Social media is a minefield. While trying to be cool and switched-on with your customers, it’s all too easy to be like that awkward, middle-aged dad at parties who says something embarrassing.
One wrong move on a social media channel could tarnish your brand. An argument with a commenter, a “funny” meme that offends people or promoting your business during a natural disaster — it can all end up in a disaster of your own.
Yet, you need social media to keep up with your competitors, promote your brand and grow your company. In 2017, it’s almost impossible to survive without a strong social media presence.
We’ve got you covered. In this article, we take a look at 7 social media catastrophes you need to avoid.
#1 Don’t Get Into an Argument
One of the aims of social media is to interact with your customers and improve their experience. And because over 70% of people say they will recommend a brand to others if they have a good social media experience, you will need to get involved in the comments now and then.
It’s perfectly fine to reply to comments on social media. Brands like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tai Lopez and Grant Cardone do it.
Usually, however, their engagement is limited to a thumbs-up, a thank you message, or a piece of encouragement to the commenter.
But look, these guys get their fair share of haters — and you will, too. As Tai Lopez points out in this video, you’re not a success unless around 10% of people in your comments hate you. The theory is that the more haters you have, the more exposure you’ve been getting.
It’s hard to refrain from replying to haters, especially when you know they’re wrong and you want to prove it to them. Moreover, some of your pride will be hurting as you read the hateful comments. But you absolutely must hold back from getting into an argument on social media. It’s only going to end badly for you and your brand. No one comes out of a petty argument on social media looking good. After a bit of to-and-fro, the argument will evolve into “My house is bigger than your house” posturing. And that will turn people off.
That said, there will be times when interacting with a hater is in your best interests and can actually make you look good if you pull it off. As Gary Vaynerchuk points out, you need to treat them with respect.
#2 Don’t Share Below Par Content or Deals
How do you really feel about the content or deal you’re about to post and promote? Do you know it’s awesome? Or are you unsure about it? If you’re unsure, it’s better not to press “Post.”
Remember that content is king on social media, and that to raise awareness of your brand you need to be consistently sharing good content that offers a true value to readers.
Brands use social media to tell their stories. It’s through stories that brands connect with audiences and build relationships.
The quality of your content dictates the quality of your storytelling. In other words, if your content is weak, it won’t speak to people and your message won’t get through. No one will share, like or comment on your activity.
Social media is where you distribute your story and raise awareness of your brand and who you are. If you start putting out weak content, it will turn people off. And they may not come back.
#3 Don’t Vanish and Be Otherwise Erratic With Your Presence
BuzzFeed puts out an insane amount of content, but even one-man-bands like Seth Godin post every single day to their social media.
Gary Vaynerchuk is in his fans’ news feeds all the time. Why? Because it’s this kind of exposure that will help him scale online.
Putting out content on social media each day is hard. But you have to try. If you disappear for days and weeks on end, people will forget about you. You’ll lose any kind of momentum and engagement that you were doing so well to build.
Post often and engage with your fans to avoid becoming a brand that preaches in the desert where no one can hear them.
#4 Don’t Post the Same Content on All Your Channels
Ever seen people using hashtags on Facebook? It makes no sense, as Facebook isn’t a place for hashtags. The reason people do it is because they’re recycling content from another platform, such as Instagram or Twitter.
Native content is content that is specific to a certain platform. People expect to see different types of content on different platforms. It makes your message much more compelling, and it ensures that you’re speaking to the right type of people with the right message and delivery.
The essence of your message can be same on all your channels, but the way you present the post needs to be specific to each platform in order for there to be engagement. Why would you use Facebook to be a Twitter distributor when you can tell the story on Facebook?
Focus on a handful of channels, get used to them and then find out what type of content performs well on each one.
#5 Don’t Simply Post Your Own Content
Coming up with fresh content all the time can be really exhausting. But while it may seem dangerous to share other people’s content to your social media channels, it’s actually a good idea. Firstly, the more content you share, the more you’ll get noticed. Secondly, if you start sharing content from experts in your niche, you’ve got the potential to become the go-to source of information for people.
Curating content is as simple as finding articles and images that your audience will appreciate. Each time you go to share someone else’s content, just make sure that you like the piece and that there are things your fans can learn from it.
#6 Don’t Post Non-Native Videos
Videos are a big deal on Facebook. The most important stat you need to know is that native videos get far more engagement than videos that link out to YouTube. In other words, people prefer to be able to just click on a video there and then, rather than have to click on a link that takes them off Facebook.
Be native and — when possible — keep it to Facebook.
#7 Don’t Boost the Wrong Posts
Lastly, imagine spending a load of cash on the wrong horse?
Boosted posts are a great way to scale online. But it’s important that you boost the right ones.
It’s fairly easy to identify the posts you need to boost. Open your Facebook Page Insights tab, and then click “Engagement Rate.” The ones with the best engagement rates are the ones you should be boosting. The ones with poor engagement rates? Don’t boost. Even if they’re your favorite.
Doing the wrong things on social media can as good as damage your brand in 2017. When it comes to how you present yourself, remember to be positive, polite and always bear in mind who your audience is. For everything else, refer to the above.