Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time. – George Bernard Shaw
Baseball season is officially underway! The start of a new season should herald that start of new things for your brand – particularly launching on social media. We all know that social media is critical for a brand’s awareness. From connecting with customers, solving problems, and simply staying relevant, the reasons to stay online with your brand are almost too numerous to count. However, as with everything, there are certain codes of conduct for every brand to follow. Violating these rules, depending on their severity, could literally make or break your brand. This is one area your brand especially wants to get correct when you consider the most unique element of social media:
Your mistakes will never be forgotten.
At least by the internet, anyway. Whether it’s recorded or through someone’s smartphone, it will always be accessible. This makes it increasingly difficult to start-over with your target market and try to create a new impression. That’s why it’s so important for brand to not make these mistakes to begin with.
Here’s what to avoid:
- Lack of Brand Guidelines. This is the one area that will continually pay off down the road. Whether it’s determining your brand’s artistic look or language when the content is developed, this continuity will help your brand stay familiar and grow your base. Make them. Find them. Copy them. Whatever you have to do, make sure you have them.
- Excessive Self-Promotion. Social media is for promoting your brand – partly. There is a reason why traditional advertising still exists and, while such things are possible to have on social media, this new platform thrives on connections and personalization. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your consumers and balance your brand’s advertising appropriately.
- Failing to connect with a Target Market. One of the main benefits of social media is the ability to personally connect with your consumers. You can find out their likes, interests, what motivates them to buy, and – most importantly – what turns them away. Study your target market on social media to learn how they interact, what they share and focus on, and you’ll find yourself better equipped to embed yourself in their niche.
- Not Addressing Negative Comments. Social media is a two-way street. As such, when you consumers post negative feedback on your page – and this happens to everyone, no matter how good their product or service is – it’s important to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to address it. The more active and attentive you appear on social media, the more users will be drawn to your brand.
- No Human Touch. Let your brand have a personality. This is one area where most brands struggle when opening on social media. Let your followers know about your brand’s interests, products, and events in a unique, humanized way. Avoid stock wording and share content that will help your users connect with you. Whether it’s celebrating national cookie day or posting pictures of your employee’s pets, there are numerous things for your base to connect with.
- Lack of Tracking Analytics. It’s vital for your brand to track what kind of content posts are (and aren’t) working. Avoid making the same mistake over and over and risk turning followers away from your brand. Numerous social media sites already have these analytics built-in to their platform. Take heed of their results and adjust your social media plan accordingly.
- Over-extending yourself on social media. Over the last few years in particular, the number of different social media platforms has exploded. Facebook and Twitter have been joined by the likes of LinkedIn, Youtube, Tumblr, Snapchat, and many others. Each platform has a different means of interacting. Therefore, it’s important for your brand to stay on the sites that you are comfortable with and capable of handling. Resist the urge to join every social media possible and focus on the ones you can excel on.
- Falling into Controversy. This should be easier said than done, however, some brands simply can’t help themselves. Whether it’s failing to properly filter content or posting a bad-tasting joke about a trending topic, there are many ways to engage your brand in controversy. The best way to avoid this is to be judicious about what you are posting and err on the side of caution depending on some trending topics.
- Content Etiquette. These are the fundamentals of social media. Avoiding the temptation to post too many hashtags, poor quality images, or the same content over and over will communicate to your users your intention to seriously use the platform as a tool to engage them and help build a relationship with them.
- Avoiding Video Content. Some of the most effective social media posts contain videos. The best includes videos that your brand itself creates. While this may pose difficulties for some, it’s important not to shy away from this rising content type. Be creative, engage your employees, and you will most likely surprise yourself with the result!