Social Media is slowly and surely becoming King in the marketing world. However, these relatively new platforms are not always easy and obvious to use in your best interest as a marketing tool. We have listed 10 of the worst ways some businesses out there are running their business social media accounts. It was sadly very easy to find great examples just by doing a quick scroll and search. We’ve also included some important ways in which you can avoid these very mistakes, so at the very least you can be ahead of the game.
These are the 10 (easy to fix) ways businesses run their social media wrong:
Don’t include any company info
This can be seen in an unfortunate amount business accounts on social media. You might have your business name in the profile but a customer needs more than that. If you click on a business account and it has no location, open hours, website link which forces the potential customers to go out of their way to google the company and find out this basic information, you have likely already lost their attention by the time google is opened. Customers do not typically want to put in the work to seek out information unless they are very captivated by what they see from your social media. The easier it is to link them directly to your website or have the address and open hours right on your social profile, they more likely they are to visit. Don’t make them do any unnecessary work.
Make it your personal social media
Too many business accounts tend to morph into personal social media accounts. This blending of business and personal can most commonly happen for small businesses, especially if one person is in charge of said account. Do not post selfies or personal anecdotes, or anything unrelated to the business whatsoever. This is a business account, keep it professional and on-topic. This can be difficult if a small business owner equates much of their own personal life with the business itself, their identity becomes the business and the business becomes the owner. But this can also easily cross a line. If your customer really cares about you as a person, they will follow you personally, but they should not have to see your selfies and rants on a company account.
Have no posts
Just creating a social media account in not enough. You have to post something. If the account is blank with just a name, no profile pictures included, no engagement at all, there might as well be no account at all. If you need some tips of what to post, check out our blog page for some tips: 3 Resources to Boost Your Social Media Presence might give you some ideas.
An account with no posts deters customers from following the business on those accounts, and so the business and account is less likely to grow. The empty account also presents the wrong image: this is either a very new or very old and bust business. Uncover Niagara for example, is one of our upcoming projects, and has yet to launch due to delays (i.e a Very new and in-progress) The lack of info, posts, and general purpose at all, indicates this is not an account worth following until it launches.
Don’t keep a consistent presence
Just as no posts doesn’t reflect well on your business account, no posts within the last year or more could also deter customers from following and engaging with you on social media. If an account hasn’t been active for a year or more, this account becomes “dead” and clearly forgotten. Business social accounts are modern, fast, and reliable. A social account should be the most recent and up-to-date information about a company and without any recent posts, it becomes obsolete. The account doesn’t present itself as an easy way to engage and contact the business either, as it looks like someone forgot about it.
Don’t keep a schedule
The same can be said for inconsistency. The most popular Youtube channels and Instagram influencers advertise the fact that followers can expect a new post or content from them “every week” or “every day” and this creates the momentum people are attracted to these days. If possible, try to continue a schedule of any kind. Don’t over promise a “daily movie-quality video” but do try to keep relevant and engaged with your followers.
Only acknowledge holidays
Although a very easy go-to social post is holidays and celebrations, it can also be important to make sure all of your posts aren’t just these holidays. A business account shouldn’t just act as your special holiday calendar. Make sure to include unique posts for your business and not just something any and every other account is doing.
Not linking to social media
As important as it is to keep up with social media accounts, its also just as important to actually link your business website and vise-versa. If I’m on your website looking for quick updates, pictures, quick ways to share the product to friends, or a quick way to get in contact from your website -I’m looking for social links. If I am on your social media looking for product descriptions, ingredients, or a place to order -I’m looking for your company website. These two ways of marketing your business need to be connected and integrated in everything you do as a business. It is important that whatever your customer is looking for, you are two steps ahead and make it as easy as possible for them to find it.
Don’t answer to comments
Having zero engagement at all with comments or direct messages is a bad way of utilizing these marketing opportunities. Important concerns, questions, or reviews can always be found in the comments and discussion and that is where it is most vital for you to step in. Answer those questions, thank people for great reviews, and most importantly, address the concerns or bad reviews. Customers are more likely to trust and take in information quickly from other customers in the comment and review section. If you delete or ignore these bad comments, this speaks volumes to other prospective clients.
If you handle the comments tactfully and respectively, offering to help the unhappy customer return the item or reflect positive change, this will be seen by others too. On-top of this, don’t ignore direct messaging, this is often a top option for customers to get the most effective and quick response from a business. For example: “Hey is your 2 for 1 deal still on for Tuesdays?” and you respond within an hour or two, “Yes it is! Would you like me to book you a reservation?” Great customer service is now being done over social media more than ever. People need quick and easy interaction rather than filling out contact forms and customer service requests.
Become too present in the comments
Yes, sometimes being too active can also deter people. Not ever comment needs a response, and not every follower wants you instantly messaging them for more information on products. This can also include bad interaction which is a tricky line that once crossed is obvious. Do not engage in lengthy conversations, rants, or arguments in your comments or review section. This is easily done, and typically done in defence. Just check out this website for some hilariously bad responses to reviews and learn from their example, and do your best not to end up on one of those lists in the future. Our number one tip when something spirals out of control, is direct the conversation into a private message or official complaint over email, never allow a conversation to begin over a public format.
Try to use this social media account not only to engage in new customers directly but a networking too. Follow other local businesses, community events, groups, and even *gasp* the opposition. The more people who know about your business the better. When someone else needs a suggestion or a new opportunity for sponsorship arises, they only need to remember you from social media for the connection and introductions to be made. A lot of subconscious thought goes on whilst we are scrolling our feeds, and its hard to believe but advertising works because of this, we remember things we see. Engaging with your community and other businesses makes it more likely for you to be mentioned and tagged by them in return.
Adapting to new forms and trends in social media is particularly important in the era of change. You need to stay updated, aware, and flexible. If a new trend or viral video spreads of people doing something, then think of ways you can translate that to a marketing campaign. If a pandemic hits and effects many aspects of everyday life and industry, you need to address it to your customers who may be worried about shipping times or availability.
Not prioritizing marketing
Finally, not prioritizing social media marketing opportunities in the 21st Century is the biggest mistake you can make as a business owner. Everything social media can offer you in the digital age, is not going away and cannot be ignored. Customers can see these mistakes almost instantly, but as a business owner it can be difficult to juggle so many demands and effectively use social media to your benefit whilst avoiding these blunders. Make sure that marketing remains a priority. That may require hiring extra help, shifting some responsibilities, or using consultation, but no matter how, you must make sure you prioritize social media as the future of your marketing focus.
Avoid these top 10 mistakes made by business social media accounts, and you will earn your place in running for the best business social media management awards. If you need some inspiration or ideas, try searching through bigger businesses to see how they market through their business accounts, on all the big platforms.
Take down some ideas of how they do things that you may want to emulate or work towards. Now, find some similar sized smaller businesses more comparable to yours, and write downs some pro’s and con’s you see that is different to the way the bigger business uses their account. You may find, there are some easy steps to do just as well as the bigger players with the bigger budgets. Try to do what you can to copy the way others are utilizing their social media and you may find, it may not all be about the budget restrictions that come with being a smaller company.