The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

By Hannah Spanhake

It’s no longer a question of IF businesses should have a social media strategy. The question is HOW to best execute an effective, value driven and engaging strategy that generates results.

With an overwhelming number of social media platforms, advertising methods and communication options available, businesses need to focus on implementing best practices and avoiding tactics that can easily bring embarrassment. So without further a do, here are my Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media.

Do’s:

Know Your Audience:
To be frank, you customers don’t care about YOU. They care about what you can do for THEM. Therefore your social media efforts need to be tailored to suit your customers, not focused on your personal interests, tastes or thoughts. It’s important to post stories that they can relate to. For example, if you’re a makeup artist, post photos to inspire your audience and tips and tricks of the trade.

Be Active But Don’t Over-Do It:
It’s important to be active on social media, but don’t post so often that you overwhelm or annoy your followers. This can lead to two specific issues:

  1. Too much information can cause your followers to unfollow you
  2. Your posts can end up lost in their newsfeed and they won’t see the posts that are actually important to them.

Timing Matters:
Pay attention to your social media analytics. These help you find out when your followers are most active on social media, enabling you to post during those time frames.

One Voice:
Social media is great for communicating with your audience, but it’s important to make sure your message is the same across your website, public, social media, etc.

Be Original:
Don’t be afraid to be creative with your posts to showcase your businesses personality. This will help your potential customers see what makes you different from your competition. After all your main goal is to bring in customers, stand out and be memorable!

Great Customer Service:
Great customer service can make or break a company. Happy customers are more likely to come back and establish a loyalty to your brand. Not only will these customers be loyal to you, they will also be your best brand ambassadors by word-of-mouth advertising, which is the best advocacy you can ask for!

Having A Personality:
Dull and boring posts lead to dull and boring results. Be excited about your company, your products and the services you offer. If you aren’t excited by your offering and don’t show the love and passion for your business, neither will your customers.

Use the Social Media Platform(s) that Best Suit YOUR Business:
Just because a lot of businesses are on Facebook doesn’t mean your business should be. Social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A few guidelines to bear in mind around this are:

  • You want to be where your customers are
  • It’s important to utilise a platform that suits your goals. Are you more focused on engagement, or perhaps your Google ranking? Theres a multitude of platforms that will suit your businesses audience and goals.

The Don’ts:

Like Your Own Posts:
Of course, you like your own content, you created and posted it! So don’t “like” or “favourite” your own content. However it’s a great idea to encourage your staff to share and like your posts as they can be your best brand ambassadors.

Neglect Your Social Media:
Don’t ignore or neglect your social media. Use it! You’re not automatically doing enough just because you have a Facebook or Twitter page. You have to use them regularly to see any results and to keep front of mind of your customers.

Share Too Much Inside Information:
Be careful about how much and what information you share. For example, if you are launching a brand new product and decide to post hints or pictures too early it could destroy the whole product launch that you have worked so hard to develop, removing any excitement that your audience would have otherwise had.

Connect With Everyone:
Just because someone has chosen to follow you, doesn’t mean you should feel the need to follow them back. It’s like choosing who you surround yourself in real life. Before you choose to follow anyone back, think about how this connection will reflect on your brand. Is this someone that would represent you and your business in a positive manner if customers saw that you were connected with them?

Forget to Network:
It’s important to always put effort into making connections and focus on growing your brand through networking and building relationships on social media, just like you would in real life. If the audiences impression of your brand is good enough you may receive a few word-of-mouth shoutouts.

Be Spammy or Annoying:
Nobody likes spam or being irritated. If you are always posting the same information over and over or swamping your audience, you will quickly become annoying rather than engaging and could lose some of the followers you’ve worked so hard to gain.

Delete Negative Comments:
Recognising a problem or issue a customer has had with your offering can actually make an upset customer happy! Acknowledging negative feedback shows that your business actively wants to resolve issues and that you provide the best service to your customers.

Not Responding At All:
It’s imperative that you engage with your customers, otherwise they may feel that your business doesn’t care about their question, comment or concern. It comes back to providing great customer service. Don’t ignore relevant comments – engage with them! Use them as an opportunity to interact with your audience and show them how you address positive and negative situations. After all, social media is supposed to be all about creating a conversation between your brand and audience.
I’d love to hear which tactics you have implemented and which mistakes you’ve made! Get in touch.

social media engagement
online marketer auckland