Social networking has grown to different level in the past decade and part of almost everyone’s life. Besides personal communication, many businesses, bloggers and corporate companies use social media to showcase their brands. Social media is the playground of choice for many of today’s most creative online marketers. There’s a good reason for this — the benefits that a well-executed campaign can bring to a business are immense. Unfortunately, the flip-side is also true. If you get it wrong, the results can be lethal to your brand. Here are 7 social media marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Related: Guide to social media traffic.
7 Social Media Marketing That Mistakes Damage Your Brand
1. Outsourcing Without Oversight
In online circles, your social media profile is synonymous with your brand image, so don’t hand it over to an outside agency without due diligence. While outsourcing your social media marketing to an expert has undoubted benefits, you need to ensure that whoever you hire has a solid track record and will be fully on board with your brand’s reputation. Mistakes made by an uninformed or reckless third party can be almost impossible to put right.
2. Getting Hacked – and Not Realizing Quickly Enough
Even worse than handing complete control to an inexperienced paid agency is ceding your accounts to a hacker. At best, you’ll look a little foolish and incompetent when irrelevant postings start to appear. At worst, a malicious hacker could do serious damage to your brand and business. No one can guarantee total security online, but it’s vital to take all possible precautions to keep your accounts safe, and to make sure you monitor your accounts so that damage can be averted quickly should they become compromised.
3. Participating in Flame Wars
Social media can at times be a trolls’ playground with many social networking sites auto approve viewer’s comments. When managing multiple social account, you may get hundreds of annoying comments attacking your work. Remember, as an operator of a brand account, you should never rise to the bait. It’s often said that a problematic customer represents an opportunity to show your company in a good light. However, if there is no obvious way to do this, then ignoring the irritant is the best option. No one wins in a flame war, but while an anonymous troll can fade into the background once the fires have died down, the damage to your brand caused by a publicly conducted spat could be permanent.
4. Faking Your Figures
A cursory search for social media marketing services will reveal dozens of outfits offering to boost Facebook friends, Twitter followers, likes, shares, and any number of other measurements. The idea is that projecting an appearance of popularity will improve the trust in your brand, leading to more business. This idea is dubious, as few potential customers will pay any attention at all to such numbers, but it also carries a significant risk.
Most social media platforms measure engagement in some way when attributing importance to an account and its content. When an account has a huge army of fake followers who never interact with its activity, this can easily be taken as a signal that the content is of little worth, and its visibility can quickly be downgraded. Having a small number of real, active followers is worth far more than any number of fakes.
5. Tumbleweed Accounts
If your business has a social media presence, it needs to remain active. Little reflects more badly on a company than questions or comments from its customers going unanswered, and an abandoned account can easily give the impression that your business is no longer active. Just as damaging, it can imply that customers aren’t valued, an impression that will obviously be detrimental to future business.
6. Hyperactive Accounts
On the other hand, posting for the sake of it will quickly become tiresome to your followers. Your genuinely important and valuable activity can easily be overlooked if it’s submerged in a sea of noise, so keep your activity valuable, interesting, relevant, and sensible in volume.
One of the good examples is many bloggers auto share their website’s posts in multiple platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Since, Google also index content from social platforms and show it in the search results, it will harm the ranking of the original content on the website. Therefore, sharing each and every post on social sites will clearly damage your search engine optimization efforts than adding value.
7. Using Too Many Platforms
When setting up a social media strategy, many marketers fall into the trap of assuming they need to cover every base by having an account on every platform. This is a mistake for two reasons. Firstly, each social platform has a distinct demographic, and you need to tailor your strategy to each rather than publishing the same content repeatedly. Secondly, concentrating on one platform and gaining the maximum benefits will be far more rewarding and productive than spreading yourself too thinly, and generating mediocre results across the board.
Side Note: Google AdSense and Social Promotions
Many, if not all, publishers use Google AdSense to make money from their online content. If you are an AdSense publisher, be cautious when using social promotions. Don’t get excited by looking at the aggressive promotions from affiliate marketers on social media. The fact is that Google consider social traffic as a source of encouragement to visit the website. That’s not any advertiser wants and getting too much social traffic will harm your AdSense earnings, even lead to account banning.
Social media is currently the hottest marketing game in town, a situation that doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. However, the power it offers can easily backfire if not handled carefully. Exercising a little caution and avoiding these major errors will help ensure you enjoy all the commercial benefits without risking your brand.