Everyone makes mistakes, but committing a major social media no-no has the potential of hindering your business’s hard-earned reputation. A good rule of thumb is, “when in doubt, don’t.” But, if you’re wondering about specifics, here are the top 6 social media mistakes to avoid, especially in the wake of some serious social media faux pas:
1. Don’t lash out: Sometimes it’s hard to deal with constructive and/or blatantly harsh criticism from others, especially on such an open public space or forum like Facebook. However, as we learned from the recent and epic social media meltdown that Amy’s Baking Company Bakery Boutique & Bistro had on Facebook, it’s an excellent example of what no to do. Owners, Amy & Samy Bouzaglo lashed out on Facebook in response to some not-so-nice criticism after airing on Gordon Ramsay’s,Kitchen Nigtmares. Instead of say, swearing, ranting for hours, “yelling” in all caps, calling customers “stupid,” and then trying to cover it all up, responding quickly and calmly to a customer’s complaint, and trying to resolve it as soon as possible is simply the best thing you can do.
2. Don’t buy followers or fans: It may be tempting to make social media a numbers game. The more followers or “Likes” you have, the cooler, more trusted, desirable brand you must be, right? However, the point of social media isn’t to acquire a mass following, but to build relationships with legitimate potential and current customers. It’s all about quality over quantity – You may have 1 million followers, but if half of them don’t exist or don’t actually give a hoot about your brand, you may as well have none. Focus on increasing the quality of your content rather than increasing your numbers, and you’ll build a solid strategy and fan base.
3. Don’t create fakes comments: Who doesn’t want engagement and comments on posts, as well as a few good reviews on various sites? The problem is, they just can’t come from you – It boils down to dishonesty, and customers can easily see through it. Instead, include calls-to-actions in your social posts like, “Like this post if you agree,” and ask questions that’ll entice customers to respond. Need more reviews on your Yelp page? Encourage customers, and/or even give rewards or discounts to those who do write reviews, but honest ones!
4. Don’t be “Sir Spam-a-Lot”: Commenting on other social media or blog posts purely for the purpose of getting your own brand out there screams “spammer.” If you think your content is relevant, contact the owner of the post and propose a real linking or collaboration strategy. If you offer value with your content, you may develop a meaningful relationship – Win-win. Check out our post, How to Connect with Online Influencers – Dos & Don’ts for more advice on how to approach these relationships.