People give bad advice with good intentions daily. Bad social media advice is no acceptation with the vast amount of tips floating around the web. That’s why opendorse compiled a list of “The 10 Worst Social Media Tips” to save you from listening to well-intended advice that could be hurting your social presence.
1. “Always use a hashtag. The more, the better.”
Hashtags are a great way to be part of the conversation, but there is an art behind the correct usage. When you bog down your message with hashtags and tagging others, it’s easy to lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish in your post. When using hashtags, pick the one(s) that are the most relevant that will enhance your message. As a general rule, less is more.
Pro Tip: Use the Twitter search bar to search for related hashtags to get a feel for what’s trending.
2. “Don’t chat with your followers on Twitter.”
Whoever warned you of this one probably had the good intention of not clogging the newsfeed of your followers. However, if you have a conversation with someone the only people who will see it on their timelines are individuals who follow both parties. By not engaging with your followers, you risk the opportunity for missing a genuine interaction with the consumer. It’s okay to engage in an occasional chat, especially when it increases brand loyalty.
Pro Tip: If you do want to converse with a person and would like others to see it don’t start off the tweet by mentioning the person. By doing so it will go directly to the person mentioned and your followers won’t see it. A good rule of thumb is to add a period, space, and then mention the person.
3. “You should automate everything to save time.”
Automation, like all good things, should be enjoyed in moderation. You can plan out most of your posts for the week through automation but make sure to still log onto your social channels to monitor important interactions. Social media centers on being in the moment so it’s important to combine the instantaneous with your automation. If you only log into your account to schedule your automation then you’ll be missing out on opportunities to engage with your consumer.
Pro Tip: When automating, use reporting tools to find the best times to reach your goals. By doing this you can schedule more posts for the times you are seeing the most success.
4. “Use social media primarily as a marketing channel.”
Social media can be a channel to market but that should not be your primary use for it. If you only talk about yourself and try to drive purchases, consumers won’t care about what you have to say. Users of social media go there to be social, not to be bombarded by advertising messages.
Pro Tip: Follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your content should focus on being a resource for your followers and engaging with them. The other 20% of the time you can use social media as a marketing tool. By following this formula you’ll build trust with your consumers and audience, leaving them more inclined to listen to your marketing message.
5. “Use trending and slang words whenever possible.”
It can be okay to use a trend word, just don’t over-do it. By over using slang words such as “bae” or “fleek” you create ingenuous content. It’s okay to use slang, just make sure it’s natural. If you are a structured financial firm you shouldn’t be calling your consumers “bae.”
Pro Tip: Focus on being authentic, not fitting in.
6. “Delete your negative reviews and comments.”
Deleting your negative reviews and comments implies that you have something to hide. By leaving your negative comments, you have the opportunity to turn around a consumer’s experience with your brand. When necessary respond to the negative comments to correct a negative experience. It shows your consumers that you work with them, not against them.
Pro Tip: When responding to negative comments don’t use the same canned response as it takes credibility out of your apology.
7. “If your prospects aren’t on social media, you don’t need to be.”
Being on social media is important for every business whether your prospects are active or not. It used to be that people would pull out the yellow pages to find a business, but today that’s not the case. Traditional searches to find businesses have moved online. By having a social presence, you increase your odds of being found.
Pro Tip: Even if you don’t see the benefits of being on social media right now, you should still secure all of your handles. Proper foresight can ensure that no one takes a handle that you may one day plan to use.
8. “The more you publish, the better.”
While you do want to publish consistently, it’s important to still focus on the quality of your posts. You should be distributing content that your consumers care about.
Pro Tip: Before posting ask yourself why you are releasing the information. If the primary reason is to hit a strategic goal omit the content.
9. “You don’t need a strategy.”
To set yourself up for success with your social media accounts you need a plan. By creating a strategy for your accounts you will be able to monitor what does and does not work. With this information you will then be able to build on your successes. A good starting basis is to figure out where your primary consumer spends the most time and build a strategy around that platform.
Pro Tip: If you’re struggling to create a strategy, start with a simple goal. For example, plan to do two Facebook posts per week. After a month, you can look through your analytics to figure out which kind of posts are getting the most traction at what times.
10. “You should have separate accounts on social media for each part of your company.”
While this one seems good in theory, it can create confusion. For example, if you are Wal-Mart you do not need a Twitter account for every single location. If someone is looking for your company they should be able to find it easily, or there is the chance they’ll move on.
Pro Tip: Start with one account to build a loyal following, and then create separate branches if necessary.
Bonus tip: “When you’re getting athletes to endorse your brand online, it doesn’t really matter who you pick as long as they have a lot of followers.”
If you’re just worried about reach (how far your message will go) this is tip isn’t too far off. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many times an individual’s follower count may appear much higher than it actually is. Through opendorse we can break down an athlete’s followers into real followers, fake followers, and inactive followers. This allows you to know how many people are actually seeing your message.
Pro Tip: When selecting an athlete for a social media campaign, it’s important to look at your goals. A good place to start is breaking down if your campaign is primarily focused on reach, awareness, image, or ROI.
What’s the best or the worst social media advice you’ve ever heard? Share it in the comments to help your fellow marketers.