Recently, Sprout Social published their Q3 2016 study on brand behavior on social media channels. One of the best insights of the publication was a series of things that brands do on social media which annoy their customers and followers. While these things may seem small in comparison to major social media gaffes, they slowly erode the relationship between customer and brand, and may lead to an unfollow down the line.
In this article, we’ll discuss each one of these things, as well as how to correct these bad habits to more effectively use social media.
The Promotion Machine
We get it, promotions are important as a sales strategy and make customers’ wallets happy. That doesn’t mean that your social media communications should be an extreme couponer’s dream. The point of a promotion is that it is temporary and rare, motivating the customer to click and take advantage of it in the moment. Too many promotions ruins the novelty and gives the brand an unpleasant, spammy feel.
An interesting example of over promotion can be found with Embrace The Animals, an online clothing and accessories shop. Over the course of a single day, Embrace The Animals published ten posts on Facebook promoting their products and offering free shipping. Their products may be great, but hardly any customers will be reaching for their wallets after post number 10.
Correct this by: Live by the adage: Less is more. Save your promotions for holidays or special industry focused days (for example, if you’re a pastry shop, this Friday, October 14th is National Dessert Day).
BRB, checking out the ROI of the MKT campaign
Being concise in social media is important (maximize the use of those precious 140 characters), but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on industry acronyms or abbreviations that your audience might not understand. Also, when it comes to slang, trying to be cool by speaking like the young’uns has been uncool since the 1950’s. Your audience is smart, and when you sound inauthentic, the response probably won’t be the best
Correct this by: Stay authentic and clear. Stay faithful to your brand’s voice and tone. Make sure that your audience will understand what you’re trying to say.
A Dull Social Personality
No brand aspires to be like Eeyore, and in a world where brands are constantly competing for customers’ attention, being easy to remember is crucial. Those who assume a safe, neutral personality for their social media content come across as robotic and uninspiring.
Correct this by: Identify and embrace your brand’s voice and tone. Give your audience a reason to engage with you.
Bad Stand-up Night
Laughter is the best medicine, but it can be a disaster if misused. Banter may be common in the stand-up comedy world, but in marketing, the wrong joke can bring negative attention and massive unfollows from your audience.
Last year, IHOP fell victim to this when they tweeted an offensive joke, making a reference to their pancakes within the context of women’s breasts. Audience reaction was quick, and the brand was forced to take down the tweet and apologize.
Correct this by: Fully digesting ideas. Something might sound funny in your head, but it may actually be terrible. Many writers step away from their content and revisit it with fresh eyes a few hours later, or even the next day. If something sounds too forced, remove it or add some wit.
The Silent Treatment
What is the point of being on social media if you’re not… social? Many brands still make this mistake, opening an account and not doing anything at all. Or even worse, posting on their account often, but without interacting with their followers at all. This is particularly dangerous when it comes to customer complaints or questions, because this can also affect future sales.
Correct this by: Speak up! Set certain times during the day to reply to as many customers as possible in a friendly, human tone.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to social media and interaction with customers. If your brand is guilty of any of these things, take action and correct these issues before your analytics fall apart.