You’ve probably read a few articles about how to use social media for your business, right? I mean, at Thrive, we have a bunch of great ones on our blog! While that’s obviously super important, there’s another side to consider. Even though you read up on how to use social media, if you’re a novice, it’s easy to get sucked into doing something that’s maybe not the best, and doesn’t turn out the way you intended.
For the most part, that’s okay – live and learn. But, it could also mean losing followers, or worse, losing customers/clients.
So, here are a couple important things to not do on social media.
Don’t Overly Self-Promote
It’s your social media, so you can just fill it with ads for your business, right?
Wrong. Unless someone is an uber-fan of your business or brand, they’re not going to want to see “We’re amazing, here’s why!” from you over and over again. Yes, of course you can do it occasionally, especially to promote a special deal or coupon or service. In between, though, you need to take a break from it and share content that’s relevant to your business, and valuable to your audience.
At Thrive, we’re constantly sharing our blog posts. Is that self-serving? Well, yes, sort of, but our content provides value and is relevant to web design or web marketing, which is what our followers are interested in.
So, let’s say you’re a roofing company. You could share blog posts about how to know when your roof needs to be replaced, simple how-to tips, or advice on different types of roofing. If you aren’t producing that content yourself (I wish you would!), find it on sites that aren’t direct competitors and share theirs. You want to be seen as an authority on your subject – in this case, roofing.
Don’t Get Political
There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, just stay out of politics. Let’s go back to our roofing company, for example. Roofing and politics…they just don’t go together. No matter what you say and how well-meaning you are, you will alienate someone. Politics just doesn’t belong on a business social media profile.
Exceptions to this rule would be nonprofits or other companies who are directly tied to politics, such as an environmental nonprofit.
Don’t Post a Joke Without Testing It
Jokes on social media can either be really good, or really terrible. Sometimes, they can even be offensive, whether you meant it that way or not (We hope not!!). Here’s an example of a joke that went ‘viral’ in all the wrong ways.
Before posting a joke, send it to at least two people in your office. Also, try setting it aside for an hour or two, then going back to it. Putting people and time in between you coming up with the joke and hitting the “post” button can save you from embarrassing and unfortunate situations.
Don’t Make Contests Complicated
Having contests or giveaways on social media can be a good way to increase your reach, your follower count, and overall brand visibility. However, make sure you’re not making the rules too complicated!
I say this from experience. In my free time, I run a book blog. We decided to have a giveaway on Instagram. To enter, you had to follow us, take a photo of what you were currently reading, tag us in the photo, and use a specific hashtag in the description. To us, that sounded easy enough, but to the people entering, it wasn’t! We had people doing 2 of the things but not the other, and we just didn’t get very many entries. If we had just asked for people to comment on one of our posts, I’m sure we would have had at least triple the amount of entries.
We hope these social media don’ts are helpful for you! If you need help running social media for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Thrive.