A business social media account can be a great asset to an organization – providing new sales opportunities as well as the ability to more directly engage with customers. There however some common pitfalls that organizations fall into. This article explores some common mistakes for businesses using social media.
Mistake 1: Starting an account and then not using it
Possibly the most common mistake with a business social media account is to set one up, and then quickly loose interest. Managing a social media account requires a lot of effort, and unless you have a clear business justification for having a business social media presence, it is not uncommon to quickly decide it is not worth the hassle, and give up posting.
The danger of this is that having a old, non-active account may actually do some harm to your reputation. If you are looking into a company, and see that their last post on social media was from 2016, is that going to inspire you with confidence to trust the firm? Probably not. If anything, it may make you cautious as to whether the company is still in business or not.
A key way of avoiding this mistake is to consider in advance the benefits that social media can bring your firm. If there are clear objectives, you are likely to continue the effort, and having an account may be a valuable asset to your business. If you are just copying other firms because you think it is the done firm, but haven’t actually thought about why it is important to have a social media presence, you are much more likely to end up quickly forgetting about the accounts.
Mistake 2: Posting too frequently, or in bursts
A related problem is posting too frequently. Your most interested followers may be pleased to hear updates on your company, but they probably don’t want to be bombarded by lot of post in quick succession. While posting one or two posts a week may be fine, keeping your brand in the customer’s mind, posting nothing for months, and then suddenly twenty posts in a single day is likely to annoy your user base.
A key way of avoiding the trap of posting too frequently or in short bursts is to establish a social media calendar. Rather than posting all content that you create at once, this helps you spread the material out over many months, with the post automatically set to go live at predetermined times.
Mistake 3: Posting in multiple languages on the same account
With the rise of the internet, it is not uncommon for even small firms to have customers located globally. Although you may want to interact in multiple languages to best serve these customers, doing so from one business account is unlikely to be the best approach. If one minute you are posting in English, the next French, and suddenly Spanish, your user base is likely to get bombarded with lots of content that they can’t read.
A common approach to deal with this situation is to set up a separate account in each language that you intend to use. This allows your English speaking customers to follow your English account, your French speaking customers to follow your French account finally your Spanish speaking customers to follow your Spanish account.
Mistake 4: Setting up lots of different accounts
It is sometimes easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you should increase your social media presence by having lots of different accounts for all your product lines or different business areas. Although there are some genuine reasons for having multiple accounts (such as separate account for each language market that you serve), in the majority of cases it is not a good idea to have multiple social media accounts on the same platform – it dilutes your effort.
There are several problems with maintaining multiple accounts. These include:
- Time required to manage multiple accounts: Managing one social media account takes time. Managing one per line of your business can scales that time up – suddenly you are required to generate so much more content.
- Difficulty finding content to post: Finding content to publish for one social media account can be difficult. If you split your firm’s presence too narrowly, this task becomes even more difficult. While you may have a limited number of new product and feature announcements, it is a lot harder to come up with lots within each individual area of the business.
- Makes it harder to cross promote parts of your business: If each part of your business has a separate social media account, this make it more difficult to cross promote areas. While a single account makes it easier to
- Difficulty consolidating accounts: A final reason to avoid creating a portfolio of accounts is that it is quite difficult to undo. Social media platforms typically don’t allow you to combine together accounts, and if you start off with lots of accounts, you may be stuck with a user base spread over lots of different areas.
Mistake 5: Sharing irrelevant or personal information
Another common mistake is to treat your business social media account as an extension of your personal account. Although there can be benefits in making yourself the face of your organization, posting or sharing content that is irrelevant to your business or industry will quickly alienate likely customers. Rather than your social media presence positively reflecting your business, irrelevant confuse may confuse possible customers, and result in existing followers unfollowing your account.
Mistake 6: Automating your interactions
A final mistake is to look to automate your social media interactions, with auto-likes, re-shares, or bulk messages to your followers. Nobody on social media wants to interact with a bot, and turning your account into an automated bot risks making your account appear inauthentic, with the possibility that users can take advantage of your automation, by for example posting hashtags that they know will be automatically liked and reshared. While scheduling posts can help reduce the effort required in managing your account, most other automation approaches risk causing users to think that your account is a bot.
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