Customer Experience News & Trends

7 social media mistakes that drive customers away

Social media is arguably the best way to interact with the bulk of your customers at one time. But customers can turn against you if you take on some bad social media habits.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and other emerging social media sites give businesses the opportunity to enhance the customer experience — from offering valuable information and discounts to showing upcoming products and new uses for existing lines.

But companies have been known to overstep their boundaries, overusing or abusing their social media relationships with customers. That’s led to dips in the number of “followers” and “friends” — and a potential loss of relationships and business.

Almost 80% of businesses use social media to interact with customers and create a better experience, Marketing Technology Blog reported. But because customers are inundated with business information on social media, they’re increasingly inclined to turn off the companies that don’t offer value.

Here are seven things that turn off customers these days:

1. Repeating posts

Many organizations believe more is better and, in that spirit, will send the same message with a slightly different twist several times. Customers tire of seeing the same type of posts multiple times a day.

Customers tolerance for posts sits at about two or three a day — and they must be fresh.

2. Sharing too much

Sharing pertinent information from other sources is a valuable resource to customers. However, sharing too much from outside sources — especially if it’s not relevant — annoys customers. Sharing stories that everyone else shares is useless, too, because customers are seeing it anyway.

Instead, only share relevant stories and tell customers why it affects them.

3. Being a copycat

Customers won’t follow followers — those who use most of their social media space posting articles from other sites and messages that aren’t original. They want to see interesting, original information from companies that are leaders.

Tap your internal experts to offer original content that adds value to your customer relationships. Put up something original at least once a day. Share or re-tweet content that isn’t yours every few days.

4. Selling too much

Everyone understands that the objective of any company is to sell its products or services. But social media followers don’t want to be sold all the time. Social media is a conversation, not a sales pitch. It’s OK to promote from time to time, but most posts should be an attempt to interact with, not sell to, customers.

Post photos of company happenings, blogs from the CEO, original research, links to valuable articles and an occasional promotion.

5. Tagging too much

Tagging people and places in a picture or post will increase visibility. But overdoing it or tagging people and places not associated with your business or its mission will lead to a loss of interest in your social media posts.

Ideally, everything you post and tag has a direct link to your company, mission and the value you offer to customers.

6. Responding too little

Companies often focus so much on getting their content right, they forget to pay attention to what customers say and want. They might give scripted responses, or worse, none at all. Or they don’t stay on top of what customers do.

Instead, companies want to stay engaged with customers by following them, “liking” what they do and responding to their comments and questions.

7. Posting haphazardly

Many companies think all they need is a social media presence and customers will be engaged. It actually takes a strategy to make it work well. Random links and content won’t help build relationships.

Instead, you want to create a calendar of posts. Watch what your customers like and share, too, and plan content that matches their needs. From time to time, survey them, asking what types of content interest them most and where else they go for information. Use that feedback to realign your strategy and content.

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