Social media can be a powerful tool. It helps businesses establish thought leadership, generate leads, retain customers, and build reputations in tough markets.
But if used improperly, it can also generate a ton of negative publicity.
Companies that rush into social media without a structured plan are bound to make embarrassing mistakes. Worse, you may make a mistake that can frustrate customers and cost you sales.
Top 3 Social Media Mistakes
Mistake #1- Ignoring comments or complaints
If somebody called your business to ask a question, would you put them on hold for 5 minutes? An hour? Not answer them at all?
That’s what happens when people address you via social media and you don’t respond. Customers are not happy when they’re ignored. According to Sprout Social, if you’re not responding on social media, 1 in 3 people will switch to your competition.
Companies underestimate the role social media plays in customer service today. Potential customers turn first to social media (34%) when they have an issue (compared to 16% that call and 5% that complain in person). Ignore them at your own peril.
Mistake #2- Not investing the resources to make social media work for you
Businesses want to get involved in social media to build their reputation and impact sales. But often they don’t put in the time and resources needed to make it work.
One of the biggest mistakes we see is inactivity- your blog never has any new content, your Twitter page sits dormant, you only post job openings on LinkedIn. And, of course, there isn’t any new traffic coming to your website.
You have to invest resources if you want social media to get results.
Without a solid plan in place, you may be hurting customer relationships and impacting your bottom line. Make sure you take some time to figure out where you should direct your social media efforts, who is best suited to manage your accounts, and what kinds of content your social media accounts will offer.
Mistake #3- Not vetting (and monitoring) your social media team
Social media is an official communication platform of your company. We often hear about companies choosing the “young person that grew up using Facebook” to lead their social media efforts. This person might understand the various social platforms and how to use them personally, but they don’t know how to use social media to accomplish your business goals. Are they trained in how to manage an online crisis? Would you put them on TV if you were contacted about an interview?
The real-time nature of social media can quickly turn conversations into a PR nightmare, especially if the person behind the keyboard is inexperienced. Are you willing to risk damaging your customer relationships?
Regardless of who you hire, make sure you keep the keys. Social accounts should be created using your company’s email. Passwords should be shared with IT, HR or senior staff. Otherwise, you could wind up with no access to your social media accounts, and no way to take them back.
Properly planning your social media campaigns can make a big difference in your company’s online success. By avoiding the 3 mistakes outlined above, you can create and maintain social media accounts that reflect positively on your company and promote sales.