Social media can help you gain followers, generate leads, and grow your business. However, you have to approach the platform in the right way. There are some social media faux pas that you need to avoid. Some of these were once considered as best practices. In this article, we will take a look at some ‘social’ blunders that can damage the reputation and credibility of your brand.
SENDING TWITTER AUTOMATED MESSAGES
While the Twitter’s automated messages are a harmless way to connect, they are abused ad nauseam. Sending an automated message when someone follows you on Twitter is overkill. It doesn’t sound genuine. At some point this was considered a best practice, but it has long lost its appeal. If you really want to greet your followers, send them a personal message. If you have a large number of followers, this is nearly impossible. However, even if that is the case, there is no point in sending automated messages. If your brand is serious about establishing personal connections with potential consumers, you should not put them off with automated messages. Remember that there is no such thing as an automated, personal response. A robotic personal message is neither personal nor genuine.
USE AND ABUSE OF HASHTAGS
If you add too many hash tags, your tweets become difficult to read. Your tweets have to be as concise as possible. This will ensure that there is more room for RTs. If your message is short, you don’t have to fill the space with too many hashtags. Also un-researched or unfocused hashtags can make your tweets look silly.
A hashtag is a clickable item and allows users to take part in the extended conversation happening around that particular term. If there are no other discussions, there is no point in using a hashtag. It simply gives the impression that you don’t know what you are doing. That is not a problem if you are a new user who is simply testing the platform. But if you represent a brand and you are trying to present yourself as an authority on social media, adding irrelevant hashtags to your tweets can make you look unprofessional.
Some people buy fake social media followers. They believe that having a large number of followers will make them look more important. It probably does. Influential people tend to have several followers. But just because you have followers, you won’t be considered influential if a majority of them are fake followers. People who are new to social media will probably not be able to see through fake profiles, but experienced users are capable of doing that. The huge disparity between the number of followers and the number of follows is a red signal. By simply running a profile through TwitterAudit, you can see how many fake followers they have.
Bogus followers will ruin your credibility. When people realize that you bought followers to inflate your popularity, it will erode their trust in you. Even if other information in your profile is correct, how can anyone trust you?
If you are a big brand or a celebrity, it may be possible for your “follower to following ratio” to be abnormal, but for the rest of us, it is not possible. Also, people can quickly spot this.
FUNNELING CONTENT THROUGH AN ADDITIONAL PLATFORM
This is a relatively new technique. While this can happen with various social media platforms, let’s see how this happens on Google+. Your posts on Google+ have their own URLs. So when you post some content there, you get a URL. You can share that URL with people. While there is nothing wrong with this practice, some people use this as a technique to increase their Google+ engagement. They will post a link to one of their articles on Google+ and then share the URL of that Google+ post with their followers. When the followers click on that link, they will be taken to their Google+ page. They will have to click on that link on the Google+ page to be taken to the article. As a result, they will get an additional click on Google+. They also get an opportunity to introduce people to their Google+ page. This will probably increase their chances of connecting with them. While this cannot be considered a faux pas, it makes the process of sharing a bit too complex. Additional click-through may benefit the person who shares the content; however, It is annoying for the audience. Unless, there is a valid reason to funnel your content through another platform, you should simply give your followers the direct link to your content. They will appreciate it.
LINKING FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS
Most online marketers have accounts on both platforms; however, this doesn’t mean that they have to connect the two. The rules for content formatting are different on Facebook and Twitter. The use of the hashtag is also different. Facebook allows you to remove a URL. Also on Facebook, you can write longer posts. There is absolutely no point in having your tweets coming up on your Facebook newsfeeds. There may be a few occasions when this works; however, in most cases, it doesn’t.
Your audiences on both platforms are different. Their preferences may be different. If you want to make best use of these two platforms, you have to post separately to each of them.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The social media platform keeps changing. What was considered best practice one or two months ago, may be frowned upon today. It is important that you change your strategies when you are required to. This will allow you to represent your brand in the best possible way on these platforms. When used properly, social media will help you build your brand and increase the list of your subscribers/ followers. When you adopt bad practices, it will seriously affect your credibility. So keep yourself abreast of the developments. See how other people are using these platforms and master the rules of the game.