Businesses aiming for a vibrant social media presence sometimes forget (or don’t know) proper behavior—and end up annoying or alienating their target audiences.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 06, 2014
More than 80 percent of small and medium-sized businesses use social media, according to a new LinkedIn study. Of these, 94 percent use social media to market their business.
With this high level of activity comes the risk of getting into annoying social media habits, says Jeremy Durant, business principal at Bop Design, a San Diego web design agency.
“We all have a pretty good idea of what’s appropriate and inappropriate when we’re in a meeting, talking to customers on the phone or networking with professional colleagues,” he says. “But businesses aiming for a vibrant social media presence sometimes forget (or don’t know) proper behavior—and end up annoying or alienating their target audiences.”
Here are examples of common social media habits that defeat a business’s goal of engaging with existing and potential customers.
#1 Posting Nothing, and Then Posting Too Much. “Unless you have an employee or team assigned to handle your online accounts, it’s easy to let a few days or even weeks slide by without posting tweets or updates,” Durant notes. “You can make things worse by overcompensating with a deluge of tweets or posts all at the same time.”
Work out a schedule that’s amenable to the pace of the business. Try, for example, to make one Facebook post and/or tweet an hour for three hours—instead of six or seven all at once. The goal is to avoid flooding followers with too much “stuff.”
#2 Talking Too Much About You and Your Business. “A series of self-congratulatory tweets, pins and updates offers the impression that you’re only interested in what’s happening with you – or worse, that you’ve decided to use social media as an advertising platform,” Durant says. He suggests adopting an 80-20 rule. Make 80 percent of content about what’s important to customers and 20 percent about the business.
#3 Neglecting to Respond to Requests and Inquiries. No business would ever willingly ignore a customer call. The same principle applies to online inquiries or requests for assistance.
It’s imperative to respond within a business day of receiving a business-related query. Anything longer than that sends a message of indifference. Show that customer inquiries are important by following up on each one.
#4 Overdosing on Hashtags. Hashtags enable users to compile and categorize information, as well as reach out to a select audience. But too many hashtags in a single tweet just clogs up the works and looks unprofessional.
#5 Asking Others to Share or Retweet. “When you post an update, discount offer or other business-related message, it’s only natural to want as wide an audience as possible to receive it,” Durant says. “But asking people to share or retweet your posts comes across as needy and discourages customer engagement. If your content is valuable or informative to the right people, they’ll do the sharing and retweeting voluntarily. It’s the best way to build a following of like-minded people.”
#6 Posting Insensitive and/or Inappropriate Content. Social media is far more informal than traditional business communications, so it’s easy to forget normal business decorum and post a message that can tarnish a brand. Businesses should know better than to respond in a hostile or defensive manner to negative customer posts. It’s also a good idea to never tweet about issues relating to politics or religion.
“If any of these habits sound familiar, now is a good time to alter your tactics and reap the sizeable marketing benefits offered by Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other social media platforms,” Durant says.
Bop Design is a San Diego web design and development agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com