Dear all business owners and organizations,
Stop doing these five things and you will drastically improve the status of your brand on the Internet.
Crossposting. I can't understand why someone signs up for a social media profile and doesn't want to devote the unique time that the specific platform deserves. I see it far too much: brands linking their Facebook to Twitter and letting their Facebook posts do the work for both platforms. This looks messy, confusing and lazy. Twitter has a 140 character count for a reason: it's designed for these bite-size updates. I'm using Twitter for a purpose; I don't want to follow a link to your Facebook update. Either devote the time to developing the same messages for different platforms, or don't engage in multiple platforms. Utilize an agent such as HootSuite to ease the process of tweaking and scheduling individual posts across platforms.
Speaking in first person. When representing an organization or brand with a plethora of staff, it's important to speak as "we, us," as opposed to "me, I." When you're using "I," and speaking to stories from your life, your fans and visitors get very confused. It tends to give off a less-than-professional vibe, therefore it isn't a good look for the brand. I could understand speaking in first person if your company was a one-woman (or man) show, but not when you're representing a bunch of people. Same goes for liking your own posts. There is a way to switch back to your personal profile when liking the things your brand has posted (and it's easy)--don't make it so that your brand likes its own updates.
No goals in sight. Your social media needs to have set goals in order to track improvement and progress. Individual goals should be made for each platform--these can be about following, content, engagement or a variety of others. Anything you envision for your social media success should be written out in goals and evaluated every day, week and month in different stages. Repeat this over and over to yourself: "Analytics are my friends!"
Using a platform that produces zero results. It's all about trial and error! If you're excited about a new platform that just came out, or one that you see bringing success to other brands: give it a try. It doesn't hurt to experiment, but be sure to set goals and fairly evaluate the success when your trial run comes to an end. I've had to wave goodbye to a few platforms because of the brand's fans' unwillingness or disinterest to use them. If I hadn't, I would've ended up wasting my time on an app or website that brings little to no recognition and profit for the brand.
Writing a novel. Yes, I understand your brand is important to you (and to us), and naturally you have a lot to say. However, a true social media maven knows how to cultivate success in few words. One-two sentences max. Use gripping action verbs and speak to your audience's demographic (if they're young and hip, talk like a hipster!). This will draw them in. The only other thing they need to know is the event's time, date and place, or the item's specifics. You can provide a URL to a webpage that has more information, if you wish. This lets the website do the job it's supposed to.
Most importantly, you must hire someone that knows what they're doing. You should be able to successfully avoid all of the above no-nos and more by hiring a staffed marketing/social media professional. Work closely with them to make sure your brand's vision and voice are highlighted.
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