While social media is a great medium for newly established startups to use to reach their audience, you have to be aware of a few unwritten rules in the social space.
Just like a dinner party where the guest talks constantly about himself, has no respect for the host, and tries to sell his services at every turn, you can quickly turn people off on social media with the wrong types of activity.
We encourage you to stay away from these annoying social media posts that do anything BUT connect with your customers. If you’re not guilty of any of these (hooray!) then maybe forward this article anonymously to those who are!
- Give-me Give-me Give-me: Interaction with your audience is important but you have to have communication go both ways. One of the most annoying companies on Facebook are organizations who only ask for donations or ticket sales (product promos, etc). The only time their fans hear from them is when they want something. There is no relationship building or feedback from their fans. Eventually people get annoyed and stop reading posts.
- The Inside Joke or Secret Language: Your staff may understand acronyms and the internal language you use to describe items but you fans do not. Make sure you are posting items that can be understood to the average Joe that is new to the organization. And leave the acronyms for your kids’ alphabet soup. That’s where they belong.
- Invited to (thin air): “Come Join Us….” But you can’t find any information about the event!! And the organization has no information on the website about this “exciting” event, no address, and no one to contact. Take the foundational steps to update your website with the event, then add it to social networks. You can even create an event on Facebook along with sites like Eventbrite so if someone does search for it, they won’t come up empty. After all, you want them to come, don’t you?
- You’re Grammar Stinks: Standard mistakes that just shouldn’t happen. too vs to, their vs there, your vs. you’re. We could go on forever. If you’re not confident you have the proper grammar, please have someone review you content calendar before you publish. It might save you from some embarrassing mistakes. Note – mistake on this subtitle was on purpose :)
- Posting ALL THE TIME: Don’t be surprised to lose followers if you are over-sharing. When someone overposts they block the news from your friends and other pages you follow. No one wants to receive over 5 posts a day from one anyone. Some people get so upset they block you just so they don’t have a distraction in their feed. Note – now that Facebook announced it’s cracking down on people and organizations that share poor content, this is definitely something you need to be aware of! Read up on those recent changes in this article on Mashable. This mashable article also applies to point #1.
- Hashtag Abuse: What could you possibly have to say in 140 characters #that #is #relevant #to #six #searches? Not using hashtags correctly and using to many in one post is annoying. #stopit #getanewstrategy #itsannoying You get the idea. Just stop.
- The Novel Poster: The story never ends and their long-winded post takes up your entire page. Rants are reserved for blog posts. If your company has something to say that lasts longer than 2 sentences, make it into a blog post, and then tease it out through shorter posts on social media. Reserve your novels for more appropriate platforms like Tumblr or Medium..
- Greedy Platform Hoarder: Knowing that many of the social media platforms are free, companies encourage their staff to sign up for every possible social media site, thinking they can reach the world through a thousand outlets. But then reality sets in and they realize they cannot keep up. New social media platforms continue to come out. Don’t sign up on a new platform just because you can – make sure it can be managed and your audience will be found there.
Ali Schwanke is an independent marketing consultant with a focus on content, strategy, and analytics. After failing in the pursuit of a startup idea, she now sees everything as an opportunity to A/B test her theories. With roots in Nebraska and Alaska, she enjoy being outdoors with her family, running, home remodel projects, and geeking out on her favorite podcasts and audiobooks. Get in touch with her on Twitter and her website!
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