Social media is fantastic. In fact, you’re using it to read this right now. In order to be successful at representing your brand, you need to make sure you avoid a few common mistakes.
1.) Talking to versus engaging: People don’t want to be sold to all the time. They need a reason to read your content. Give them one. Give them a reason to respond. When you engage your fan or follower, you create a more personal relationship, which leads to repeat business.
2.) Not staying consistent: If you start posting regularly, don’t stop. Once you cease to hold your audience’s attention, someone else will sweep in and steal them away.
3.) Not keeping it real: If you are a business that has a very formal personality, then you probably shouldn’t try to be like Red Bull on Twitter. Sony learned this the hard way when they tried to pretend there was a viral campaign for the PSP that backfired when they got caught.
4.) Not knowing the rules: Did you know that it’s against Facebook’s rules to post anything like “share this post to win a…” in order to increase engagement? It’s true. They will shut you down and delete your page with absolutely no warning. You have to run your contest through a third-party service to create an app or tab.
5.) Taboo subjects: If you are a brand selling housewares, then politics or religion isn’t something you should post about. Someone WILL get angry and start an argument and then you’ll spend all day trying to rein it all back in and get back on message.
6.) Not researching hashtags: Do you love using hashtags on Twitter? Sure you do. Piggybacking off of trending hashtags is a great way to get noticed, at least if you’re funny. Taco Bell is fantastic at this. But be sure to learn WHY something is trending before you use one. American Apparel, Kenneth Cole, and Celeb Boutique learned this the hard way after they blundered into using disaster related hashtags, which became PR nightmares.
Again, social media is an outstanding way to connect with your customers. You just have to be careful when you are putting yourself out there to the world.