How to mess up social media in 5 easy steps!

Unfortunately, too many organisations think that getting involved in social media just means setting up a Facebook and Twitter profile, sitting back and watching it take off.

“That’s the hard work done!” they exclaim – but adopt this attitude at your peril.

In today’s post I’d like to explore five common faux pas that will see your social media strategy sink like a stone.

1) Set up your profile, and ignore it forever

I’m not going to name any housing associations out there guilty of this (you know who you are!) but unfortunately, I see this a lot. (And I mean, a lot.) I really applaud those that take the first big leap in creating a Facebook page, giving their customers and fans a new home to communicate with them. But the truth is if you don’t listen, check in and say hello now and again it’s not very valuable!

2. Ignore your friends 

How rude, right? But again I see this all the time. A friend will make a post and a request for help, but it just sits there unresponded to. In the majority of the time I imagine this is because they have not seen that person’s post – so that’s why it’s so important to develop solid social media monitoring habits so you always catch notice of these calls for support. Because even if you simply didn’t notice a tweet or Facebook post, that person might just assume you don’t care to help.

3. Discourage your employees from representing your company.

Only the Marketing and Communications Team can successfully represent your company, right? Wrong! We allowing all our employees to tweet company content, discuss what they’re working on, or announce special news. It’s very valuable, especially when you’re all-hands-on-deck regarding a specific announcement like our recent 1Future restructure.

4. Moderate, delete and approve posts

There are two valuable benefits that come from allowing free discussion, complaints and content that encourages a response. Firstly you get healthy debate and can work out where things go wrong so you can improve. After all, if you start moderating left, right and centre, your friends will not engage with you.

Secondly, if you start doing this then you miss out on the natural ‘viral effect’ that develops from heavily commented and shared content on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, it’s much easier to post a link, and leave it at that. But the value of that post increases significantly if you say, “Here’s a resource. What do you think? Share with your friends!

5. Give up.

“I’m not getting social media results right now, no one likes me, no one is speaking to me, so clearly it’s useless.”

I would be very cautious if you adopt this attitude. Ask yourself, did you even give it a solid chance? When you go to a business networking event, do you expect to develop strong business relationships with all 50 attendees that very evening? I imagine you understand it will take multiple weeks, perhaps months of meetups before you develop solid relationships with every person. Similarly, it takes lots of commitment and nurturing to develop a successful community through any social network, too.

If you want your social media strategy to succeed remember CATCH:

  • Check in and say hello!
  • Allow posts
  • Tell your staff to get involved
  • Control your posts and you curb debate
  • Have faith!
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