What not to do on your business social media accounts
There are certain etiquette regulations and unspoken laws for managing social media accounts for your business and we’re here to share our pearls of wisdom.
Engage in arguments with angry customers – When a customer has their feathers ruffled and wants to express their feelings, it is likely that they will take to social media in attempts to publically shame and directly communicate with you. We all make mistakes but customers just love complaining and the worst possible way to deal with complaints via social media is to add fuel to the fire.
Refrain from entering into a heated debate with the customer by staying calm and providing a timely and neutral response. Offer the customer an email address or telephone number that they can contact you on so you can take the issue away from the public eye. Responding to the customer professionally will let other readers know you have the situation under control.
Play into the hands of online trolls – In the same camp as disgruntled customers live those dreaded online trolls who are out to tarnish your online reputation and scupper your business success. More than 50% of UK businesses have fallen victim to these cyber monsters so it’s important that you know how to deal with the situation should one rear their ugly head.
If these trolls are only sharing bad reviews with a minute audience, feel free to overlook their advances but if they’re sharing negative comments to a sizeable following, it’s definitely worth acknowledging. Take the same approach as with tricky customers. Provide a response that is short and sweet and suggest a method of contact that they can communicate with you directly via. Reply quickly and professionally to show your followers that you have nothing to hide and are staying true to your business ethos.
Publically bad mouth your competitors – A bit of healthy competition is great for any growing business, large or small but unleashing the green eyed monster via social media is never a good idea. Staying on top of what your competitors are doing is vital for getting ahead in a crowded marketplace but rejoicing in or publicising their failures definitely isn’t.
No matter how intense your rivalry, slamming your competitors on your social media channels will always reflect more badly on you than it ever will on them. Stay quietly confident and keep smug comments behind close office doors because you don’t want to become the much-hated online troll that we just warned you about.
Make your content to text-heavy – Whenever you’re putting a social media content plan together, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what catches your eye as a consumer. Each of your followers will likely be following hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands accounts so you’re going to need to stand out. Relying solely on text to deliver your content is a sure way to turn your followers off and have their eyes glazing over before they even get past the first hashtag.
Incorporating multimedia content, such as images and videos as well will keep customers on the ball and substantially increase their engagement levels. Think about it – if you were scrolling through a feed of thousands of posts, which one is most likely to grab your attention? The sequence of black and white letters that are blurring into the background or a vibrant infographic full of interesting statistics? Be sure to use good quality images or risk projecting a lack of professionalism and pride in your digital appearance. (Same goes for profile pictures and cover photos too).
Mix business and leisure – A great piece of advice to take on board when running multiple social media channels is to ensure the content being delivered is native to the platform. This basically means picking the right stuff to go on the right accounts. For example, blog posts with great shareability potential are perfect for a platform like Twitter, while a survey is more suitable to Facebook.
Assessing suitability when placing content is also crucial if you have a personal social media account as well. These should always be separate entities as your business needs to cultivate its own online identity and digital voice. If you manage these accounts via the same device, make sure to always double check which one you’re logged into before pressing the formidable send button. You don’t want to risk losing business credibility by using choice words to reprimand the driver who stole your parking space that morning and publishing it via your business’ squeaky-clean profile.
Use a complicated username – You might think using an abstract username full of symbols and numbers will make you look uber computer literate and down with the social media kids but in actual fact, you are reducing your potential reach. You need to choose a username or handle that is going to be easily found in the search results to ensure your existing audience and any prospective customers can find you and communicate with you easily.
Spam your followers – Its common knowledge that spamming your customers is a quick way to lose business as well as social media followers. Logic may lead you to believe that the more you post, the more visible you are but posting too regularly (more than once an hour, if that) will only irritate and detract followers. Another big social media no-no is posting promotional material onto personal profiles or timelines as this comes across as intrusive and sometimes even desperate. Save the hard sell for face-to-face meetings.