We are living in a time where social media is an everyday part of our life. Well, mostly true to anyone who has a good internet connection or a mobile device. Since the creation and the popularity of social media, people have become more connected, there has been the ability for enhanced collaboration and more activity for social awareness to reach a large amount of the population. Social media helps in spreading news and events as they happens in any part of the world. Newspaper, radio and TV are not the only sources of information anymore, social media has added to the reach of information. Individuals, bloggers, governments and businesses have taken advantage of social media.

Image courtesy of lawyernomics.avvo.com

Image courtesy of lawyernomics.avvo.com

Social media can be a very powerful tool, especially for brand building and product marketing. Businesses have used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ in pushing brand recognition. Social media has commanded clout and made more traffic as compared to other marketing mediums. And because of these reasons, many businesses from small to big enterprises have made the move online with their marketing ideas. But if social media is used the wrong way, it can have a bad impact on the business, the brand or product as well as the trust of loyal customers and possible new customers that the business or enterprise is targeting.

We know that nobody is perfect, especially on social media. These past few years, we have read and seen some social media blunders from big companies. Although some social media posts were posted by disgruntled employees and went viral, there is no question of the negative impact of social media. It may be an irresponsible post or a post that backfired. Let’s discuss the mistakes of big companies when using social media.

1. Abrasive And Loud Tone        

All caps with many exclamation points at the end of a sentence is like declaring war on the readers or your potential customers. It’s easy to be loud or abrasive but it will come across as arrogant, impolite and disrespectful.

2. No Social Media Policy

Any enterprise that fails to provide guidelines on how employees should act online is a potential disaster waiting to happen. The enterprise should implement protocols so that employees know to represent themselves online and after work hours in a certain way. This will help the brand to reach its goals and help educate the employees on any potential issues. This will help the workforce have a fallback when someone goes too far in posting anything on any social media site.

3. No Relevant Or Exciting Content

If the enterprise has an active blog or website, no customer will go back or visit the website if there is no relevant content being published on a regular basis. The content should be fresh, it should also appeal to the target market or to the right niche. If you’re selling an android phone to loyal iPhone fans, the marketing will not work. Those Apple fanboys may start bashing the brand.

Image courtesy of teacherstraining.com.au

Image courtesy of teacherstraining.com.au

 

4. The Company Thinks all Social Media Sites Are The Same

Although in general social media sites have some similarities, each social media channel is unique. Each of them has its own culture, language and target audience. Many businesses simultaneously send out the exact messages across different social media sites. What these companies don’t realize is that it will come across as impersonal or appear as spam. An enterprise should make an effort to understand how each social media site works and make their messages custom-made to that particular platform.

5. Not Investing In An Effective Social Media Presence

It takes time and money to make things work and to have a popular and a large social media presence. If your company is skimping on investing in social media marketing, the target mileage will not be reached and the enterprise will not be up to date with all the social media buzz. Putting ads on social media sites will help in brand recognition and the company will not be branded as dinosaurs.

 6. Using Social Media As The Town Crier

Social media is not just a megaphone or a town crier. It should let the customer, loyal or potential, be engaged with the brand. Dedicate a specialist to monitor social media engagements or create an editorial calendar to make a buzz around promotions. The engagement should have a personal connection. These personalized interactions will build loyalty and then convert to sales.

7. Lacking Patience

Expecting instant results through social media is not possible, unless someone within the company has posted something controversial or rude that catches the attention of netizens. A backlash from customers will surely happen. Don’t expect too much. Make concrete plans and create different milestones which will result in long term success.

8. Quantity Not Quality

Many enterprises are too focused on getting more customers, followers, likes or fans on many social media sites. But in truth “likes” do not equate to actual sales. It doesn’t matter how many million likes you may generate, if these numbers don’t result in the conversion of sales, then the strategy does not matter. It is more valuable to have 200,000 quality and highly engaged advocates than 2 million fans. Some social media fans may even be fake. Engaged fans are more concrete because “word of mouth” is 5 times more effective in converting possible customers. The brand should focus on building loyal followers who will surely become brand advocates.

Image courtesy of http://minoamarketing.com/

Image courtesy of http://minoamarketing.com/

9. Bad Or Fake Information

Posting bad or fake information to boost products. There may be some that have lied and given bad information in order to attract potential customers. This will surely backfire. Never give fake or inaccurate information about a product or brand.

10. Failure To Monitor Social Media

Customers will talk about the services or products or the business online, whether you like it or not. Customers will assume and will expect that the company is monitoring and listening to their customers. Customers want to feel that they are being taken care of and if they feel that there is no one listening or acknowledging them, they will turn away. Monitor your social media sites for any complaints, questions or suggestions.

11. Focusing On Just One Site

We all know that Facebook is the most popular social network, but the focus should not be limited to just one site. The enterprise should spread and maximize their reach to different social sites. Spread out, but continue to ensure content quality.

12. Overusing Hashtags

Too many hashtags are very annoying. It’s just make some people snap if there are too many showing. Not all trends work you know. Using a keyword or keywords that don’t make any sense will not make any additional engagement or interaction. If there is a global trend that makes everyone abuzz, the enterprise should contribute rather than barrage their social media sites with nonsense and shameless promotions. By preventing this annoying trend, the company’s online reputation will improve and trust will be built between the company and the customers.

Image courtesy of webpronews.com

Image courtesy of webpronews.com

13. Not Tagging Or Linking Resources                                  

It is best to include short links to a specific resource, a blog or a web page in the social media post that can be measured. Tags that reference a source will make the social post more searchable and accessible if outside the company’s niche target.

Understand that mistakes will happen. Mistakes are part of life and we have to learn from these mistakes and not let them happen again. Acknowledging and knowing mistakes will make the company’s  social media strategy effective and strong.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.