This was originally written in August 2017 but has since been updated.
Social media is an incredible tool that allows you to connect instantaneously with users all over the world in the blink of the eye. Increasingly, businesses are utilizing social media as a way to connect with clients and prospects. However, what many professionals don't realize is: it’s all too easy to commit social media taboos and not even know it!
Why does this matter? Because, believe it or not, you can be penalized, or receive flak or kickback from these, and you definitely want to avoid that. Read on to discover six of the most common taboos we've identified that can harm you.
6 Social Media Taboos to Avoid
1. Liking or Favoriting Your Own Posts
Please, just don't. Why?
1) It makes you look foolish (Sorry, but it's true)
2) Facebook dings you for it. As Social Media Today author, Sarah Snow, says, "It’s like blackhat SEO on Facebook."
Don’t worry, it is implied that you like it otherwise you wouldn’t have posted it in the first place. What you can do instead is encourage co-workers or your loyal followers to like and share your content. Then the circulation will increase.
2. Neglecting Your Social Media Accounts
Social media has a delicate balance. Just having a Facebook or Twitter page isn’t enough; it’s content that matters. If you neglect your social media accounts, users will think you’ve gone out of business or are just plain out of touch with current trends. On the other hand, posting too much can annoy your audience and cost you followers. Find the balance!
3. Spamming Users
Spamming users is severely damaging to your business’s reputation. Make sure you aren’t just reposting the exact same content over and over. Add variety and provide value, as that's what keeps users interested.
4. Poor Networking
Networking is a huge part of social media. Make sure you are doing it right. A common misconception is that you have to follow back everyone that follows you. This is not the case- in fact, it's highly discouraged due to the amount of bot accounts floating around. Think of it in terms of reputation. In real life, people view you and judge you by the people you hang out with. You want to make sure you are associating yourself with the right crowd.
5. Not Double Checking Your Posts Before Posting
Remember, once you post something on the internet, almost anyone can and will likely see it. So check and double check your posts before you actually post them. Typos can be embarrassing, and sometimes even disastrous. Yes, you can delete or edit posts, but there is no telling how many people saw it before you removed or edited it. And if someone shares your post before you make edits, their post will not change according to your edits. So proofread, proofread, and proofread again!
6. Lashing Out
Because of sites like Yelp or Google Reviews, you have to accept the fact that not all comments and reviews are going to be full of praise and adoration. Negative comments are going to happen. Even fake negative comments happen. Don’t just delete the comment, ignore it, or try to shift the responsibility. That is a fantastic way to make an angry customer an irate customer and prevent others from doing business with you if it's poorly handled. Acknowledging the issue and offering to move the discussion to a more private platform like email can usually assuage the angry customer and show others that your business is taking action to remedy the situation and prevent problems in the future.
Demand Attention in the Right Ways
The people and brands I follow on social media are the ones that tell me about things I want or need to hear. If you're looking to gain an engaged following, provide relevant and timely information to users. Share ebooks you've written (or that others have written that relate to your products and services), blogs that pertain to your industry, and other things like helpful or fun graphics. The more value you provide, the more likely you'll see engagement increase.
Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration. Holds HubSpot Certifications in Inbound Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, and Contextual Marketing.
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