8 things your business should never do on social media

Is your business committing these social media sins?

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Social media is a vital part of marketing for today’s businesses. If you don’t at least have a presence on one platform, you’re likely missing an important way to reach your customer base. But while your personal social media account lets you interact with friends and relatives, a business account is completely different. Brands must always be careful not to alienate the very customers they’re trying to attract.

Once you’ve set up your social presence, the real work begins. Here are a few things to avoid as part of your social media marketing efforts.

1. Be offensive

Nothing will make a brand’s marketing efforts go south quicker than offensive social media posts. There are numerous ways you can hurt your online reputation, including appearing misogynistic or homophobic, making jokes about dire situations in the news, or coming across as racist in a post. Make sure the person who handles your posts is trustworthy and, for an extra step of caution, require all posts to be approved before going live.

2. Delete negative comments or reviews

Unfortunately, not everyone will be your brand’s biggest fan. When someone posts something less than flattering about your business, it can be tempting to remove it, especially if it’s on your own social media page. Deleting those posts will make your business seem shady, though, especially if the person tells others their comment was removed. Instead, leave the posts up and reply in a gracious, professional manner that impresses the customers reading it.

3. Argue with customers

Brands often hear about the importance of responding to customers on social media, even if they’re posting negative commentary. However, it’s important to rise above any attempts to start a public battle, even if someone is being combative. Instead, imagine that everything you write is being read by someone who is considering buying from you and tailor your responses toward winning that person over, rather than the hostile customer.

4. Lie

Marketing often involves emphasizing the positive features of a product or service without going into the fine detail. However, social media offers a direct channel between businesses and their customers, making it important to always tell the truth. Over time, your social media interactions will build a foundation of trust between your company and its customers and to violate that trust means losing some of the people who are most loyal to you.

5. Spam

Social spam is one of the worst things a business can do to its customers. Annoying behavior like direct messaging customers, tagging followers to get their attention, and overloading customers with social media ads will quickly get your business blacklisted. Instead, focus on providing interesting content, interacting with customers and other businesses, and occasionally sharing news about your business.

6. Complain about customers

Customers can cause frustration, especially when they’re difficult. But you should treat them with respect at all times. Even if it feels good to vent, never post complaints about customers on social media. You’ll only make your business look bad to the many customers who are considering doing business with you.

7. Disparage competitors

Just as you shouldn’t complain about customers, you also should avoid posting negative content about your competitors. In fact, supporting your customers makes good business sense. In addition to boosting your industry and helping everyone, it also gives you a chance to look gracious to your own customers. As a bonus, the competitors will likely share your posts with their own followers, giving you exposure.

8. Stagnate

Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, brands sometimes neglect their social media sites. With so many other things to do, it can be easy to let months pass between posts. When that happens, customers move on to other brands and may even unfollow you. Set up a plan to post consistently, whether it’s once a week or every day. Use dashboards to schedule posts so that you don’t forget. If you’re at a loss for content, consider writing an informative blog post each week that you can share with your followers.

Social media can be a huge part of a successful marketing campaign. However, even small mistakes can lead to reputation damage, scaring customers away. With a plan in place to manage and monitor your brand’s posts, you can avoid faux pas and build a strong follower base online.

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