So, you’ve got your business plan, you have all your social media handles picked out and accounts opened. This is it! How exciting! You’re sitting there in front of your macbook, or on your phone, ready to create your first post…. but, what do you post? There are so many things you can and will say to obtain, grow, and create meaningful relationships with your tribe.
You probably have a pretty good idea of the types of things you will need to post in order to create a dialogue and keep the interest of your followers, but what about what you shouldn’t post?
7 Social Media Mistakes
- Flooding the Stream || We get it. You’re excited about your new venture, new product, new service. We are excited for you! Don’t just flood the stream with random “about” posts, though. Show us what you’re doing in your business, but make it something your audience cares about. Interact. Use a call to action, ask a question, encourage dialogue. Respond authentically. Your audience will grow and appreciate your sincerity.
- Getting Religious or Political || Unless your niche is religion or politics, this is pretty much a no-no. By broadcasting your personal beliefs avidly to your audience, you run a huge risk of alienating some of them. Granted, some “small town” businesses actually benefit from this (I’m thinking about small businesses that were in the rural area where I grew up, and church was the hub of everything.. however, social media didn’t really have a presence back then and still does not have a major one in that area, now). There are appropriate times to share, such as “I voted” sticker posts or sending a prayer/well wish to a customer or fellow entrepreneur… tasteful spurts of personal belief are welcomed, but please do not try to recruit your followers to your political party or religious association.
- Bad-mouthing the Competition || Never, ever, I mean, ever, tweet out or post something negative about your competition. Unless you’re Wendy’s, this will not work. It makes you look petty, and unprofessional.
- Arguing with customers || EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT. Do not use social media to argue with your customers or clients. You always want to present your best foot forward, and good social media presence is a huge part of the trust experience for customers. Apologize for the inconvenience, and see what you can do to right the wrong. It might be a little painful for your ego at times, but others will see your incredible customer service and the client will have nothing to be able to complain about.
- Getting too Personal || This one is similar to being too religious or political… If you like to use social media to joke around with friends, make sure you have a separate social media account for that. Your clients and customers will always enjoy a peek into your personal life (office space, a delicious meal at a local restaurant, styled shoots, etc). They do not need to see pics of you at the bar #getlit or your snarky tweet aimed at your old college pal. Just sayin’ …. keep it classy.
- Allowing Access to the Wrong Person || You hopefully trust your employees. But really consider how much you do trust their ability before turning over access to your social media accounts. If you have too much going on to really make an impact on your social media platforms, consider contracting that part of your job out to a Social Media Manager. A professional that will research your niche and trade, and lay out a schedule of posts that are aligned to your image versus an employee that maybe is not as passionate about your business as you are.
- Forgetting Your Social Media Accounts Exist || I see this all the time. Business owners create accounts on all social media platforms, post a couple of times, and then totally forget the account even exists. Even worse, a few weeks or months or even a year goes by and the business owner decides to get back to social media… they forgot their password and end up creating all new accounts. This is confusing for your client base and possible future leads. Keep a notebook or a digital note on your phone with all your social media account usernames and passwords.
Keep these social media don’ts in mind when you’re creating your next post, or contemplating joining that new social media network. Pick one or two platforms you understand and enjoy and stick with those until you’re ready to hire a Social Media Manager or feel confident that you can maintain multiple accounts appropriately, at once!