Social media is far more than friends reconnecting online and sharing cute cat videos. Social media is increasingly essential for businesses to engage in and engage with their customers upon. Yet it is all too often a source of negative PR for companies. Here are 3 common social media mistakes businesses make.
“You’re a Young Intern. You Know What to Do on Social Media.”
Giving a young intern the keys to the company’s social media because they are familiar with social media is a mistake. Many companies have found themselves at the center of a social media storm because the intern got into a Twitter war with an idiot via the company account and made the customers angry. Others have found their marketing efforts negated by an intern who posted personal commentary and political opinions online, alienating suppliers and/or customers. You can give an intern the authority to shoot a behind the scenes video or interview key personnel. However, your company’s social media messaging should be as thoroughly supervised and vetted as any press release, not left to an intern.
Automate It and Forget It
A surprisingly common mistake on social media is when businesses set up social media accounts, automate them and then forget about it. For example, once a press release is approved, it is distributed to various industry magazines and posted on the company social media account. You may be putting content up on your company’s social media accounts this way, but you aren’t going to attract followers while the stale, boring nature drives away anyone who sees your social media account.
Automation can lead to subtle mistakes, such as posting four pieces of content marketing to your timeline at midnight each day instead of sharing it at times when others are more likely to notice and actually read it. You can find more actionable advice on this topic at technologydreamer.com.
And don’t make the mistake of automatically sharing any content that comes out about your company on other sources, since it could lead to your social media account spreading negative editorials.
Another mistake is uploading the social media profiles and just leaving it up, assuming that is enough. No, it isn’t. You need to update the descriptions, pictures and other information periodically to keep people’s interest.
Inconsistency can hurt you in several ways when it comes to social media. Posting several times in one day after three months of neglect is one version of this mistake. Not caring how your posted content or social media profile in general fit with your company’s brand is another. Trying to be hip and cool on social media and displaying a personality contrary to the company’s main image is definitely a mistake, since it shows that at least one marketing “face” is inauthentic.
Your business needs to be on social media, especially the sites where most of your customers spend time. Don’t leave corporate social media accounts in the hands of the inexperienced; marketing and legal need to review content before it is posted. Don’t set up an account and neglect it or automate it and forget it. Ensure that your social media image and shared content is consistent with the rest of your marketing and branding efforts.