If you are an entrepreneur and you keep track of digital trends, you are probably already present on social media networks (or at least you are seriously considering it). But have you ever wondered if you are using them the right way? Whether you are active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or some other channel, there are certain things and practices that you should definitely avoid if you want to keep a professional image and dignity in the digital environment.
We are highlighting some of the most common mistakes known to occur to companies and entrepreneurs during their performance on social media networks, that you wouldn’t want to happen to you, too.
You have no plan or strategy
You have created a profile on Facebook and decided to post something now and then – when you have time or when it seems appropriate. Another possible scenario is that you are constantly bombarding your audience with posts, thinking that by doing so you will attract their attention and encourage them to buy your product or service. In both cases forget about any satisfactory results. Social media performance should be strategically thought-out, pre-planned and tailored according to a company or a brand, but also the social media network itself.
Irregular and unplanned content posting, without an elaborate communication strategy, is usually the first mistake made by entrepreneurs on social media networks, which usually results in lack of interaction between the audience and an overall unprofessional image. If you do not know how to create a social media performance strategy and you do not have time for content planning, there are professional agencies that will do it for you.
All you talk about is yourself
Social media networks can well serve as a mean of promoting a business, but it is important to find balance. Constant self-promotion and the “me-me-me” approach will quickly make you lose users who have low tolerance for boring and tedious content in the digital environment anyway. Of course, it is okay to post information about new products, discounts, or business activities, but this should not be the only content on your channels. Share an interesting research from your sector, or an article from an external source, create an infographic, play with different formats, create a survey for users… There are no limits to more creative approach.
However, on business social media networks such as, for example, LinkedIn, regular self-promotion is something that is expected “by default,” but it is also important that you tell your story by making it interesting, informative and useful to B2B audience, while bearing in mind the quantity of the posted content.
You do not communicate with users
Social media are called social for a reason, aren’t they? If your users have a praise, question, complaint, or criticism, make sure to react and let them know that you have heard them. Sometimes it will be enough to thank someone for a nice comment, sometimes you will need to write a “diplomatic” response and calm down a dissatisfied fan, but that is all normal and expected in a social media environment. The biggest mistake is to behave as if your users do not exist because they will soon begin to treat you the same way.
You are posting irrelevant content
Your users are following you on social media networks because they are expecting informative and useful kind of content from you. If you do not deliver it, in most cases “unfollow” is what follows. For example, if you are selling IT equipment, your community will gladly accept a blog post with tips on maintaining your computer, but it will surely remain confused if you start talking about weather forecast for the upcoming weekend. All right, we are exaggerating a bit, but the point is clear: do not deal with topics that do not have a clear link to your business or area of activity on social media networks.
Also, pay attention to the type of content you post. If you have seen that some brands post memes and funny viral images to increase their fans’ engagement, that does not necessarily mean that this practice is also appropriate for your channels or community.
You are violating social media rules
Social media networks have their own specific rules, policies, and guidelines that you need to adhere to, especially if you want to retain your professional reputation and presence there. For example, one of the basic Facebook rules is that individuals are represented through profiles, while companies, brands and organizations must create a page. Although, to a lesser extent than before, it is still possible to find examples, probably due to ignorance, which violate this rule (especially when it comes to coffee shops and beauty salons).
Do you want to organize a Facebook contest for your fans? It is a great idea, but keep in mind that you should not ask users to tag friends in the comments or share the post as a condition to participate in the contest. Those are the Facebook rules, so if you do not respect them, you are risking penalization and deletion of your official page.
Furthermore, we believe that it is not necessary to emphasize that it is forbidden to post false, offensive and discriminatory content on social media. If you are in a bit of a dilemma about whether a certain status or a photo is appropriate – you should give up on posting it immediately. A bad reputation on social media spreads at the speed of light, and its consequences can last for a very long time. If you are not completely sure what is or is not allowed on social media networks, it is certainly advisable to consult with experts.