Brace yourselves, folks. You’re about to receive some news you may not be happy with. Are you sitting down? (Probably so, because you’re reading a blog post…)
You – yes, YOU – may be the reason your social media marketing is unsuccessful.
How, you may be asking, is that even possible? You have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and even Snapchat for crying out loud. You should be raking in the leads, easily turning prospects into clients, watching your social media marketing pay dividends towards your bottom line – all with minimal efforts on your behalf, right? No, that’s wrong; very, very wrong…
We’re in the midst of a great social media marketing expansion, and instead of Lewis and Clark we have Facebook and Twitter leading the expedition. Merely having an account on a social media platform is not enough. Digital people are real people too, and behind every profile is a person that wants to connect, be informed, and (most importantly) be engaged.
Although we can’t offer a blanket solution to all your problems, we can tell you three important things you should NOT do in your social media marketing (SMM):
1) Do NOT Bite Off More than You Can Chew!
A lot of etiquette applies to both the real world and SMM. When you take on more than you can handle, you will inevitably ignore other obligations. It’s important to not jump into a new social media platform without first recognizing the level of commitment it will take to keep your content fresh. Fresh content means a higher hit count. A higher hit count means more people are looking at your page. More people looking at your page means… you get where it goes from here. If you’re currently only on one popular social media site, that’s OK. Work on building your audience, learning what works and what doesn’t, and getting as much exposure from that one site before you add a new one.
2) Do NOT Expect Your Followers to Automatically Know What You’re Talking About
It’s all about effective communication. Most times, the people that are following you don’t know exactly what you’re about. They saw a cool photo on your page or vaguely know what your organization does and thought, “Hey, I’d like to get to know them better,” so they subscribed. Don’t just add links, photos or videos to your page without a short description or explanation. And make sure every post is relevant in some way. If the connection isn’t obvious, take the time to connect the (important) dots for your subscribers. Also, no one likes to be left out. Don’t ostracize your audience by posting information only die-hard, longtime followers would know. You’re trying to connect with people and keep them informed, not make them feel unwelcomed or dumb.
3) Do NOT Ignore Your Audience
The hard work is already done. People have subscribed! Do not botch all your efforts by ignoring the people you most need: your audience. Much like in the real world, digital people do not like to be ignored. If they post a question, make sure you answer it. If there’s a complaint, address it with tact – do not delete it! Deleting negative comments can cause serious backlash from your subscribers and make good fodder for your competitors. And if there happens to be a compliment on your page, by all means say “Thank you.” People like to know that their efforts were acknowledged.
The only time it’s OK to ignore a comment is if an internet troll (someone who is only trying to evoke a negative emotional response) is harassing you on your wall. In that case, still leave the comments up for other subscribers to see. More than likely, your fan base will drive the troll out anyways.