Social media marketing is something that everyone is doing now. Be it an established business or a small local business. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of making their brand presence felt on social networks. The simple reason being – that’s where the crowd is. However, there are some common social media marketing mistakes that most marketers make.
Everybody makes mistakes. Social media marketers are no different. Make too many mistakes, and you will see your follower count drop – along with your revenue stream. As with all mistakes, the first step is becoming aware of them; then you will be able to avoid those mistakes. So, here are the top social media marketing mistakes that you should not make in your marketing:
Failing to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy!
The social media marketing plan should be such that it should build on your presence and not let it dwindle. What is your goal in using social media? To gain likes and followers? Why? To create a new source of sales leads? To cement your brand’s authority? If you don’t know what your goal is, you won’t attain it. Any social media marketing strategy would need:
- Target audience
- Time investment
Social media is capable of sucking hours of productive time from you and your staff and give you nothing in return. You need to come up with a Social Media Marketing plan and stick to it. You need to have predefined and measurable goals, and you need to create plans to attain those goals. You need take steps to achieve those goals and set time limits to make sure you are not wasting days on fruitless endeavors.
Not dealing with Social Media Negative Feedback
Nine out of ten brands make this mistake. Whenever a negative comment pops up, they come up with a lame excuse when in addressing it in social media. Some fudge it, some make apologies hands down.
Everyone fears that negative feedback would spoil their reputation. That is one of the great risks in social media. But instead of apologizing or ignoring negative comments, brands should see it as an opportunity to improve. Social media offers a great chance to start a conversation with the person who dropped the feedback.
Negative feedback is the honest opinions about the user experience of a product. The more detailed the feedback, the easier for a brand to understand the product’s shortcomings.
Customers, especially those who drop negative feedback, expect the brand to take them seriously, customers expectations are constantly changing but you should still do your ultimate best to meet their needs. Especially when your customers take the time to let you know what they think about you.
Customers don’t expect a formal apology but an assurance that the product experience would be better next time. Brands should clean up their acts and learn from feedback instead of pouring money into ORM campaigns.
Yet, negative feedback is not always a sign of a problem. Sometimes, it can be simply criticizing the brand. Instead of censoring such users, brands should still react to those messages somehow.
When you face negative feedback engage as early as possible. Create a response team who will be responsible for decisions and who will manage the social media channels during the crisis. Never engage in personal attacks. And most importantly, don’t panic.
How to handle negative feedback from customers
- If you receive a negative mention or comment, don’t delete it. Ask the customer to call or email you, and keep your tone helpful and polite. Reacting poorly or deleting posts can give you a bad reputation that will be hard to shake.
- Don’t ignore the negative feedback as neglect will create more negative emotions. Act on complaints, answer questions, direct people to appropriate channels like support. Watch and be ready to react. You don’t have to respond to every negative mention. Negative product reviews and comparisons with other brands will always be there.
- Do not use legal threats to silence customers.
- When you encounter negative feedback engage as early as possible.
- Hours not days. If you act fast, you may be able to keep the situation from escalating. Act slowly, and the issue might grow big enough to jump channels to mainstream media. What should the response times be in different situations?
- Don’t panic! Consider all the available facts and give a thought out and fact based response.
- Plan for the crisis. What can happen? How would you react? Even a rudimentary plan will help you more than no plan at all. Don’t think in campaign terms. There’s no end date on your social media activities.
- Response team. Who will be responsible for decisions and who will manage the social media channels during the crisis? There has to be top level management involved as regular confirmation channels might not be fast enough. How you’ll respond to negative content? Who decides what to do with negative comments? What’s the worst that can happen?
- Create a fact pages that will answer the key questions about the situation and provide further information. These pages can be created in advance when planning for potential crises. I suggest that you create those pages on your domains, not Facebook or other third party channels.
- Create clear social media policy. What gets deleted? Foul and abusive language, threats against individuals, hate speech, flame comments about products/services
- Create guidelines, what actions to take in case of a wave of negative conversations in social media. The attack against your brand, customer service gone bad, negative rumor.
- Don’t hide information. If there’s any chance it can come out it will.
- Don’t argue. Even if all your arguments are based on facts, you will not win if you do not understand the underlying emotional issues. First, seek to understand the emotions.
- Engage in a dialogue, personally. I believe that people who are perfectly willing to beat up brands will cool down if they talk to a real person with a name.
- Show regret and apologize. Do it personally. If you let your legal department do it, then you will probably make the problem worse.
- Never engage in personal attacks. Although it may be the case that the person complaining does not understand the technology or problem but pointing that out will not get you closer to resolving your crisis.
- Do not lie! Doh!
- Do not bad mouth others.