There’s a big difference between “being on social media” and “being social on social media.” Just because you are on social media as a brand, doesn’t mean that you can’t still be yourself, and still be social. In fact, I would venture to say that as a brand, it’s even MORE important to be your authentic self, despite being “behind the logo.”
In today’s digital world, social media is often the first experience potential consumers have with your brand. More often than not, they are going to your social media profiles first, before even visiting your website. Knowing how to use your profiles is of utmost importance in getting consumers to get an affinity with your brand. You can build trust through social, and trust leads to lasting, loyal consumers. Unfortunately, many brands are still missing out on this opportunity.
Done right, social media can be a game changer for your business. It can be the difference between a consumer choosing your brand over another similar product. It can be effective in finding your audience, engaging with them, and winning them over. Unless you’re making some very common mistakes.
If you are currently struggling, all is not lost! Let’s look at some common mistakes I see brands making on social media:
1. Jumping in without a plan: If you are going to do anything ever, you think about it first, right? You want to do something, you have to have a “why” you want to do it, goals on what you’d like to accomplish by doing said idea, and at least some thoughts on how to get there. Without a plan, with realistic achievable goals, how will you know if you’ve done it?
2. Auto-DMs on Twitter: Don’t. Just don’t do it. Never ever. Send a personal message or don’t send out anything at all.
3. Thinking “It’s not you, it’s me”: No. It IS you. The collective you. Social media isn’t about you broadcasting your message or talking about yourself 24/7. All your content should be focused on your community, your audience, your consumers, your end users. Think about who you want to reach by using social media and tailor every message to that person. Yes, person – as in, I believe your content should speak to people as individuals, not throwing out words and blogs and tweets and posts en masse. Everything you send out or post should be addressing someone’s needs.
4. Posting the same message to all social networks: Do all of your friends offline hang out in the same spot all the time? Do you have certain friends you see at some places and other friends you see in completely different places? Social networks are no different – you have different communities on each platform. People like Twitter over Facebook or Facebook over Instagram for various reasons, so you’ll need to tailor your content to each platform. Twitter only allows you 140 characters, but LinkedIn and Facebook don’t set that limit. So why post the same abbreviated content when you don’t have to? If you post the same message everywhere, you’re missing the opportunity to connect with people that don’t respond to certain platforms nuances. Also, why should I follow you on more than one network if I’m just going to see the same message everywhere?
5. You aren’t responding quickly: When someone takes the time to contact you, whether it be for a positive or negative comment, respond to them. And FAST. I like to keep myself to under an hour as a response time. Social media gives us the idea that someone is monitoring profiles every hour of every day. While that’s not always the case, I’d recommend having part of your plan include a way of monitoring and listening to what people are saying, and developing a way to respond to them in as timely a manner as you possibly can.
6. You are inconsistent: Consistency relates to quality and trust. Think of your friends – do you have one that you would call “flaky?” Someone that cancels plans at the last minute, doesn’t call or text you back as soon as you’d like them to, or someone you have a great night out with and then don’t hear from for a month? Don’t be that guy on social media. Let your community and consumers know they can rely on you.
|This WAS a pretty great snack...|
7. Brands are forgetting to show personality: People respond to people. People are what makes up companies, and people are who is at their laptop or on their phone posting to social media sites. So why do some companies sound robotic? By offering opinions and taking part in conversations, you are able to emotionally connect with people and that will draw them in so they want to do business with you. Post things about yourself, add value to people’s lives. Help them. Answer questions. Be interesting and interested in other people – I promise, they will then be interested in you. This doesn’t mean you should share pictures of your breakfast every morning, but if you have a spectacular pancake, bacon sandwich or green smoothie to share, post it!
8. Sell! Sell! Sell! No. Don’t. If you walked up to me at a concert I was at, said hello and introduced yourself, that might be enough for us to begin a relationship of some sort. I would realize that we shared common interests, and a simply “Hi! How are you?” would show me you were interested. If you walked up to me at the same concert and introduced yourself, then immediately tried to sell me concert shirts, I’d be pretty turned off. It’s not any different online. Social media isn’t an advertising platform, nor is it a commercial. It’s a…ready for it? SOCIAL NETWORK.
9. You are expecting overnight success: Does it happen? Sure. But for most of us, building, growing and nurturing communities takes time. Allow yourself that time. I’m willing to bet that your best friends took time to get to know, right? Again, no difference online. Invest the time it takes, it will be worth it.
10. You tell me! I get all my inspiration from my social media communities – I’d like YOU to tell ME what #10 should be! Tweet me @lucyrk78 and let me know?