social Media
For a while, a true challenge for companies was ensuring employees who did not need access to social, was not spending time on it. This is one of the top social media mistakes companies are making.
It shows you distrust your employees if you are blocking social websites (why are you hiring people you distrust?), employees are already pretty social, and your company is missing out on a golden opportunity.
98% of employees use at least one social media site for personal use, of which 50% are already posting about their company. (Weber Shandwick)
Employees when given the opportunity, knowledge, and right technology become an amazing brand extension. They help you reach new audiences, drive more clicks, increase sales, and extend your brand reach.
Of course, there can be some challenges, but the pros of employee advocates outweigh the cons.
Related: Wondering how others have successfully utilized employees on social media? Here are 10 solid examples.
5. Post and Hope – No Thought Behind Content Shares
If your company or social media team is just randomly posting with no thought behind it, they are using the “post and hope” strategy.
This means you are putting out random pieces of content and hoping the audience will engage. Of course, you may get lucky and have some hits. But generally, this will only be a waste of time and prove little value.
As mentioned above, each social platform is different, which means your approach to a social strategy needs to have a thought process behind it.
Be strategic with your content shares, images, videos and that it is relevant to your industry as well.
Start a continuous comment thread on something you post, engage with people who comment or click, re-post it again with different copy, etc.
6. Your Social Profiles Appear to Be Spam Bots
Want a quick way to gain 0 traction on your social strategy? Simple. Make your company’s social profiles read a robot and share content with no human touch.
This means if all your audience sees is constant basic company blog shares, with no thoughtful copy, and nothing more. Your brand quickly looks like a spam-bot only trying to push a sales agenda.
The same goes if you have an employee advocacy program in place where employees have access to content for social sharing.
Give them the ability to add to their own thoughts and personality to content and include more than company blogs. Allow industry news and similar third-party content, etc.
Otherwise, you risk creating a spam army on top of it all.
7. Ignoring Your Social Audience
Being on social media is key for your brand to stay connected to customers and prospects. Many times, they will ask questions, comment, and interact with your postings.
A common social media mistake is that you ignore or neglect to interact with them. Your audience is there for information, to connect with your brand, and generally will start a conversation with you.
It will be hard to keep their attention if they are ignored, which means they may not care what you post in the future or interact with any links.
Comment, like back, answer questions, engage with their content, etc. While these gestures may be small, it goes a long what to how your audience views your brand. Even brands with hundreds of thousands of followers, still interact and engage frequently throughout the day.
8. Limiting Your Social Content to Just Blog Links
Social media platforms have continued encouraging various forms of content. And if anything, the feed algorithms of LinkedIn and Facebook have shown that.
Driving traffic back to your website or latest blogs is, of course, important, but if that’s all your posting you’ll lose your audience’s interest and worse, may not be seen by followers.
Give them interesting content which could be videos, images, nuggets of insights, solid third-party content, run Twitter chats, etc. Mix in relevant, entertaining, and educational information in various forms to keep your social profiles fresh.
9. Deleting Or Ignoring Negative Comments
Just like on major review sites like Yelp, G2 Crowd, etc. negative reviews are never great to see, but you need to embrace them.
Trying to delete them, ignore it, or bury the comments with positive reviews does not make it go away. It also looks like you are trying to hide something, which makes outsiders not trust your brand.
This also goes with social media because you may get called out for deleting or hiding, which can bring on more negative attention.
Address the negativity by:
- Thanking them for the feedback
- Let them know you take feedback seriously (you should if positive or negative)
- Never be defensive. Even if your brand is doing everything perfectly, you can still face some criticism
Also, Avoid These Topics on Corporate Social Media
Besides the social media mistakes mentioned above, your company and employees should avoid certain topics as well.
Generally, we all have a pretty good understanding of what can backfire. Yet, plenty of well-known brands still occasionally commit these topic mistakes.
- Complaining about employees
- Complaining about customers
- Aggressive political opinions
- Religious rants
- Trashing your competitors publicly
- Sharing sensitive data
- Controversial re-shares
- Irrelevant content to your industry
- Anything race related
- Avoid fake news articles
The above is just a snapshot of what your corporate social handles and any employee advocates should avoid while sharing on your brand behalf.
Related: Here are some social media horror stories from recognizable brands, it happens! But learn from these mistakes and become a social media powerhouse.
To avoid the social media mistakes above, ensure you have a great social media policy in place that is accessible by everyone.
Also, if employees on social media is a strategy you are considering, it’s good to provide a program to control what gets filtered through and host training sessions for employees to attend if they choose to participate.
Either way, social media is an incredible asset to any business (B2B or B2C) and your company should focus on a social strategy.
Hopefully the above helps you double check your own social accounts or think more about how social can play into your business strategies moving forward.