Social media rehab: ten things you need to stop doing immediately!

Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Heather Clark

Confused about what to do about social mediaDespite the best of intentions, social media crimes are being committed by companies on a daily basis. Some will make social media managers wince, whilst others are a waste of time, money and effort.

To avoid committing these offences, here are some things to stop doing right now!

1. Stop obsessing over fans and followers

This one’s old school, and it’s been covered in more depth in the past. Unfortunately, it continues to be a problem. Once upon a time when social media was but a wee egg avatar and its use in marketing was only just beginning, the only measure of social success was how many followers you had. Those days are gone. You can now see how much interaction you are having, how many visits to your website this is generating and how many conversions this is creating.

2. Stop liking your own posts

This is one of my personal pet peeves, but one I know is shared by not only people in social media, but a lot of people who use it outside of business. There are two reasons not to do this. Liking your own posts does nothing to increase their reach, engagement or any of the things you want to be achieving with your social media plan. This is something people’s mums do on Facebook; put up a picture and immediately like it. If you’re a business and you do this, stop it immediately, it makes it look like you have no idea how Facebook works and people will think you’re desperate to look like you have more likes on a post than you do.

3. Stop tweeting celebrities

This is horrendously cringe worthy and I almost didn’t put it on the list as I thought no-one would still stoop to this tactic. Alas, there are still businesses out there that tweet random celebrities who have huge followings in an attempt to piggyback on their audience. Let me tell you right now, it won’t work. The only way it will work is with an advance call to their publicist and some cold hard endorsement cash changing hands. There is an outside chance that you might luck out and the target actually has an interest in the topic you are discussing, but if you don’t know for sure you land up looking desperate and devoid of any real marketing strategy. If you are one of the people that do this, take a long hard look in the mirror and realise you are the business equivalent of a teenage girl who tweets Harry Styles everyday asking him to marry you. “Honey, it ain’t gonna happen.”

4. Stop thinking Fiverr could be the answer

Yes, there are sites that claim to be able to deliver you thousands of followers for only a few quid. Lovely, until you realise that they are all fake and that these followers serve no actual purpose. They are not your target audience, they are probably not real people, and the number of followers you have will potentially give away their bought status. I mean, how many French delicatessens have 20,000 twitter followers…

5. Stop posting for the sake of it

Your social media activity should serve a purpose. That purpose is not just to fulfil a quota of how many posts you should be doing in a day. Some days there will be nothing new to say or going on in your industry. That’s ok! Some days there will be tons going on and you’ll find plenty of conversations to join in with and things to post. Posting mundane rubbish about the weather is ok once in a while, but do it often just to get the numbers up and you’ll find your followers leave you.

6. Stop forgetting your marketing goals

Social media works best when it is part of a joined-up marketing strategy and is integrated with your wider marketing goals. Everything you do on your social channels should have this end goal in mind and contribute to your marketing plan in order to be as efficient as possible. For example, if your goal is to drive more traffic to your website then post with links to your site. If you want to increase brand awareness, join in pre-existing conversations that are happening on social platforms.

7. Stop using the hashtag without reason

#canyoustillreadthisandmakesenseofiteventhoughitisasentencenotafewwords? There are two main reasons to hashtag. One, is to join in on something that is already in common usage. This could be a Twitter chat by industry influencers and your peers that uses a certain hashtag, or newsjacking using a particular trending hashtag and topic. The second reason is to create something of your own. Maybe you are running a competition and want to be able to track entries, or you’re setting up an event and want to give attendees a way of chatting about it together? Either way, setting up and promoting a hashtag to use is key to the success of this.

8. Stop jumping on every trending hashtag ever

Whilst newsjacking can work wonders, it’s best in moderation. Not every trending hashtag on social will seamlessly relate to your business and trying to shoehorn your sales and marketing messages in to the latest Miley Cyrus scandal probably won’t work too well. When inspiration strikes and there is a great way to use a trending hashtag for your own goals however, you should definitely take it – at the very least it will earn you a few laughs and potentially grow your brand awareness.

9. Stop posting the same words on all platforms

There are hundreds of different social media platforms, all designed for slightly different audiences, and to be used in slightly different ways. Even between the big ones (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin) there are notable differences and your usage should be altered to match. By all means keep the same message across all, but alter the wording and presentation to make the most of each platform and its strengths.

10. Stop ignoring negative feedback

Social is a two-way street and this means your customers will occasionally use it to vent frustrations at you. Ignoring these is the worst thing to do as they will get angrier, and others will jump on the bandwagon. New visitors to your pages will see these comments and be less likely to become customers in the future. Instead set up a plan and be seen to be responding to this type of feedback. A bad review is only made worse by failure to acknowledge it.

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About the author

Heather Clark

Heather Clark

Heather joined Vertical Leap in 2013 as a Content Promotion Specialist working on outreach for our clients. Having studied Journalism at the University of Portsmouth and subsequently worked in digital marketing Heather has a strong interest in the relationship between content and SEO and blogs about this for our readers. Follow me on Google +