As the internet is evolving and embracing new websites daily with people joining social media networks, there has been an undercurrent of online etiquette that has formed over the years. Here are some of the worst advice that we have heard about social media marketing:
"Be on every single social media platform"
It’s easy to embrace any new social media website in the belief it could be the next big thing. The truth is there are many social media websites out there that will suit each and every one of us, from business professionals to artists. According to Steamfeed.com, there are over 214 social media platforms, both U.S. based and international. With this in mind it isn’t viable let alone efficient use of your time and resources trying to have a presence on each and every one of these.
Choosing the right social media website is therefore crucial. You should consider the relevancy (i.e. is it picture or text based and how will this affect your posts) and the target market (how this relates to your typical consumer). For instance, a building merchant aiming to increase brand awareness through construction news may chose Facebook or LinkedIn whereas an interior designer looking to showcase their creative pieces may decide Pinterest or Instragram are more relevant.
Whichever channel you decide on you should always ensure your posts and updates are tailored and appropriate for your audience, which could include the general public, stakeholders and potential and current customers. Remember this isn’t a personal page and therefore unless it is relevant to do so, posting cute animal pictures probably isn’t appropriate.
Our view on new social media websites is: research it, find out the main purpose and target audience. If it appeals to your marketing strategy then sign up and try it.
"Update everyone, all of the time"
No-one needs to know your every move. Constantly posting on what other people may consider boring or irrelevant topics may increase your chances of people un-following your business. Posting multiple times a day does not boost your reputation. People want to see quality content, not something that is repeated over and over again.
The most important way to ensure you use the social website to the optimum level is to know your audience as for every platform users’ expectations differ greatly regarding types of content. For example, Twitter users clearly want short blast updates whereas Facebook users enjoy more text alongside a picture or video posts.
"Social Media is useless!"
That’s cute. No really, you need to have a presence online. As much footfall or custom you get in your stores or office, having that online presence opens you up to a global audience that could be new potential customers and can increase brand awareness of your fantastic business.
Thinking that you don’t need it because your industry doesn’t use it is considered out of date and out of touch these days. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, regardless of your competitors activity, and whether you are a large corporation or a local based business you should really consider building an online presence. Whether you employ a new recruit, contract a social media agency or do it yourself we believe it’s a key aspect to any ambitious business.
Hashtags are mainly used on Twitter and can also be used on Instagram and more recently on Facebook. As Steve Cooper said in his article on Forbes.com –
“As ridiculous as hashtags might seem to marketing veterans who remember a time before Twitter and Facebook, the younger generation and potential customers/clients don’t. To them, using hashtags is as natural and common as typing their query into the search box.”
And Twitter have researched the power of the hashtag by confirming that there is a significant advantage to using them as individuals can see a 100% increase in engagement as it allows you to follow trends and learn what other companies are discussing.
As helpful as hashtags are, if you over use them, then they can put people off your post. As I started on this section - #DontDoIt! Use a couple but certainly not 10 at a time and only when they are relevant.
They can be very positive though:
- Using a social tagging such as hash tagging is that it can be beneficial for event organisers, company owners or PR professionals to monitor and measure the success of the event.
- If you want your post to be seen by others who are posting about the topic of your message, for example “#DrWho” or “#BBCDrWho” then your post will be with others who are tweeting about it. This could also lead to potential engagement with customers.
"Tell 'em what you really think!"
Remember, your customers are your best advocates in business. If they have enjoyed your services then they will most likely tell others. Basic customer service should not be forgotten even though you are online. If you see that someone has posted an enquiry on your page then address it. Moreover, people will see an openness and willingness to resolve matters. By leaving it unanswered will definitely give the wrong impression, deleting the comment will make things even worse.
However think about your tactic in answering enquiries online carefully. You don’t want to be sat in front of a screen indefinitely answering everyone! There is no one-size-fits-all policy that is recommended for handling negative comments, except one – keep it genuine and stay neutral.
You've heard the worst social advice, now learn about Inbound Marketing: