Social media faux pas you didn’t know you were making

Image by Pixelkult from Pixabay

By Henry Brown
Social media – love it or hate it, it’s the marketing tool of the moment. This last year, especially, has seen this becoming one of the only ways for businesses to reach new prospects. Unfortunately, as some companies turn to social platforms for the first time, they’re seeing that, often, this modern marketing method is a double-edged sword.

Yes, you can create a hugely positive business impact by making your mark here but, in the same breath, social media faux pas can stop you in your tracks before you’ve started. After all, as anyone who’s read Jon Rohnson’s You’ve Been Publicly Shamed will know, once it’s online, it’s online forever, and one wrong move can see you vilified in ways that businesses have never known before.

In other words, there’s little room for mistakes where social campaigns are concerned. As such, researching everything from current affairs on the news through to affiliate trends as found on STM forum is non-negotiable before you dip your toes. Fail to get these research touchstones right, and you might just find that you make these embarrassing and company-condemning faux pas within your first few posts.

It’s all ‘me, me, me’

Traditionally, marketing has all about the business. Yes, research and lead qualification has played a part but, in marketing itself, companies are typically more inclined to state what they offer, rather than looking around them. But, with social media, the clue is in the name. Here, customers aren’t looking for companies who are all ‘here we are,’ but are rather seeking conversation. As such, posting marketing-heavy content and then walking away will see you quickly booed off of the center stage, both by social platform algorithms and the users themselves. Rather, in the words of Lynne Golodner, ‘Social media should be outward-focused interactions (“What can I do for you?”), not self-focused.’

Too out of touch to handle

While current climates are changing, it’s a bad idea to post overly politicized or divisive content on your social platform for fear of being too divisive. That said, as movements like #blacklivesmatter come ever-more to the fore, businesses who entirely fail to address these issues are also coming under fire. After all, silence says a lot sometimes. Rather, companies need to work on achieving a balance, perhaps by sharing charities, or simply supporting pages that are able to talk about a cause more overtly.

Not addressing the bad stuff

If a social post goes viral for less-than-flattering reasons, many companies make the mistake of ignoring the issue. Talk about an elephant in the room! Rather, social media success relies on your ability to address the bad as well as the good. As such, you should take note of negative online attention and take steps to rectify, be that a public apology or somehow changing your behavior to prove that you’ve learned your lesson.

Social media can seem daunting but, honestly, it’s not impossible to get right. All you need to do is merge what you think you know about marketing with these new methods to ensure your social efforts soar.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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