The number one thing that will deter people from following you and chase away existing followers is posting too often. Companies that incessantly post updates are viewed as annoying and disruptive. Furthermore, constantly posting updates makes it look like your business doesn’t have anything better to do – like you’re not focused on the products/services you provide and offering high-quality customer service.
2. Constant Self-Promotion
It’s the most common rookie mistake for businesses using social media – constant self-promotion. When your business only talks about itself, it gives people the impression that you are not interested in creating a dialogue and simply want another platform to shout your message to the world. Engaging with followers and other users on the platform indicates that you want to be respectful of the community.
3. Being Boring
Business owners can sometimes get in rut when it comes to their social media efforts. It’s easy to find one thing that works and get in the habit of just sticking to that. In order to keep your social media updates interesting and relevant to as many followers as possible.
Often times, people follow businesses for deals and promotions, but that doesn’t mean that all they want are promotional codes and sale announcements. As a business, you have to balance these deals with other types of updates. Just doing the same thing over and over will get boring and cause followers to ignore your updates.
4. Poor Grammar
Poorly worded updates with bad grammar and/or spelling mistakes makes your updates look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Don’t rob your company of its legitimacy by being careless with your social media updates. Your audience will judge you based on the things that you say on social media so all communication should be clear, respectful and in keeping with you brand voice.
5. Acting Like a Bot
Automating aspects of your social media efforts can be a good way to save time, but doing too much of this can make you look like more of a bot than a human. Users value the time and hard work that companies put into their social media and are much less likely to follow a company that looks like they are just using auto-responders, auto-follow, pre-scheduled posts, etc. than one that looks like it is being regularly managed by living, breathing humans. People are also less likely to engage with bot-like accounts or become brand advocates for them, which sort of defeats the purpose of doing social media in the first place.
6. Being Unprofessional
Companies that are unprofessional on social media with their language, grammar, tone or actions can face serious backlash. Before posting anything, read through it to make sure that the mechanics are sound (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and that it could not be perceived as offensive in any way.
If you're angry by something that a customer or competitor has posted, do not respond in anger. Take the time to calm down and then respond when you can do so calmly and professionally. Use that same level of professionalism when dealing with other people’s anger or frustration. If you have a dissatisfied customer on social media, letting him/her know that resolving the issue is your first priority, rather than brushing it off, is very important.
7. Going Dormant
Taking long breaks from social media can signify to followers that your business isn’t consistent with efforts and, therefore, not very reliable. It’s better to post less often and be regular with your posting than post very frequently, take a long break and then pick up the frequent posting again later on. If you find that you’re too ambitious coming out of the starting gate and won’t be able to keep up with it in the future, just slowly back off on your efforts so it doesn’t look like an abrupt change to your social media strategy.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!