By: Jenifer Wetterau
Social media: when brands do it well, they do it really well. A great recent example is “Alex from Target.” So simple, seemingly effortlessly non self-promotional. Admit it, even if you don’t shop there you were intrigued.
Then again, there are those brands that continuously make mistakes that turn people off, and they don’t realize it. Here are four of my pet peeves that turn me off a brand:
By using hashtags correctly, you can get maximum exposure for your brand’s message and deliver your content to the intended audience. But brands that abuse hashtags are hurting their image and driving customers away. More is not better.
Companies should ask themselves three things before tweeting with hashtags:
-Is it relevant to my post?
For example, using #socialmedia when your tweet is about sports to try to get maximum engagement will result in the opposite. Your customers will be turned off when they see you trying to cheat the system and engagement will decrease.
-Do my tweets exceed two hashtags?
Although studies show that tweets with one or two hashtags see twice the engagement compared to those without, that doesn’t mean you should cram in as many as you can. In fact, that same study showed that tweets with three or more hashtags resulted in a 17 percent drop in engagement. Keep hashtags to a minimum and your brand will not look spammy.
-Will my audience actually search for this hashtag?
You must do your research. Find out what hashtags your customers, and target customers, use with specific topics. Build your community around the hashtag by actively engaging with it consistently. You can’t use it one day and expect the results. You must promote it and promote it well. If you use them correctly, your content is going to get found by those who care about it.
Quantity over Quality
Social media is not a numbers game so don’t treat it that way. It’s essential to give your posts some thought before sending them out. Offer quality content that your customers will appreciate. When planning your updates, think about what you personally like to see in your timeline, and what makes you engage with a brand. I doubt it’s the number of times they tweet in a day! Show that you are value on social media and the followers will come. Everything you do should be strategic, follow best practices, align with your goals and image and provide value for your audience.
It’s All About Me
In terms of customer loyalty, it is important for brands to recognize that sometimes it is better to listen more and talk less. To be liked, you have to be honest, helpful, compassionate, willing to listen, genuinely interested in others and what their needs are and not dominate the conversation. Of course, one of the goals of social media is to promote your business, products, services and overall company brand. But what you should not do is be overly self-promotional, constantly pumping out updates and pushing your products. People don’t browse Twitter or Facebook to be sold to. Bombarding them with products and offers repeatedly will turn them off, and you may lose a few customers. Rather, let the information you share, the expertise you demonstrate and the brand personality you portray do the talking for you. Ask questions and address concerns to give your customers a voice. The more helpful and interesting you are, the more likely people will keep coming back for more.
Asking For Shares or Retweets
You don’t walk up to strangers on the street, yelling “be my friend!” and expect them to give you a hug and invite you to dinner. Why would you do this online? When brands do this I feel that begging makes them look needy and even inauthentic. You want people to engage with your content because they genuinely like it, and think others will to. Along the same line, tagging people to get attention reflects poorly on your brand and will alienate followers.
Now it’s your turn: what social media habits make you log off? As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.