7 Deadly Sins of Social Media Marketing

June 20, 2012

As a savvy user of social media, I follow many of my favorite brands and companies online. Because I am also a social media marketer, I often see companies doing it wrong. So what are the biggest social media mistakes your company might be making?Check our list of the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Setting up a business Facebook page as a Friend page

This is a basic error that many small and local businesses still make. Rather than setting up their business as a Facebook page that fans can “Like”, some businesses still create Facebook profiles as if their business is a person. This requires your customers to add your business as a friend in order to communicate with you.

Be a saint: Keep business and personal accounts separate, and create a Facebook business page.

2. Your social media profiles are not complete

I recently looked for a local restaurant online, and although I couldn’t find their website, their Facebook page immediately came up on Google search. However, the Facebook page did not list their hours or any other information I was looking for such as a menu.

Be a saint: Think of your company’s Facebook page as a free version of your website and make sure to include any basic information a potential customer might want to know about you.

3. Creating a Facebook profile, but never updating it

You can create a great page on Facebook and even get your customers to Like it, but if you’re not regularly updating your status, your page is out of sight, out of mind. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to a local business after seeing something interesting from them show up in my Newsfeed. If you’re missing from the conversation, you’re missing out on potential business!

Be a saint: Having a sale this weekend? Offering a new product? Special meal on the menu tonight? Update your Facebook status with the details!

4. Only self-promoting on social media

If a business I follow on Twitter or Facebook only repeats their sales messaging over and over, I am likely to tune them out or get annoyed and stop following them.

Be a saint: Make sure that you are also sharing good content with your followers, not just selling to them. Come across an interesting article about your industry? Share it and ask your followers to comment. Social media is a great tool for customer engagement, so make sure you aren’t only offering one-way communication.

5. Not giving your audience a reason to click on the links you share.

Companies often share links that feature an image that has nothing to do with the content, using whatever default thumbnail Facebook inserts into the post. This can cause people to pass right by your post in their Newsfeed. And when sharing links on Twitter, don’t use a vague “Read this great article!”. No one will – Twitter shortens links and people have no idea where you are sending them.

Be a saint: When posting a link on Facebook, take the time to hit enter before posting and see what image Facebook chooses. You can usually select an image that is more eye-catching and descriptive. When sharing a link on Twitter, briefly state the headline or summarize the content of the link.

6. Not listening to what your customers are saying about you

Even if you are doing a great job using social media to get out your message and share content, you also need to make sure you are monitoring what your customers saying and respond to them appropriately.

Be a saint: If a customer writes a negative post on your Facebook timeline, do not erase it and do not ignore it. Respond proactively and offer to help. Remember, other customers can see your wall as well. And on Twitter, don’t just reply to Tweets directed to you. Regularly do searches on your company name and brands. If people are saying nice things about you (or bad) make sure you respond so customers know you are listening!

7. Not taking advantage of Facebook events

Many companies and organizations hold special events, and they might detail the event on their own website and then share the link about the event on Facebook. But why not create an actual Facebook event? This would allow your biggest fans to easily share the event and invite their friends. When people “Join” the event on Facebook, their friends also see it in their newsfeeds, which is additional word of mouth. Don’t neglect this free form of advertising when promoting your events!

Be a saint: Create a Facebook Event page, invite your fans & encourage them to help you spread the word!