Social media marketing is ripe with opportunities to engage your audience and drive traffic to your website. However, it also has the potential for disastrous mistakes if you do not have a clear plan and a disciplined approach to using your social media tools.
Here are four of the worst social media faux pas you can make
1. Making Offensive Statements
A surefire way to attract attention to your social profile and business is to say something offensive about a particular person or place. Unless your intent is to project an offensive or crude brand image, though, you do not want the virtual and real-world backlash that often results.
Companies have been ruined by single offensive remarks on social media. Even large corporations have suffered damage to their reputations and significant losses in revenue over offensive remarks. The major problem with making offensive comments on social media accounts is that you cannot make them go away, even by deleting them from your profile.
2. Not Having a Clear Focus
While you absolutely need to get involved in social media, do not do so without a clear strategy. Just as you outline a traditional marketing plan, create a social media marketing plan. In particular, address which tools to use, what messages to convey, who will manage the accounts and how to communicate in real-time with consumers.
The major problem with no strategy is that you do not make it obvious to users what your brand is about. Social media users want to follow brands and accounts that offer useful, relevant information. If you present messages across a wide spectrum, you may see a large volume of people follow and then unfollow you.
3. Not Using Visual Elements
Quality images are important on social media, especially on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Place appealing profile pictures on your accounts as well.
A follower’s eye is often attracted first to visual elements of an article. If a person does not see images or you have poor quality images, you will have a high ignore rate on your messages. Younger online users look to images to capture the essence of an article before deciding whether to read on. On Facebook, for instance, your images contribute to a full reading of a post and a click-through to an article.
4. Ignoring Your Audience
Audience engagement is a primary purpose of social media marketing. If you do not use your accounts or fail to engage consumers, you miss the point.
Your message plan should detail how often you will submit posts on each platform. Use a scheduling tool to pre-plan messages. Along with regular posts, though, pay attention when users discuss your brands or speak directly to you with their posts.
Interjecting comments in conversations about your industry or brand shows personality. Address customer concerns before they go viral. If you ignore the users that do make a point to speak to you, expect an unfollow or unspoken negative sentiment.
Social media is not something to walk into flippantly. To avoid the dangers of social media faux pas develop a plan for your business to keep your social marketing safe. Have a clear strategy, avoid offensive remarks that attract the wrong kind of attention, use your visuals and pay attention to the audience you want to engage.
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