Social media habits that can kill your business

Social media began as a simple tool to connect to friends and share nice pictures but it has slowly morphed into a huge marketing industry with the potential to make or break your career or business. With businesses’ marketing done online, it is unlikely to find a business that does not have an online presence. When used and managed properly, social media can help boost brand awareness for your business, drive traffic to your website, grow your customer base and even increase revenue. That is why it is of top priority to inculcate good social media habits for the well-being of your business. With these attractive prospects in mind, here are five negative social media habits that you need to avoid:

1.       Posting too much

The only thing worse than not posting anything is posting too much. According to research by Sprout Social, 46 per cent of social media users will unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages on their profiles, which means you need to restrict your output or risk losing customers. Many social media users view this as spamming and may view your page as monotonous. Studies suggest the best times to post are one post per day for Facebook and LinkedIn, 15 tweets per day for Twitter, on Instagram, 1-2 posts per day should be enough and on Pinterest just 11 pins per day. You may even go further to find a scheduling app like Co-schedule and Buffer to make sure you do not go overboard.

2.       Lashing out

Negative reviews are bound to happen. In that case, stay calm. Remember future clients are watching. Reply to the review in a polite and professional manner. Takedown the offending post and sincerely apologise. On the flip side, if people are making positive comments, leaving ratings and sending private messages to your company, then you better respond. People hate being ignored.

Another unattractive social media habit is complaining. This is an important part of social media etiquette for business. It is normal for a business to experience its ups and downs but venting to your followers about customer interactions or when a business transaction didn’t go as planned should not be part of your social media strategy. Remember that you’re trying to distinguish yourself from competitors. This can be a way to stand out in a less than ideal way. If potential customers see how you talk about others, they may think twice about wanting to do business with you.

3.       Relying on automation too much

Potential clients can tell whether or not there is a human touch behind the posts. It is that personal touch with clients that makes your brand stand out so do not lose it. Of course, automation is still great for scheduling and organising your social media activity, but never rely exclusively on such tools for posting. Responding to comments, answering messages, directing your audience to resources, all take a special human touch. If you’re using the same content across your social channels, and you can, take the time to change the voice of the message to match the network. Twitter language and LinkedIn language are vastly different.

4.       Doing all the talking

Lots of people do a lot of talking and not enough listening. Did you know there’s even a term called “Social Listening” to describe this important process? Social listening is when you track your social media platforms for mentions and conversations related to your brand. Then you analyse them for insights to discover opportunities to act. It may range from responding to a happy customer to changing your whole brand direction.

The main reason Social Listening is important is because of engagement. It helps you engage in conversations about your own brand, conversations you hope are happening on the Internet. The benefits don’t end there, comparing your brand to a competitor and identifying advocates are a couple of others. The point here is, if you’re constantly posting and never listening to the conversations going on around you, you’re missing out on what makes the social part of Social Media.

5.       You obsess about the numbers

If you are a business owner who loses sleep over the subscriber count or how many follows you get in a day, then you are too fixated on numbers. The good news is that these metrics, although certainly important, are not the be-all and end-all. While having lots of Facebook fans and Twitter followers can be good, quality trumps quantity any day. If you have 10, 000 Instagram followers but half are bought or spam accounts, then your message is falling on deaf ears. Often the real value is found in the amount of engagement you’re receiving, and the type of people you’re receiving it from. That is where the money is and where all your attention should be directed.