Everything you write and share leaves a mark on the web. Posts become part of your online imprint—and miscommunicated information becomes a part of your brand. Social media pages are often the first contact potential new customers have with a business and mistakes online can damage your image. Here are five fails to avoid when sharing your brand online.
1. Posting offensive material
Sharing offensive content is a surefire way to lose followers—it could also get your accounts reported and suspended. Before posting, ask yourself if you would share it with a customer in your workplace. Brands should especially be careful around politics and religion. Whenever you post about these topics, you’re bound to alienate some of your audience. Also, be cautious with jokes. What you might find funny might be offensive for your online contacts. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and any other forms of discriminatory material have no place on social media. Think before sharing anything that remotely resembles intolerance. And if you question it, even for a moment, don’t post it.
2. Being confrontational
Social media is littered with arguing and name-calling. Show your audience that you treat your online presence seriously. Disagreeing politely with someone is one thing. Arguing back and forth until things get nasty wastes time. The same applies for criticizing other companies online. It ends up making you look bad. When using social media for business, it’s essential to stay professional. Save this type of communication for private messages or walk away. Otherwise, you risk leaving the wrong impression on your online audience. Respectable social media behavior builds your reputation and increases your following (and it won’t lose customers). If staff manages your social media, provide training on what they should and should not post.
Note: Some people are confrontational and that IS their brand. Those brands are few and far between, however.
3. Posting content that is not engaging
Compelling content is a great way to grab your clients’ attention. Although memes may not seem like compelling content, they make people laugh and create dialogue. A lot of businesses and brands take things too seriously and forget content is supposed to be social. Posting well thought out material shows that you care about your online image. Non-engaging content puts you in the algorithm black hole and should be avoided. Plan your content to make sure what you post is relevant and exciting. Engaging content will attract followers and reinforce your brand.
Social media is saturated with information; you want to stand out among the mass of content. One way of doing this is posting strategically. Sharing too much information too often could lose your audience’s interest. It can also become annoying. Only post two or three times a week on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Daily stories, however, can grab attention. Take the time to ensure the information you are posting is accurate and relevant. As well, only post when you think people are active online. Posts that are well thought out, rather than continual, are more engaging.
5. Using the same content on all platforms
Not all social media platforms are alike. So, you don’t want to post the same message on all sites. Make your content fresh and unique, so users following you on different platforms don’t get bored. With new and exciting content, people will follow you on multiple socials. Make sure all your social media channels are engaging. It will help you gain a loyal following.
Social media offers much potential for budding and established businesses alike. Avoiding these pitfalls can help you build a community of followers that is interested in what you are posting, and further reveal your brand’s potential.