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There’s no question social media is an effective measure for businesses to include in their marketing strategy. It helps build brand presence, allows you to connect with a huge audience, and gives you tons of room for creativity.
While social media is an amazing tool for companies to utilize, it’s pretty useless if your business isn’t using it right. Below are three common mistakes you should avoid when using social media for business.
1. Not Engaging with their Audience
The whole point of social media is to build connections and, well, be social! That goes for businesses, too. Customers want to be heard and social media offers a great opportunity for businesses to interact with their consumers. The worst thing you can do as a business on social media is remain silent. The content being published on social media should be engaging and encourage users to share, respond and interact with your message. Make an effort to conversate with your audience, even if your response is short and sweet. Your response should be authentic, appropriate, genuine, and reflective of your brand voice.
In addition to user comments, too often businesses neglect to respond to guest complaints. Addressing negative comments is crucial when it comes to maintaining brand reputation. Receiving a negative comment gives your business the opportunity to learn about areas they can improve, which will help prevent that issue from recurring. It also gives your business the chance to redeem its brand image through listening, sympathizing and offering a solution. Here are a few tips to consider when responding to a negative review:
- Stay calm and take a moment to gather your thoughts
- Gather as many details on the situation as possible
- Politely apologize, even if it’s not your fault
- Be personal and touch on all complaints in the review
- Always offer a solution
- Thank them for their feedback
Responding the right way to an unhappy consumer can make a huge difference. Customers are more likely to give your product or service another chance if you properly acknowledge their review. They are also more likely to adjust their star rating if the platform allows. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of this opportunity?
According to a survey conducted by Podium, 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their buying decision. If that many users are looking at reviews and making a purchasing decision based on what they are reading, it’s obvious how impactful it is to respond to these reviews.
2. Treating All Social Channels the Same
Spoiler alert: No two social media platforms are the same! Every social media channel has its own unique function, audience, and language and should be treated that way. When developing a social media strategy and plan, it’s extremely important to first consider your audience. What social platforms are they using? Once you’ve determined which social media platforms your target audience is actively using, cater your content to fit each specific channel. For example, the message you post on Twitter would most likely be concise and include specific, relevant hashtags, while the message you post on LinkedIn would be more business and industry oriented because the clientele on these platforms are completely different.
Many companies make the mistake of posting the same exact messages across every single social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). While many scheduling platforms, such as Hootsuite, make it easy for brands to share the same post across several social channels, this is a bad habit to get into as this comes off as automatic and not human. Creating an authentic brand image starts with the messages your brand sends, so making sure these messages are delivered on the appropriate platforms is crucial.
3. Over-Promoting their products and services
Back to authenticity. Companies that constantly post about their business and services come off as spammy and NOT authentic. Posting about this too frequently will cause your business to appear robotic and will cause users to unfollow your page. Social media should be engaging, fun and conversational. Create content that’s relevant to your brand that your audience wants to hear and don’t make it all about you.
The key is to keep and grow your audience. The best way to do this is to be as human as possible and speak the same language as the audience you are targeting.
Remember, social media is absolutely useless if you aren’t utilizing it the correct way. If you can avoid these three huge mistakes when marketing your business on social media, you’re already on the right track.