These days, businesses unconvinced they need a social media presence are few and far between. What is far too common, though, are businesses with questionable social media practices — not for lack of trying, but for a misunderstanding of what about social media matters most.
1) You don’t care who you follow as long as they follow you back.
With so many people and pages to potentially follow, we need ways to discriminate. So we look for complete, active profiles. We look for quality posts. We look for reasonable following-to-follower ratios.
We also can learn a lot about a social media profile by looking at who they’re following. So the last thing you want to do is follow people who don’t live up to the aforementioned criteria. Non-quality posts are perhaps the biggest offender. If someone sees that you are following people who post spammy or offensive content, you’re likely to be judged (and discounted) by association.
Bottom line, be ever-mindful of who you’re following. If you find yourself following a non-quality profile/page, unfollow (or unlike) them immediately. While they may see that you’ve unfollowed them and, in turn, unfollow you, it’s a small price to pay for making sure the people you follow aren’t doing you more harm than good, not the least of which is crowding up your newsfeed with posts you won’t read or share anyway.
2) You don’t read the content of the links you share.
We’re all pressed for time, especially within the context of social media marketing. However, we do ourselves and our followers a disservice when we sacrifice quantity for quality. This is what is likely to happen if you are not taking the time to actually read the blog posts and articles you are sharing (and resharing) via your social media platforms.
Headlines can be seductive; the best ones are. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the content of the piece lives up to that promise. Granted, you didn’t create it — so are not directly responsible for it — the content you choose to share is a direct reflection on you and your business.
We’re pretty adept scanners these days, and the best blog posts and articles are ones formatted for an easy-read, so at the very least open those links and take a look. With this knowledge in your arsenal, you can do yourself the additional favor of adding some commentary about the content, making yourself a quality contributor to the conversation.
3) You try to shock just for shock’s sake.
They say any publicity is good publicity. But if you share (or reshare) content just to stir up controversy, you may be sacrificing the integrity of your business in the process. And no amount of social media attention is worth that.
4) The majority of your posts are promotional.
Warnings about this one have been floating around so long that it’s tempting to leave it off the list. Surely people know better by now. Not quite. There are still so many promo-intensive pages out there that it is clearly worth saying again — keep your promotional updates to a minimum. Shoot for 20 percent but, by all means, never more than half. Your goal for anything relative to your business should be doing the best job you possibly can, and social media at its best is a conversation, not a billboard.
5) You’re master of none.
One of the first things visitors to your website look for these days are social media icons. And it’s especially impressive to see a string of them representing all the places they can connect with you — like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. What’s not so impressive is clicking through to one or more of these profiles to see they’re not so connected after all. They haven’t been updated in days, weeks, or months. Or they’re updated regularly, but with boring posts that signal no true social element at all.
To master a social media platform, you need to immerse yourself there. So if you’re spread too thin, trying to maintain a presence everywhere, you won’t have time to be effective anywhere. You’re far better-served mastering a couple of them — like Facebook and Google Plus (Twitter too if you can swing it) — than falling short on all.
Anything you’d add to the list?