Having a bad reputation on social media is worse than having no reputation at all, and the old adage that “all publicity is good publicity” really doesn’t hold true here. Social media is something of a strange animal – but if you can tame it and win its loyalty, social media will not only boost your brand and sales, but become self-perpetuating in terms of increasing your profile, getting people talking, and spreading the word. If you want to learn about the approaches and mistakes that alienate audiences on social media platforms – and how to avoid them – you’ve come to the right place. In this article (at the end) we also look at where social media is heading in 2018. However right now let’s look at our list of five sure-fire ways to alienate your prospects on social media, to help to keep you on the right track.
Viewing social media as a billboard, not a conversation
All of the main and most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram allow you to sign up and populate your page with content, which should be designed to attract interest, get people talking, and spread the word about you. However, don’t view social media for your business blog or brand as a billboard where you can make statements or loudly proclaim your views and expect other people to get on board with them and support your goals – social media is a conversation, not a soapbox. Failing to engage with your audience and give them reasons to like, share, and comment on your posts, and treating your prospects as demographics rather than people, will soon turn your potential prospects off.
Going overboard with the hard sell
Most people use social media to chill out, socialise, and play games or otherwise entertain themselves, and so taking a hard sell approach or continually spamming the channels that you use with pushy ads and intrusive content will soon cost you fans and followers. Whatever you are selling or promoting, social media success requires personalising your approach to suit the needs and moods of your audience, which means that promoting your brand or offers needs to be handled carefully. If you are trying to promote a business blog, remember that a softly, softly approach is the best way to catch your prospects’ interests and makes them want to find out more.
Losing your temper and getting into arguments
Trolls and troublemakers are an unpleasant fact of online life, and every brand and most individual social media users will fall foul of an internet troll at some point. If someone starts causing trouble or speaking negatively about your brand on your own page or content, how you handle this will make all the difference to how your prospects perceive you. Defending your business is fine, but keep it calm, factual and mannerly – even if you’re not being afforded the same respect. Making a post or firing off a reply when you’re mad will almost certainly come back to bite you further down the line – and even if you delete your comment almost immediately, someone may have already screenshotted and saved it – you can’t un-ring the bell.
Being too personal – or not personal enough
Using posts, trending topics and comments to engage with your audience is one of the keys to social media success – and taking a personal approach to the people that take the time and make the effort to engage with you helps to build brand loyalty. However, being overly personal, nosy, or familiar with people who engage with you can turn your prospects off, and cause them to want to distance themselves from your brand, so keep it professional and avoid DM’ing your prospects or contacting them privately about things if a public response would be more appropriate.
Not giving something back
Finally, one of the most valuable things about social media for business is that if you tackle it the right way, your fans and prospects will do a lot of your work for you, in terms of spreading the word and raising your profile. Give something back from time to time too, in the form of promotions, giveaways and offers, which will not only further raise your profile, but also, reward your loyal fans and give them an incentive to stick with you.
If you ignore your prospects or don’t appreciate the value of your fans and followers, they are likely to go off in search of a competitor who will!
Social Media In 2018 – What’s Next?
So where’s social media heading in 2018 you may ask? Without too much crystal ball gazing we know augmented reality (AR) will play a part. In this article it says it’s likely snapchat and instagram will add filters to support AR so selfies will take on a new purpose with celebs or friends projected into the image.
Talking of images, the quality of photos and videos will be a huge focus for marketers especially for the very popular Instagram stories where content editing using filters occurs after the initial capture. Interestingly Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn all have more followers than Twitter so there’s likely to be some big events happening as Twitter struggles to grow it’s position. A sale or change of focus or both are predicted for this platform.
Live video group hangouts where friends can get together digitally will continue to grow as Generation Zers jump onto platforms like ‘HouseParty’ to socialise with their friends ‘live’. Umm just another reason for not having to leave the house! There’s also Facebook Spaces to consider too in 2018. Facebook owns a VR hardware and software company and as competition for eyeballs gets tighter look out for a virtual reality platform that is sure to also disrupt how we all do business. Exciting times ahead for business, and marketers using social media. There’s plenty of reasons to protect your brand reputation online and dedicate time and investment in your social media presence.