What NOT to do on social media. Have you ever been offered advice on your social media strategy, only to realize down the line that actually you should have sought a second opinion? We have, and so have some of our social media friends! We approached a great mix of people, working in various areas of social media (including award winners and record breakers) and simply asked them:
“What is the worst bit of social media advice you’ve ever heard, and why?”
So let’s shake off those January cobwebs and make sure any cruddy advice is left back in 2014 along with selfie sticks and YOLO (not really, we love selfie sticks). We’ve also included our top pointers at the end, so that your social media sets off in the right direction for 2015.
“On LinkedIn, Only Connect With People You Know”
“Unlike Facebook, you do not need to protect your network as LinkedIn is not a personal platform, but rather a business one. It is a little like going to a networking meeting and only talking to the people you already know. This severely limits your opportunities. Rather you want to seek out and connect with highly targeted prospects that will grow your network in a professional and profitable way.”
“Social Media Support Is Ineffective And Not Worth The Investment”
“Social media is where customers are naturally inclined to be, and the smartest businesses will embrace it. It starts as a 1:1 support model, but expands as 1 to many, acts as real-time qualitative service monitoring, and peppers in some PR and Marketing elements. Social media support: where a business will find benefit in true community advocacy”
“Add Tons Of Hashtags To Every Post”
“It comes across as desperate and besides, the more keywords you use in an update the more dilution there is amongst them. This is in addition to the distraction from the message overuse of keyword hashtags can cause.”
“Push Your Business Onto Every Social Platform”
“Anytime I hear someone recommend that a business MUST engage on a particular social network it makes me cringe. Social media marketing, like any good marketing, has to put the audience first. What does your audience appreciate and value? Where do they interact? And, what are you hoping to accomplish? Your business goals should drive the strategy, not the other way around.”
“Social Media Tools Are Too Expensive”
“I’ve heard people saying that tools are expensive without considering the value the tool can bring. Tools can save you a lot of time and help you get better returns for your business, so before you decide if it’s expensive you need to evaluate what time you will save and value you will get. $100 a month for a tool could actually be cheap based on the value that it adds to your company!”
“Make Sure Every Social Media Post Is Signed Off First”
“I was working for a very, very ‘risk’ averse company and we’d often see opportunities slip by simply because the processes we had in place were designed to ensure that every piece of content that went out was sanitized. Without spontaneity and an element of creative license, you might as well not have social media channels in your business.”
“Don’t Do Twitter Chats As Your Other Followers May Unfollow”
“I’ve heard many people say they don’t do Twitter chats because they will lose followers due to the overly active hour during a Twitter chat. I believe the value gained during a chat for outweighs the risk of losing followers. Nobody will unfollow you if you’re providing value and answering and commenting on Tweets during a Twitter chat that are helpful. “I’m unfollowing that person cause they Tweet too much helpful information,” said no one!”
“All Automation Is Evil”
“There are lots of social media tasks that can be automated to save you time that is better spent engaging with fans and customers. There are lots of great tools that can automate a myriad of tasks for you including sending an alert to you when someone mentions a specific search term on Twitter, thanking people when they Tweet your content, adding Twitter accounts that meet a specific criteria to a Twitter list for close monitoring, and much more. The more you’re able to automate, the more time you will have for genuine relationship building and engagement.”
Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer
“Look At Social Media As Purely A Marketing Channel”
“That ideology is anti-social in my book. As a brand, as a strategist, think of social networks as physical communities. They are tribes where people join one another because of shared passions, challenges, and aspirations. We must understand the culture and the dynamics of any community before we attempt to join it, doing so feeds us humility and empathy. These very human qualities will in turn inspire engaging strategies that contribute value into the communities we wish to join.”
Audiense Bonus: One of us was told IN 2013 that ‘poking’ a potential client on Facebook was a great way to remind them of your social presence. We backed away slowly…
Now you’ve heard what NOT to do, how about some advice on what to do? Here’s some takeaways based on the above points to give you a stronger social media presence in 2015:
- Before you market to an audience, listen to them. You will appeal to a community far more effectively if you’ve taken the time to understand them.
- Take part in Twitter chats and share the most useful, relevant Tweets with your followers. For more tips on taking part in Twitter chats without annoying everyone, head over here.
- When using automation, take the time to learn the tool before rolling it out across all of your main profiles. Features such as personalization, time delay in messages, and fine-tuning the targeting can make a real difference.
- Ensure your social team has room to experiment and test creative new ideas from time to time.
- When deciding which channels to focus on, look at which ones your audience is most active and receptive on.
- Hashtags can be very useful, but on Twitter a business is 69% more likely to get retweeted with one hashtag rather than two.
- When looking at social media tools, work out how much time you could save or results you would need to achieve to make them worthwhile. Factor this into your decision.
- Don’t poke your clients on Facebook. That’s weird.