Social media is about building relationships and allowing your customers, and potential
customers, to get to know you better as you get to know them (and their preferences) better as well. But if you’re doing these 10 things, chances are you’re not only chipping away at any relationship-building potential but you’re also hurting your own efficiency.
1. Spreading Yourself Thin
Like Napoleon in Russia or the team behind new restaurant openings for Planet Hollywood, even a successful campaign can fail if you spread yourself too thin. Pick a few social media profiles, ones you’re satisfied your ideal customer is on, and participate regularly. It is better to choose a select few that you monitor and maintain consistently, than be “present” on every platform only to publish once in a blood moon.
2. Publishing All You, All the Time
No one wants to read constantly just about your comings and goings. There are things much more interesting to people than your business. You are limiting your shares if you use social media as your own personal cable access channel.
3. Sounding Like a Machine
Your personality should shine through in most of your posts, unless you’re a really mean, angry person, then forget about it. Be someone else.
4. Not Having a Goal
While it sounds inauthentic to have a sales goal attached to developing relationships, this is not a personal account. You’re doing this for business. Create some goals, assign them a timeline, track your progress towards them.
5. Being Afraid to Ask for Referrals
Most businesses help people, even if it’s just helping them find attractive things for their home or their closet. If you believe this about your business, you should let go of the fear of asking satisfied customers to refer you on social media. It’s how business gets done now.
6. Making Interaction Formulaic
This is not algebra, I can’t give you a magic formula to grow your relationships and make people like you. If you have an “if then” type social media handbook that you make every employee adhere to, you’re missing out on some genuine conversations.
7. Publish Anything You Wouldn’t Want Your Grandmother to See
Personality is important in posts but don’t go overboard with anything your mom or grandmother would question. Don’t publish anything that places you, your competition, or your town in a bad light. Social media posts have a way of coming back to you. Stay positive and you’ll never have anything to apologize about.
8. Putting Only One Person in Charge
Ideally, your business will become important to a lot of people through the information you share. Customers will feel like they know you. Don’t place all of your social media posts, personality, and passwords in one person’s basket. If they leave, so do your social skills. Instead get everyone involved for additional coverage and fresh perspectives.
9. Ignoring Copyrights
Finders keepers, losers weepers, does not work in a copyright lawsuit, nor does claiming a lack of understanding of copyright law. Don’t assume because you found it on the Interwebs, it’s yours to use any way you choose. If you can’t get permission from the creator, either don’t post it, or if in the case of an image quote from a famous person, recreate it with your own image. Don’t take chances on this. It’s not worth it.
10. Tagging Someone in an Unflattering Photo
Tagging is a great way to get attention, but tagging someone in a photo where they look awful or are doing something embarrassing is not a wise move. Also, be proactive. If you’re having an event and you plan on posting pictures, ask attendees to sign media releases wherever possible. It is much safer than someone reading you the riot act later.
Use social media to build relationships with your customers and prospective customers. You should never use it to belittle or bully someone, spread untruths, or complain. Your social media posts are your brand and reflect on your business even when your place is closed. Always keep that in mind before hitting the enter key.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.