We all know social media is an amazing way to build a community around your brand, drive traffic to your site and get people excited about your products. However, marketing through social media can be a double-edged sword: you can find ways to cut through the noise but you can also potentially damage your brand’s reputation.
Here’s how to audit your social media presence and make sure you’re doing it right;
1. Are you relying on a young person to run your socials?
A common mistake is to assume that younger people “get” socials and therefore can run your accounts. There’s much more to being successful on social media than coming up with random content and using witty hashtags. An ideal social media manager has a strategy, schedule, and a good understanding of how each platform works. Choose someone to run your socials based on their skills, not their age.
2. Are you only using the “Big Three”?
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the world’s most popular social media networks, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. For example, if you don’t have a lot of great photos to share, Instagram probably isn’t the place for you.
Consider using other relevant platforms like Snapchat, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and other networks where your brand could perform better. Do some simple research on what platforms will work best for your brand, or get a specialist to do it for you.
3. Do all your posts have a call-to-action?
Try and avoid making every post seem like a promotion. People are on social media for fun and info, not to spend money. They don’t want to feel like they’re constantly being sold to. But this is part of the fun; focus on building a community and highlight other aspects of your company and brand values, limiting call-to-actions to only 20 percent of your posts (or less).
4. Have you got a mix of different content?
Posting content that feels like a behind-the-scenes look at your business will create intrigue with users, but having a mix of different posts that showcase your brand or products is an exciting way to keep consumers engaged. Also posts where your customers are the focus, like testimonials & reviews, will usually bring positive responses to your posts.
Having curated content whether it’s in-house or outsourced will keep your business organised with what goes up on your socials.
5. Are you posting inconsistently?
We get it — you’re busy running a business. However, if you’re not showing up most days on social media, you’re sending your audience a clear message: you don’t care about them.
You don’t necessarily need to post every day (and you definitely don’t want to post too much), but you should show up to follow people, engage with their content, and respond to comments every day.
True, your followers may not be online every day, but if you aren’t showing a consistent interest in your socials, you’re suggesting that you’re (a) too busy to engage with your community, (b) you don’t know what you’re doing, or (c) you might not even be in business anymore. None of those is good.
6. You’re mixing personal and professional.
On nearly every social media page there are posts from brands that got a little too personal. As a rule of thumb, assume that everything you post could be screenshotted and instantly shared across the internet. You can’t take it back, which is why you must be careful when posting. It’s all too easy to pull a McDonald’s and send a highly political tweet from your branded account instead of your personal Twitter!
We’ve seen everything from Facebook business pages leaving emotional comments on news articles, to “professional” Instagram accounts sending inappropriate messages to other users. If you use your business profile to engage in non-business activities, it already makes a bad impression. To avoid these situations, keep your personal and professional accounts separate.
7. You’re not responding to comments or reviews (or you’re responding negatively).
Make sure you respond to negative comments. This may seem like a waste of time – as the saying goes, everyone’s a critic, you can’t make everyone happy. Why respond to someone who’s clearly not going to change their mind?
The simple answer is that current and prospective customers can read these comments. If you simply ignore negative comments or reviews, it will seem like you don’t care about customer satisfaction or that your business really is as bad as they are saying. Leaving a constructive, calm response goes a long way toward demonstrating professionalism. It’s important to not be defensive, angry, or dismissive in your response.
8. You’re jumping on trends that don’t suit your brand.
Social media “holidays” such as National Pizza Day and regular hashtags such as #WomanCrushWednesday are fun and all, but if you can’t link them to your content, it’s better to skip them. Otherwise you may seem like you’re fishing for likes rather than trying to authentically engage with your audience.
Be extra cautious when using any trending topic or social media movement. Many of them reflect controversial subjects and if your brand and content don’t mesh with the topic, you could seem oblivious at best and insensitive at worst. Always research any trending tag you want to use, and don’t piggyback on trends that have nothing to do with your brand.
It’s easy to look at social media as a new form of advertising, but it’s more than that: it’s social. Successful brands treat it as a way to build a community – their socials are an engaging expression of their brand rather than an endless commercial for their products.
The truth is, if you do your homework and form a solid strategy, you’ll enjoy much greater success on social media — and avoid misfires that can damage your brand. Lead with authenticity and engagement rather than promotion.
Need help with your social media strategy? We’ll show you how to craft a compelling brand presence, free of gaffes and misfires! Contact Simple Media for professional social media strategy and content creation today.