Five fast ways to kill your social media

Consumers will mock relentlessly the brands who don’t get it right on social. Alexander Porter gives marketers five tips to avoiding social media disaster.

Alexander Porter 150 BWSocial media isn’t a matter of life and death, in fact for many, it’s much more important than that. Where businesses are concerned though, the power of social media has come into sharp focus over recent years. Whether a foot-in-mouth moment from a well meaning but ignorant business, a chance to deliver a pithy witticism or simply a viable platform on which to show off goods and services, so much can be said by saying so little.

As a result of this tectonic shift to constant connection between business and consumer, brands must be cautious against overplaying their hand. Muddying the water further, though, comes the inverse risk of failing to reach the standards set by consumers who use social media as their new digital shopfront. With 71% of consumers recommending a business based on a positive social media experience, there are certainly rich rewards for those who master the social arts.

There is no magic bullet where social media is concerned. However, there are simple, easy and undoubtedly quick anti-fixes that will torpedo your social media presence faster than you can say, ‘whatever happened to MySpace?’

Here’s how you’re destroying all your social media hard work:

You’re on autopilot

There are only 24 hours in a day, so finding a way to maximise your time is generally to the benefit of your business. But not exclusively. There are a range of tools that allow you to automate your posts across your entire portfolio of social media platforms. User beware: this is a time saving trap.

It goes without saying that each social media platform is different. In some cases, vastly so. Different symbols, different language styles and different audiences all fragment the social media landscape into almost untenable parts when trying to to streamline your social content.

You might think you’re saving time. But that ‘@’ symbol that maximised the reach of your twitter post sticks out like a sore thumb on your business Facebook page.To potential customers, that ‘@’ symbol isn’t just an oversight. It says, ‘I’m committed to saving time, not connecting with my audience’. At the end of the day, automated posting is just plain lazy when the strengths of each social media platform are so varied.

Your brand deserves better.

There are certainly aspects of social media automation that can be of great benefit to you, but be cautious as to how your message will change as it is directed through each lens of social media.

 

Your silence speaks volumes

On the other side of the coin is a complete lack of consistency in your social media posting schedule.

Consumers who see inactivity across the social profiles of a business don’t see your desire to wait until you’ve crafted the perfect content piece, just as they don’t see your busy schedule. They see a business who is not committed to their social arm, and naturally assume your inability to commit extends to your products, customer service and so on.

If you feel as though you can’t maintain a regular posting schedule, in many cases you are better off cutting your losses and focusing on providing greater quality across a lower quantity of social media platforms instead.

 

You’re marketing to the #kids

When a social media strategy uproots itself from its long established base and pivots towards a youth audience in an attempt to market to the ‘younger generation’, it has become well and truly lost, begging the question: why?

Youth marketing remains a challenge for most business in 2018. Too often though, a businesses goes ‘off brand’ in an attempt to connect with young people. An opportunity presents itself in the latest trending hashtag or hot-button topic and businesses are drawn in like moths to a flame.

Related: Commbank courts kids with VR experiential campaign »

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Before you know it, your content looks as though it was created by your 13-year-old self and your main audience is frustrated. All the while your target youth audience sees right through you.

Authenticity will be at the heart of any successful marketing push. Stay true to your brand identity and avoid alienating your existing demographic. Gone are the days of ‘tricking’ someone into buying your product or investing in your services. Provide value, receive attention. Simple.

 

You’re trying to buy love

Good things take time and social media is no exception. It would be wonderful if your fledgling accounts were inundated with followers turned customers, who were keeping your phone running off the hook. But it isn’t reality. The reality is that it can take months to build up anything resembling a loyal following. All the while both turtle and hare have disappeared in the distance while you scramble for attention in a fiercely contested social space.

It’s around this time when many businesses purchase followers. Spend a relatively small sum in return for instant engagement. What could possibly go wrong? This is the digital equivalent of building a house on a frozen lake.

The ‘likes’ and comments you buy may feel real, but they don’t love you. They’re not even real people in a marketing sense. These faceless engagements aren’t potential leads or customers and they certainly won’t share your content. You’ll have an army of anonymous friends telling you how great you are to your face, but forgetting about you the minute you turn your back.

Any advertising efforts you make from here will ultimately fall on deaf ears, waste your time and drain your advertising spend. It’s a tired cliché, but good things come to those who wait, so take small steps towards your eventual large following for the most rewarding outcome.

 

Your social media budget is poorer than a uni student

Content is unquestionably king. But how can you expect to rule over your digital empire without creating content that’s worthy of the crown? You can tread the finest of lines between posting too much and not enough and still, you’ll be left out in the cold. If your content isn’t irresistibly engaging, your audience will vanish.

That’s not to say every single post must be the Mona Lisa of social media content. Take the time, or outsource to someone who will, to create content that’s worth the fleeting attention spans of people in 2018. There’s no recipe for content driven success, but there is a guaranteed way to fail, and that’s with a lack of quality.

 

With the proliferation of social media, the stark reality for businesses in 2018 is that there is nowhere to hide. Putting your social foot forward is no longer simply an act of marketing in the digital age. Consumers not only expect, but actively demand, a certain standard of social engagement and responsibility.

It’s a minefield out there.

But tread carefully and your social media will become a lasting part of your digital armour, rather than the holes in it.

 

 

 

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