These days, nearly every business is actively involved in social media on at least one network, if not several. With so many out there to choose from, it can be hard to determine which ones will work best for you. Obviously, you want to go where your audience is—and most often, that is on Facebook and Twitter.
While most people say having a social media presence is necessary for success in business, the truth is that it could be hurting your online reputation more than it helps it.
In order for social media to be an effective business marketing and customer service tool, it must be correctly utilized. Here are some common social media usage mistakes that could be wrecking havoc on your online reputation.
If you are constantly posting status updates, or posting links to your fan pages in places where they are not welcome, you are spamming people. If your fans and followers see their feeds constantly full of you, they are going to become unhappy and unfollow you.
Time is valuable, even for people as they use social media websites. Don’t waste your time, and don’t waste theirs. Just because they “like” your page or follow you on social media doesn’t mean that’s all they want to see.
Social Media Do’s and Dont’s
Posting “Inappropriate Content”
There needs to be a code of conduct when it comes to your social media content. Of course you do not want to post things that are full of profanity and vulgarity, but before you post, you also need to take a second to think about your audience and their beliefs. You don’t want to post anything that anyone would find offensive.
Before you post anything to your social media websites, stop and ask yourself:
- Would I share this with my mother or grandmother?
- If I were a customer and saw this, what would I think?
- How might people react to this?
If you would not share it with your family, or you are afraid of the reaction you might get, then it is best not to post it.
At the same time, be mindful of copyright when you are posting material. Everything you post doesn’t have to be your own, but make sure you give credit where credit is due.
Talking About Yourself
While the point of social media is to market and promote your business, too much of this is a bad thing. Social media is more about the interactivity and engaging your audience. Share things that are useful to your audience, that aren’t all about you. Have conversation. Ask questions. Talk to and WITH your readers. For example:
- Ask a favorite food/dish if you’re a restaurant.
- Ask a favorite sports team.
- Make a play on an unofficial holiday (Today’s National Bacon Day!)
Get readers talking to you, and to each other. Don’t post and walk away!
It’s easy to complain, but don’t do it online. Does this mean you can’t post things that could stir up controversy? No, not at all. It just means you have to be careful about the words you choose. People will see your negative attitude and look at you different, if they choose to continue following you.
When posting something controversial, use positive, inquisitive words. Do not allow negativity.
If you’ve already made some social media mistakes, don’t fret. Online reputation management (ORM) services can help you “rewind the clock” and start fresh with a positive online reputation. While nothing ever goes away on the Internet, you don’t have to stay in the negativity.