Using Social Media Correctly
As with anything else, there’s a right way to use social media and a wrong way. While most businesses are finally getting that social media is an effective way to communicate with target audience members and are gradually investing more time and resources into the medium, in many cases they aren’t using it properly. Their time and resources would be much better spent if they had a better grasp of what to do in social media. Like any other marketing plan, you need to go into social media with a strategy. Far too many businesses just jump in and use social media as another place to post promotions and advertise. If there is no social component to your social media strategy, you’re doing it wrong.
When using social media for business, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
All Talk, No Listen
Social media posts should be a diverse mix of promotions, links to your content, links to others’ content, photos, videos, and questions and thoughts on industry related topics. The goal is to keep social followers engaged and interested in the brand. If all they see is one advertisement link after another, it’s almost as if you are spamming their newsfeed. It’s a quick way to get un-followed and un-Liked. Take advantage of the captive audience that you have on social media and use it as an ongoing focus group to get insights from the people that matter most, your target audience! If social followers are taking the time to reach out to you with questions, comments, and concerns it’s extremely important that you take what they have to say into consideration and follow up with a response. Social media is a two-way street and your followers don’t want to feel like they are being ignored.
Thinking it’s all About You
Social signals are now taken into consideration as part of the search engine ranking algorithm, which means that links that are shared in social media more often than others will be viewed more favorably since they are obviously trusted. This means that it’s important to share content that your followers will find worthy enough to share with their own friends and followers. When it comes to social sharing, it’s important to pay it forward. If you never share the work of others, you can’t expect them to always be willing to share your work. Social media is about establishing and maintaining meaningful, positive relationships. Don’t be selfish and ignore the social aspect of sharing.
Acting like a Robot
Social media is a place for businesses and brands to allow their personality to shine. If your posts are always automated and include no human element, you’re missing the point. Social networking automation tools can be extremely helpful, but you can’t rely on them too heavily. Your social media followers aren’t dumb. If you post a link every day at 9am and 2pm without any commentary to follow, they know what you’re up to and will begin to tune you out.