Preventing Social Media Mistakes
Social media can be a very useful and far-reaching tool for businesses. For one, this internet-based (and for the most part, free!) tool is one way to develop leads. What’s more, you can effectively use social media to strengthen awareness for your brand and your products, increase your customer engagement and build relationships with customers. You can also get user feedback more easily and quickly.
However, social media is not without its pitfalls. Even as you work to go viral with your social media posts, mishandling your social media accounts can make you go viral – but not in a good way and for all the world to see.
As with most things, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. The fallout and ruined reputation resulting from a media boo-boo may cause more trouble for your company. So, it is best to steer clear of potential social media pitfalls. Here are some of the things to take note of:
- Think (and think again!) before you click. Before you post anything, review your post. A mistake you make may be magnified (and publicized) many times over. Even after you have deleted a misconstrued or harmful post, you may still see traces of it coming back to haunt you. Proofread and check for misspellings and grammatical errors – these can make your company look unprofessional or worse, incompetent. Scrutinize what you are about to post and look for offensive statements and double meanings. Remember, things that you originally meant in good faith may be taken to be offensive.
- Screen for unprofessional posts and responses. There are many epic examples of employees who hijacked the company’s social media account to vent about work frustrations or to respond inappropriately to a customer. Thus, restrict access to your social media account only to trusted and responsible members of your team.
- Keep internal company matters internal. You do not have to publicize all your company’s decisions and procedures, especially when these cover internal operational issues. Airing too much of your linen (whether dirty or not) makes you vulnerable to possible misunderstandings.
- Have people to man the fort. There should be a team assigned to produce content and interact with customers, as well as moderating customers’ comments and opinions. This strengthens your presence, credibility and engagement with your social media followers. Always make it a point to respond promptly to comments. This is especially true for a potentially brewing fiasco or when a juicy story about your company is about to come out. Be sure to issue your side of a potential scandal. Also, respond to conversations surrounding key issues. This way, you are not giving people the opportunity to make their own stories and speculations about an issue. There should also be people on hand to moderate against inappropriate comments. They should also be there to offer answers to questions (especially product-related ones) or to offer solutions to problems or complaints the users express.
- Work on being engaging. Yes, you want people to know about what your company has to offer. However, work on how you can do this in a manner where people do not find you off-putting, boring or annoying. The secret is by not making it all about you and your company but in concentrating on offering your readers something informational, useful, funny or inspiring.
- Reward your followers. One way to gain and keep followers is to provide them with “rewards” for engaging with your social media account. This can give your potential customers a reason to follow your social media account, share your content or comment on your posts.
- Say you’re sorry. Now, if after all the guidelines and procedures you have set it place, a damaging post still manages to slip through your watchful eyes, the best thing you may do is to apologize for it, and doing so promptly. This helps users see your company as one who is sincere, responsible and proactive in working to make things right.
- Make plans but be flexible. Plan your social media strategy, as well as your posts, in advance. Treat your social media posts as an advertising campaign where each post is a well thought-out “commercial”. However, there may be internal or external matters that render a particular post inappropriate. It is up to you to evaluate whether you need to shift the direction of your posts midway to respond to a certain issue.
- Avoid getting too personal or political. A company may post about its political leanings (i.e. support for gay marriage), but know that it may be walking a tightrope with this. A well-meaning post about a recent political event may result in irate customers calling for a boycott. Also, those who handle the social media account should avoid giving out personal opinions that may be mistaken as the company’s official policy.
- Allow for creativity and spontaneity. Encourage social media account handlers to express their humor and creativity. However, there should be policies and procedures in place to act as a check and balance to screen against inappropriate content.
- Set up metrics to see how well you are doing with regards to social media. There are tools available on most social media platforms that you can use to evaluate each post’s effectiveness in reaching out to your audience.
- Try to keep a balance between providing regular updates and flooding your reader’s newsfeed. Rather than focusing your efforts on churning out content, focus on producing and posting content that is useful, interesting and “share-worthy” content.
About Adaptivity Pro
These are just some of the boo-boos companies can commit on social media. Let Adaptivity Pro help you prevent these mistakes. Adaptivity Pro is your trusted provider of Utah SEO strategy services, as well as SLC web design and Internet marketing services. We have a team of experienced and creative writers, researchers, SEO analysts, designers and programmers to respond not just to your web design needs, but also to your social media needs as well.