Customer Experience News & Trends

Social media mistakes that make you look totally stupid

By now, most companies have adopted social media in some form or another. But many of them haven’t quite nailed down how NOT to look like idiots in “social” settings.

Here are the most common social media mistakes that are making companies look dumb:

1. Failing to match content to the platform

There are certain kinds of content that aren’t welcome on certain social media sites.

Example: Long-form content doesn’t belong on Twitter. If you can’t say it in one 140-character tweet, it shouldn’t be said on Twitter.

Make sure your posts match the kind of content each site’s users are looking for.

A cheat sheet:

  • Facebook users want short copy attached to a visual (a photo, chart or infographic).
  • Twitter users want bite-sized chunks of helpful or funny info.
  • LinkedIn users pay attention to content that helps them do their jobs or further their careers.
  • Pinterest and Instagram users want beautiful images linked to their source.

Bottom line: You can’t just blast out the same content on each channel. Your messages have to be tailored to fit the audience.

2. Not trying to entertain

Users aren’t flocking to social media looking to buy something. They go there to be entertained. We mustn’t forget that.

To grab and hold users’ attention, you have to be the life of the party. And the guy just trying to move a bunch of product is usually the first one thrown out of the party.

3. You’re trying to set the trend

On social media, individuals set the trends — not companies. Your goal should be to ride the trends.

Example: Don’t create a hashtag and expect customers to use it simply because they love your company. Instead, find what hashtags are trending that are relevant to your company and join the conversation.

4. Making ‘the ask’ too early

Yes, at some point you’ve got to attempt to call social media users to action (i.e., “Visit our website,” “Request a demo” or “Download a coupon”). But you have to be careful not to ask them too soon.

On social media, you can’t expect a give-and-take relationship (in which you give something and then ask for something in return). You’re meeting customers on their ground, so you’ve got to give, give, give and give some more before you can make “the ask.”

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