Sun Tzu most likely asked someone to read over the Art of War before writing it down on bamboo. To be able to discern between illusion and reality is what every enlightened master should be able to do. But most people are not masters. Most of us are simply marketers, who want to get their job done. So to make your life easier, here is our list of things NOT to do on social media.
Previously we’ve discussed why we need social media strategy, how to set measurable goals, how to make your content go viral (in the good way, not the epidemic disease kind of way) and how to choose your platforms for maximum efficiency. Now it is time to make sure you master the art of not doing (the wrong thing).
The Social Media Don’ts
You can’t be on every platform. Furthermore, you don’t need to be on every platform. Identify your buyer persona(s) and create profiles on the social media channel(s) that your target market is more active within.
Hello, 2013 called and it said it wants its popularity strategy back... It also said it deeply regrets ever trying it out. Users today are smarter. If they see you have a following of 1k and they see your posts being liked by the same four people (probably your colleagues/employees), they won't buy it.
Not having a strategy
We have already discussed how important is strategy and goals in the first posts of the series The Art Of Marketing Strategy. When you go online, you need to know why you are doing it. “Because everyone else is doing it” is not a good reason. You should always know what the purpose of that tweet or status update is.
You need to provide quality content and networking. Building quality relationships on social media takes time, just like it does in real life. Work to make long-lasting good impressions. Establish your online presence as an industry leader and expert.
You might have found your audience, have great engagement and an army of followers. That doesn’t mean you need to stop trying new things. Becoming complacent is a real danger. Keep experimenting even if things seem to work. Don’t forget that social media is never done.
Don’t share too much information and too often. People don’t like spam in their inbox, they don’t like it in their newsfeed. If you post the same information and if it’s all about you, you will lose followers. And all that good work and time spent will be in vain.
Neglecting your audience
This is probably the biggest social media sin: neglecting people who are trying to get in touch with you and are genuinely engaged. Always reply, even if it’s just to let them know the appropriate person will get in touch with them soon. Feeling neglected is what you don’t want your present, past or future customers to feel. You are working to engage with your customers, so use the opportunity to address both positive and negative situations.
Neglecting your profiles
If you are present on a social media channel but you are not paying any attention to your profile, better delete it. Not having an account is better than having one that no-one is using. It doesn’t matter whether it’s because there is no time or simply because you think this is not the right channel for your target market. There is no point being on a social media platform if you are not going to be social.
Not liking your own posts
It does seem pretty obvious, but we had to mention it. Encourage your employees to like and share and engage. After all, your employees are your brand’s best ambassadors.
Deleting negative comments
Whenever you see a bad post about your brand, your first instinct is probably to delete, ban, and prey this person is specially selected by Mark Zuckerberg to never be able to have a Facebook profile again. And then you see the opportunity to grow and improve your product/service. Furthermore, replying kindly and being helpful will show your customers that you are concerned about the customer experience and you are willing to earn customer’s loyalty. Address the issues and be as transparent as you can. Your audience will appreciate it.
Losing your personal touch
Automation is helpful and can save you a lot of time. But don’t lose the personal connection that you have with your audience. Make your brand as human and relatable as you can. Be personal; target and buzz with personality your messaging. This being said, try to make your outreach as organic as possible. You can’t befriend every follower, but you can reply and thank for the follow. Don’t feel obligated to share other people’s content: share only things that fit your brand’s personality and vision. Because whatever you post, it’s staying online for a long time.
Never forget that your success depends on your audience. Getting in touch with your audience and understanding what it likes/dislikes will make or break your social media presence. Don’t isolate yourself. Be social.
Those were the social media don'ts. This chapter concludes our series The Art of Social Marketing Strategy. It is the definitive work on marketing strategy and tactics, but as we said above, your job as a marketer is never done. So keep in mind Sun Tzu’s advice and keep following our blog for more practical marketing tips.
“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
3. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
4. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.”