So you’re in charge of managing the social media presence for a business or organisation? Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been managing the profiles for a while, there are a few fundamental rules and guidelines that dictate best practice when it comes to social media.
These 7 deadly sins of Social Media will give you a glimpse of social media’s dark side, and will hopefully give you a few ideas of what not to do while managing your own accounts. Chances are you’re guilty of a few of these “sins”, which may be holding you back and preventing you from realising your true potential.
How many profiles do you have on different social networks? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and more? If you’re on all of these accounts, it’s possible you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, and it’s time to cut back and focus on what’s working.
Stop spreading yourself so thin, and focus on a few of your accounts that are doing the most for your business. If you can’t think of a reason to keep focussing on a particular account, get rid of it, or scale back the time you spend on it.
By putting more time into what’s working, you’ll get more bang for your buck, and won’t be wasting so much time on dead-ends.
Are you regularly updating your accounts and responding to people’s messages and comments? Social media is a 2-way street, and should involve conversation. If you’re being quiet, it’s no wonder no one else is speaking up.
The purpose of social media is to connect to people, so reach out by posting engaging and interesting content. Don’t sit back and expect them to come to you.
Is your Facebook page not getting the amount of likes you’re after? Are you building up a following on Twitter that’s too slow for your liking? If this is the case, whatever you do, resist the urge to purchase likes and followers. If someone offers you a cheap and automated way of building likes and followers, turn around and run away.
Most of the likes and followers you can buy these days aren’t actually real people, but fake accounts. Sure, it looks good having thousands of fans on your Facebook page, but if they’re all robots, and no one’s engaging with you, they’re useless.
Instead, if you want more fans and followers, be better at social media. That’s easier said than done, but by posting engaging content and working harder on building relationships, you’ll build a following of people genuinely interested in you. Treat your community like actual people, and not just numbers.
Remember, what happens on the internet stays on the internet. Don’t go making hasty and inappropriate comments to people on your pages, or on other people’s pages.
If you think there’s a chance something might come back to haunt you, take a step back and think twice about what you’re posting. There have been countless public relations disasters for big corporations because one person didn’t think twice before posting something silly on social media.
What are you hoping to achieve by using social media? Money? Fame?
Social media is no quick fix. It can be used to achieve a lot of things, but won’t get you anywhere overnight. Instead, it should be viewed as a long-term strategy for growing your business.
Come up with a plan that’s aimed at achieving specific goals to get your priorities in order. Don’t be focused solely on getting likes and followers, but strive to create relationships that’ll convert your fans and followers into customers.
Is your main competitor everywhere on social media? If so, resist the urge to do whatever they do just because they’re doing it. Come up with your own goals and priorities, and focus on achieving those. Don’t just do what they do and expect to get anywhere.
Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t be paying attention to what your competitors are doing.
Resist the urge to mix business with your personal life. Yes, you may have the world’s cutest grandkids or an adorable cat, but that’s probably not why your fans and followers choose to engage with you.
Don’t make your accounts all about yourself, or all about your business either for that matter. Instead, think about what your fans and followers would like to be reading from you. What kind of content will they find most interesting? And what kind of content are they more likely to engage with? Stop selling, and start engaging.
How many of these sins are you guilty of? What do you need to work on to start building meaningful relationships? Remember, social media success is neither random nor magic. It takes effort, but it’s definitely worth it.