Protect Your Business: Avoid These Social Media Missteps

Written by: Lea Serrato 

Social media is important for business owners who want to succeed. Mediabistro published an infographic, produced by Crowdspring, which reveals that 50% of small business owners gained new customers through social media, most notably through Facebook and LinkedIN; and that 51% of Facebook users, and 64% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.

Social media allows businesses to connect with their customers whenever, and wherever they are. Through it, small businesses have grown more rapidly.

Don’t take social media lightly! Social media is a double-edged sword which, if used improperly, could lead to a business’ downfall.

Here are some social media missteps to avoid:

  •  Unappealing social personality.

Your social media brand doesn’t necessarily have to be funny or witty. Through social media, your brand should be refreshing, entertaining and not overly corporate or too informal. There are certain lines you cannot cross. Remember to think about your customer and the situation you’re in – know the best approach to each situation.

Hold back on voicing your personal beliefs especially if it has nothing to do with your business. Avoid controversial issues since talking about them would only frustrate your customers.  Insensitivity is another trait to avoid (whether in real life or in social media). One example is when Kenneth Cole tweeted an insensitive joke about the revolution in Egypt using the #Cairo hashtag which was trending back then.

  • Taking social media for granted.

Social media requires commitment that requires attention every day. Make sure to allot enough time for each social media platform.

If you want your customers to value your brand, you have to give them reasons to value it. Customers who use social media are usually looking to be entertained, get information and other share-worthy content that would interest their followers.

Pay attention to what people post on your profile. Show acknowledgement to their posts, and address comments from unsatisfied customers. Make this an opportunity to learn more about your customers – what they want and their suggestions.

If you provide these things, not only will you get their support and attention but also get a broader audience for your brand – the more people who views your brand, the higher the likelihood of conversions.

  • Insincere or irritable apology

People would understand when you make a mistake, and would be willing to accept your apology. Since you’re appealing to their good will, don’t risk adding more to your initial mistake with an insincere or irritable apology. An example would be Esquire when they ran a wrong picture next to a story on its website. Esquire’s apology, telling people to “relax”, just inflamed complainers further.

  • Trying to do much by yourself. 

As with any aspect of businesses, using social media takes time and effort. Instead of using every social media platform available, try to focus on one or two things first. You can do the rest after. If you cannot handle it, hire people who are capable to do it for you. You need to find someone who understands your brand, your customers, and how to engage them through the different social media platforms.

  • Failing to use analytics 

Without the proper measurements in place you wouldn’t know if your social media campaign is effective. Many marketers make the mistake of launching social media campaign for the sake of just launching it. Having the proper measurement and analytics tools in place would help you accurately gauge which tactics are working and which ones to stop.