Four social media don’ts for your brand

By Posted in - Public Relations & Social Media & Technology on July 2nd, 2012 2 Comments

As social media continues to grow and evolve, we can be certain of one thing – it’s not going anywhere. I recently read an article that illustrated how even Twitter is replacing our traditional news cycle due to the instantaneous nature of the tool. Social media is not just a phase – which is why businesses continue to feel pressured to master the social media landscape.

While I definitely agree that jumping on the social media bandwagon is the way to go for most brands, it is important to be aware of some critical mistakes that brands can make when using social media.

1. Say “Bye, Bye” to “Buy, Buy”. Businesses often get trapped in the narrow frame of mind that every dollar must count and every effort should directly end in a sale. However, the social universe requires a more subtle approach – this means the “buy me” button needs to be discarded. Social media is about relationships and trust – ¬†serving as a trusted resource by providing relevant information, answering questions and responding to feedback. In general, social media should be less focused on a direct sale – with only about 10% of your efforts as self promotional. Don’t get me wrong, social media can certainly help grow the bottom line, but the effects will be more long-term through these social channels.

2. It’s not all about you –¬†While social media is a way to promote your business, you don’t want to come off as self-centered and domineering to your consumers. Think of it as a friendly cocktail party – no one likes the person who only talks about themselves and overbears the conversation with news about me, me, me. Social isn’t about self-promotion – to be liked you have to appear gracious and genuinely interested in others and the industry conversations. This means engaging with people who post on your wall, share relevant content in the industry and be willing to listen.

3. You don’t have to be in everyone’s biz-nizz – Getting involved in social media doesn’t mean you have to join every social media site there is. Trust me, with social media evolving the way it is, you don’t want to be on every site. Determine the social media channel that your customers are engaging on the most and go there. A neglected social media site can reflect badly on your business – making you seem out-dated and disengaged.

4. Social media isn’t cost-free – We know you can join Facebook and Twitter without spending a penny, but social media requires intentional research and management. Constant commitment – from uploading fresh content to responding promptly to customers – is an absolute must. You want to serve as a true resource, and that can only be accomplished through consistent time and effort.

What challenges has your brand faced with social media? I would love to hear your comments!

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  • Alan Smith -

    July 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I think most businesses forget that it’s called “Social” media for reason. It’s SOCIAL! Most corporate businesses tend to be that annoying sales man who shows up at the company cocktail party. As soon as you say hello, they go into their sales speech trying to close the deal. I just want to say hello and they want to make a sale.

    If it is bad in offline social situations, it’s probably bad in online social situations.

    KISS – Keep is Social Silly!

  • Liza Jones -

    July 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Alan, you’re absolutely right. No one wants to talk to “that” person at the party – or anywhere else for that matter!

    It really comes down to how you can humanize your brand and have real people conversing, as opposed to marketing collateral.

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