We all know that the best way to ‘be out there’ these days is to be on social media – after all, all publicity is good publicity, right? Not so much. We’ve even seen platforms take a huge hit when they’ve misused their platforms without realising the negative impact that a misguided post can take.
Take SnapChat for instance in 2018 when they had an ad for “Would you rather” game featuring “slap Rihanna” or “punch Chris Brown” sneak through their approval criteria resulting in a call-out on Instagram by Rihanna saying how terrible it was for this to happen. This ended up costing Snapchat to lose reportedly $800Million due to stock drops and users leaving the platform in droves.
In business you can’t afford to allow attention to detail fall by the wayside in an effort capitalise on the sales that can be made online.
Here are 7 main mistakes that businesses need to avoid:
1. Failing to plan
What is that your organisation needs or wants to get out of social media? With many businesses investing resources into the growth of their social media accounts, it’s crucial to know what the measurables are that you need to make it worthwhile.
Create a plan and then stick to the plan.
2. Being boring
The fastest thing that will kill your engagement, your interactions and then your sales is being boring. The best thing that you can do here, is to make sure that you are using different mediums to communicate your message. Even in traditionally ‘dry’ businesses, make an effort to create images that will capture and engage people.
Most of all, don’t do the same thing that anyone else in your industry is doing on social media as you’ll end up looking the same by default and thus becoming boring.
If you’ve got someone else managing your business’ social media, they need to be apprised of the goals and the guidelines of the account management and also the brand management. All it takes is a disgruntled social media manager to wreak havoc across the internet in a matter of seconds. The Snapchat fail mentioned above could very easily have been done by someone posting the same thing on a social media account without thinking about the possible implications of that post.
Your audience wants to hear from your regularly and posting every now and again isn’t going to cut it. Aim to post regular, value filled content regularly (at least daily).
5. Where’s the money?
You’re in business to make money, so you need to find a way to use social media to make money. With half of the planet on social media and multi-trillions of dollars being spent in the ecommerce sector, you must find a way to monetise your social platforms. From promoting your service to promoting the services of others for a fee, there are many ways of generating a return on the time, money and effort that gets poured into the social media accounts of business owners.
6. Safety net? What safety net?
We see businesses disappear overnight ‘in real life’ and it can be the same online. It’s a big risk to have the only means of communicating with your audience based through social media. Business accounts and personal accounts alike, are at the mercy of the social media platforms in the sense that businesses do not own the ‘likes’ or ‘fans’ that attached to the business account, and if your business is seen to be operating ‘outside of community guidelines’ your whole account can be shut down in seconds.
Create a safety net by legally obtaining information (name and email address) of as many people who are following you as you can. You ask for this information in exchange for sending them something that will help them. For instance, invite people to sign up for a free short course, a sample, discount voucher or audio series. Keep their details in a system that will allow you to also email them regularly. You have the added benefit of being in their email inboxes as well as in their social media feeds.
Should your social media account or page ever get shut down, you have created a safety net for your business, as you can continue to email them.
7. Don’t be wishy washy
Have an opinion and be prepared to back it up, based on the values of your organisastion. For example, Red Bull shows their values of fun, adrenalin and pushing the boundaries with everything that goes up on their accounts.
If your organisation is not willing to stand up for what it believes, it can undermine the trust that you’ve been painstakingly building over time.
Most of all, make sure that your business has a plan and a strategy for capitalising on the world of digital is growing on a daily basis.
Nicola Moras is a social media and online visibility expert, sought-after speaker and author of Visible, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing. Nicola helps clients around the world achieve visibility, impact and profits. Find out more at www.nicolamoras.com.au