A how-to guide in reverse brought to you by our resident social media guru!
Setting social media accounts up for your business can be an exciting, yet scary time for you. It takes experimentation and learning about your audience. What makes them engage with you? What content gets the most likes and shares? What do you do if someone leaves a negative review? There are several mistakes that you should avoid to set yourself apart from the social media “newbies” and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Do you want to start losing followers fast? Here’s how:
- Share links without images or descriptions. Think about why you chose to share that link, article, cause or image. People react to enthusiasm and excitement. Tell your followers (briefly) why you chose to share the content with them and why they should check it out.
- Don’t give credit where it’s due. Keep in mind, it’s always great to share third party content that’s relevant to your industry and in social media, it’s encouraged to do so. It’s important to always give credit to the creator of that content by tagging them in your post. It’s an easy way to say “thanks” and encourage that 3rd party to engage with you as well. Sharing 3rd party content is a great way to add variety to your posts and show that you are always researching your industry.
- Send those pesky direct messages. How often do you like a profile on Twitter or Instagram and all of a sudden you receive message notification with a “Thanks for following me, now check out my X, Y or Z!” Direct messages come across as inauthentic and robotic, often mistaken for spam. Instead, we recommend you take a look through their feed and like posts that you are interested in or that you find relevant to your industry.
- Use hashtags that don’t actually do anything. The goal of a hashtag is to categorize your post. If the hashtag you include doesn’t do that, then it’s irrelevant. Take a look at what hashtags are trending in relation to your post before using them. Also, keep in mind that social media platforms including Linkedin and Pinterest are not formatted to support them.
- Ignore your negative reviews and comments. Unfortunately this will happen to you at some point. You can’t please everyone and where do people love to vent when something goes wrong? Social media! When you receive negative feedback, it’s only seen as truly negative if you don’t handle it in the best way. Ignoring them can take a mishap and transform it into an online disaster! We are not perfect as human beings and mistakes are going to happen. We recommend being polite and trying to help the customer, just as you would with a phone or email complaint. Doing so will instill trust from you followers and show that you do care and will try to resolve issues.
- Don’t offer any value. Who’s the biggest advocate of your brand, company or product? You! It’s important to remember that not everyone is going to feel the same way. It’s important to share a variety of content and remember not to oversell. It’s definitely okay to give yourself a shoutout every now and then, but try to share content that your followers will find interesting, react to, share with their own friends and learn from.
- Schedule posts and don’t ever engage. The ability to schedule posts ahead of time is a lifesaver for business owners! It’s a great way to think ahead and keep your newsfeed content flowing on a regular basis. However, we recommend designating time to log in and see what your followers are liking, sharing and saying on your page. As business owners, it’s easy to push social media to the back of your mind. Remember that no one likes being ignored, especially potential customers. Don’t lose out on the chance to turn a potential customer into business!
- Post the same content across all of your platforms. Not all social media platforms are created equal. From Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram and beyond, it’s important to remember that each one has a different tone or lingo. Keep your brand consistent across all platforms, but try your best to speak to each audience accordingly. For example, Twitter is all about what is happening right now, where as Facebook is a place to brand your business, engage and share content. Linkedin is a place to network with other professionals, so that funny post you shared on Facebook may not be appropriate for your Linkedin followers.
If your goal is to lose followers and make people “unfriend” you, then we recommend doing these 8 things. We hope that your goal is to reach as many potentials as possible who are interested in what you do and what you have to offer. If that’s the case, then avoid these 8 things and your social media presence will grow. Happy posting!