How to engage better with your customers and improve your follower count

10 signs you’re using social media wrong

There’s a big difference between running social media accounts because businesses are expected to these days and actually building a strong social following.

Any of the following 10 signs may be indications that you’re using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter incorrectly:

1. You don’t update regularly

The number-one cardinal sin most new social media marketers commit is not sticking to a regular posting schedule. If your followers see your profiles run dry for more than a few days (let alone a few weeks or months) at a time, they’ll fall out of the habit of checking in with your business. 

2. You aren’t gaining followers

Acquiring followers isn’t a perfect way to measure social media success. However, if your social following isn’t growing as a result of your marketing efforts, you need to reevaluate your strategy. Try to come up with something new that will engage a larger number of people across wider demographics.

3. You broadcast, rather than engage

It sounds like a cliché, but social media is all about the conversation. If you’re constantly broadcasting – sending your thoughts out into digital space in a one-way fashion – you’re missing out on the powerful benefits that can come from true engagement.

4. You use your social profiles like ad streams

Under no circumstances should you treat your social profiles as just another avenue to send out your sales pitches and marketing messages. The content you share on social networks should be informative, engaging, entertaining and/or conversational. Veering too often into sales territory is a surefire way to get your followers to switch off.

5. You autopost updates across all your social profiles

The types of content that perform well on Facebook are different from those that do well on Twitter, which are different from those that garner engagement on Pinterest, Google+ or any other social network. If you’re autoposting a single update to all of your different social channels, you’re missing out on the opportunity to connect effectively with followers on each site.

6. You haven’t established social brand guidelines

Establishing a set of guidelines that dictate how you control your company’s image in public. A good social brand guidelines document will include specifications on all of the following (among others that may be relevant to your company):

– Who is responsible for updating your social profiles
– How frequently your social profiles will be updated
– What types of content you’ll post about
– How you’ll use imagery in your posts
– What type of ‘voice’ you’ll use when posting

7. You use a post-by-post strategy

Though it might seem like social media marketing is a spur-of-the-moment activity, the companies that get the best results are those that develop an overarching strategy for connecting with their followers. If your business doesn’t yet have this in place, invest some time in setting overall social media goals that’ll drive your individual daily posts. 

8. You ignore (or delete) negative social mentions

No matter how good your company is, negative social mentions happen. And when they do, there’s only one way to respond. Instead of ignoring – or worse, deleting – the message, offer your sincerest apologies, a candid explanation of what went wrong and any actions you plan to take to either compensate the offended customer or ensure the issue doesn’t happen again in the future.

9. You don’t respond to customers quickly

According to a survey conducted by the Social Habit, 32 per cent of customer respondents who contacted businesses for support via social channels expected a response within 30 minutes. To make matters worse, 24 per cent expect a 30-minute response regardless of when the initial contact was made – even if it was made outside of business hours.

The bottom line? When a customer asks you a question, you’ve got to respond quickly. If monitoring your individual profiles is too cumbersome, consider tools such as Hootsuite [free] or Sprout Social [plans start at $39 a month] to simplify the process. 

10. You aren’t tracking return on investment

Finally, keep in mind that while social media conversations are important, your business needs to receive some tangible value for your efforts – and you’ll only know if you’re getting out more than you’re putting in if you track ROI. No matter what kind of outcome you hope to achieve through social media marketing, there’s a way to track and quantify your efforts to ensure your resources are being allocated wisely.

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Image source: Shutterstock (Social media icons and mobile phone vector background)

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