Social Media has opened a lot of doors for businesses. We are able to reach our consumers quicker and more efficiently than ever before. But, not always more effectively. In fact, in a lot of ways we impact the health of our business both positively and negatively by what we post.
1. Avoid Complaining About Your Customers
America’s Funniest Home Videos has brought a lot of humor to our lives by capturing the bloopers in our lives. However, sharing business bloopers and customer annoyances is a good way to lose them. You never know who will identify with the blooper and feel you are making fun of them. Keep those stories for intimate dinner parties with people you trust. Try posting the positive and success stories instead. Everyone loves to see their name associated with something positive.
2. Be Careful Not to Guilt or Shame Your Customer
Posts that are intended to guilt or shame your customers in to making a purchase will backfire. Give them a REASON to make a purchase instead of instilling in them a buyer’s remorse before they ever even make the purchase.
3. Avoid Political or Religious Statements Whenever Possible
Of course we all have a position on politics and religion. There is a reason ballots are supposed to be secret, positions can be polarizing. This is never truer than on social media. Very few businesses have so much revenue they can afford to lose clients over an ill placed political or religious ad or post. Take heed. Elections are just around the corner.
4. What Did They Say?
Refrain from using texting language, slang, profanity or inflammatory language on social media. Poor use of language sets up the brand expectations for your customer. The question is, “Where do you want the bar set?”? When poor language is used on social media you can expect the same language to be used in customer interactions, customer complaints and revues about your business.
5. Think Big, Post Big, Be Big
As a solo entrepreneur, small business or non-profit, it is tempting to fall in to the trap of being a “one man show” and creating posts that reflect it. No matter how big (or small) your business is, post according to how you want your business to be perceived. It is your business that is creating the post not you an individual. Most people don’t know the size of your staff or business overall.
6. Shameless Plugging
We’ve all seen them. The posts like “Join us today at…”, “Please like our page, we are only XX away from XXX likes”, “I can’t follow any more people until more people follow me”. The intention is to stimulate engagement but the message we really send to those already engaging with us is that we are desperate. “Click-baiting” is another way to stimulate engagement (“Who is ready for the weekend?”). Once again this may work for a while but eventually people will tune it out. Posts like these may reflect in numbers but the negative impact on your brand may not be worth it.
7. Selfies, Selfies, Selfies (and other promotional pictures)
It’s a selfie world. We take pictures before, during and after…well everything. Meals, events, meetings, you name it, we take pictures. Exercise caution when posting pictures and videos on your business page. Make sure there is a relevance for the customer seeing the post. Whenever possible, create an album if you know you are going to be taking a lot of pictures. Be sure to check pictures for quality and content. And, by all means, make sure they are consistent with your branding standards.
8. Tooting Your Own Horn and Self-Deprecation
We all want to share with the world our successes. To avoid appearing self-absorbed, create posts thanking people who helped you along the way, shared an experience or promote others who were honored. There are times when we need to share our accolades. When the time comes, do it with the highest level of modesty possible. No one enjoys bragging.
On the other end of the spectrum, is self-deprecating. Posts that have a “woe is me” tone will turn off your audience and negatively impact your business. No one enjoys stress and pity parties.
9. Not All Content is Created Equal
Not all content will work on all platforms. We have some amazing social media platforms available. Let them do their thing and use them for maximized effect on your customer. Auto-feeding to other platforms is often used to save time in posting. If you plan to use a tool to auto-feed make sure you have done your research. Your high traffic points on one platform may not (most likely will not) be the same across all platforms. Additionally, if your customer follows you on more than one platform they could get bombarded with the same post. Best tip? Use a scheduler and post content specific to that platform.
10. Owner vs Business Pages
Your business page should reflect the branding standards of your business. Perhaps you haven’t thought about what they should be. Here are some great questions to get you started. Is it ok to post pictures of alcohol? What topics are off limits for posting? Who is allowed to post on behalf of the company? Do you want to differentiate between posters on the page (ie ~your name after a post specifically from you)?
Your personal page is certainly a place for you to post things about your personal life. However, remember that you are your business. What you post on your personal page reflects as much about your business as it does about you.
Cash is King but Content is Queen!