Social media is a powerful tool that we use here at Brainstorm that is great for promoting your company and staying connected with your customers. With their ever-growing popularity, sites such as Facebook and Twitter are quickly changing some aspects of our lives as we use our profiles to socialize and network for business and/or pleasure. But there is a slight disconnection between reality and the world on the web as many users make embarrassing blunders on their pages. People are posting outrageous things that would never be said in public and unprofessional behaviors are being exhibited for everyone to see.
If you want to avoid these shameful social media hiccups follow these tips:
- Not knowing the difference between a personal and a business page – This is key and as you should have a dedicated page for your business and keep your personal page separate.
- Adopt the 5 minutes rule – If you’re unsure about a risky tweet leave it for a few minutes and come back to it. What could have been a spur of the moment thought that you think is funny could backfire and be read negatively.
- Don’t post too frequently –This will annoy your followers and make them regret following you, don’t block up their news feed with constant updates. Quality over quantity!
- Never posting – The opposite of the above but with the same effect. You need to keep yourself in the loop of your likers and followers.
- Don’t ‘buy’ fake followers – This might be tempting when your Tweets feel like they’re echoing in an empty room. Give it time and you will organically gather followers. The fakers won’t engage with your posts because they don’t even care.
- Don’t delete negative comments – Don’t be tempted to erase all traces of negativity because followers will notice and you will end up looking childish. Address these comments and offer apologies and support when required to receive brownie points.
- But don’t feed the trolls – Sad to say but some people spend their days commenting weird and offensive stuff on posts. Use reverse psychology and engage them positively, this will disarm them!
- Expressing overly opinionated views – Your page is not a soapbox for you to promote your views on politics, religion, news, social issues etc. Keep them to yourself; nobody wants to hear it…ever.
- Don’t air your dirty laundry – Any issues you have in your personal life should be kept away from social media. It’s classless and very unprofessional and would be frowned upon even on your private pages.
- Posting without consent – This could be if you want to post pictures of someone on your pages, use your discretion. Ask permission before posting pictures of staff members or customers out of courtesy.
- Set guidelines for staff – If your staff want to link their profiles to your business, that’s great! But make sure that you have an understanding that anything they post could be associated with your business. Don’t let them make the same mistakes as many unwise people who have lost their jobs because of offensive posts.
- Be genuine and unique – Find your own voice and character and stick to it, that’s why people follow you and want to purchase your products. Mimicking what’s popular and copying content stinks of mediocrity and your followers will notice.
- Remain professional – Even if your company is a little bit wacky and off the wall you still need to keep some aspects of what you post professional. There is a time and a place to let out your character but sometimes you need to address things a bit more tactfully.
- Don’t overdo hashtags – #lol #funny #lolsofunny #friends #lovemyfriends #2015 #life #lovemylife #like #retweet #like4like…This is kind of annoying and makes you look a bit desperate or like a teenage girl. Hashtags shouldn’t just be there to fill up characters, use relevant hashtags that can promote your post and find new audiences.
- Nobody likes a negative Nelly – Try and keep everything that you post upbeat and positive, being a moaner on social media won’t gain any interest from customers. Plus don’t put down other companies because it makes everything petty and you’ll look like the bully on the school playground.
- Share the love – If you have received exceptional service or a great product from another company, give them a shout out. It’s called social networking for a reason, so that you can form links with different people. Karma will eventually pay you back as you receive praise from clients.
The main message here is to use common sense and patience when using social media. Don’t rush into any quick decisions on what to post as it might turn out badly. Take a moment to think before posting: ‘Would I be happy to say this to a person in real life?’. If the answer is no, then press delete and step away from the keyboard and rethink your strategy. In time you will know exactly what to post on social media.