What’s worse than a brand not having a social media presence?
Having a bad one. Social media has become so ingrained in brand identity and so important in representing your brand’s position in the marketplace that there are even entire groups of people who will know your digital brand–and only your digital brand. This alone makes it important to put your best foot forward when maintaining your social media presence.
How do you avoid all the social media pitfalls and faux pas that can make you look out of touch at best? Here are some of the major things to avoid doing on social media. Some are obvious, some are not, but keep them in mind so you may never have to tweet-and-delete.
Insensitive content should be avoided. A good rule of thumb is to not joke about serious topics where the human stakes are high, such as war, race, sexuality, etc. The best way to tell if your joke is too insensitive to post: if you have to ask if it’s insensitive, it’s probably best to not post it.
If you handle more than one social media account, double-check which account you’re on before posting. You don’t want to accidentally tweet a picture of your Qdoba wrap to the corporate account when it was really meant for your personal page. For most of us striking a work-life balance, keep personal and professional content separate.
Remember that your social media strategy should be different for your personal and professional accounts. Basically, your personal account doesn’t need a strategy. Feel free to post or not post any time you are inspired to do so. But your professional one does need a solid plan. Just saying you’ll “post x times a day at a, b, and c times” isn’t going to cut it for your brand’s presence.
You’re going to have haters. Well, maybe not haters per se, but the bigger your account gets, the more people will pop up in your mentions and messages disagreeing with you, and they’ll be all along the spectrum from polite to profane. Consider the cost-benefit of engaging with those who disagree with you. Are they disagreeing in good faith, or are they a troll? It’s important to have a plan in place on how you will handle negative comments on social media before they happen. As always, don’t let the bad guys get you down.
Your organic social media strategy should follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your content should be content that provides direct value to your audience and only 20% of your copy should be related to sales.
Whenever you post, ask yourself: is this useful? Who is this post for? Does this inspire engagement? Augment your content further with photos and videos, which are very dynamic on social because at the end of the day, people just want pretty imagery, and oftentimes are scrolling and scan-reading. They’ll stop for a striking photograph, but their thumb won’t linger long enough for them to read your whole caption.
In order to get a wider reach on organic content, be sure to use hashtags (if relevant on the platform) that loop you into a larger conversation, and potentially expose you to a new audience. Every time you see a topic or hashtag trending, brainstorm how it relates to your brand to see if you can get in on the conversation. Note: Not every platform works off of hashtags. Where hashtags help sort through the crowd on LinkedIn and Instagram, it’s not really a big deal on Facebook or Pinterest.
Just like everything else, paid advertising on social media has its do’s and dont’s. One of the most important do not’s is – do not buy followers! Authenticity is worth its weight in gold online, and buying followers can really hurt your credibility. The point of followers is to provide your content to an audience that wants to listen and engage. If the content is falling on deaf ears, or fake ears for that matter, then it’s really just a waste of your time and money. What you do want to use paid advertising for however is to promote your offers to a very targeted audience. When done right, social media advertising can be a powerful selling tool.
It’s just as important to listen as it is to talk (or post). Listen to your followers and fans, and listen to your analytics! You have access to information such as what type of content performs the best, when your audience is online, what demographics make up your audience, and more. Use all of the tools and analytics available to you so you can pinpoint what the people want and then deliver that message at the right time. By doing so you’re creating a rapport that can lead to lifetime brand loyalty.
Do you need help with your social media management so you can avoid these simple social media mistakes from the beginning? Reach out to Vela Creative Co. today to chat.
Good luck, and happy posting!
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