26 Jan 10 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Social Media
# 1 NO SECURITY
Number one rule is to make sure your password is secure! Stop using the “old reliables” such as QWERTY or Password1234, or by using any of your personal identification, such as your name, birthday or address, as these passwords are easy to guess by anyone. Protect your accounts from hackers by combining symbols, upper and lower case letters, and numbers.
# 2 DELETING NEGATIVE COMMENTS
Sometimes bad reviews or comments will show up once in a while, whether from unsatisfied customers, competitors or hecklers. Unless they contain malicious links or are spam comments, do NOT delete bad feedback. Facebook users will definitely check back on their post to see if you have addressed them so once they cannot find their post on your wall since it was deleted, prepare for a harsher comeback from them. No one wants to be ignored or worse, cast aside.
How do you handle bad comments/reviews?
Instead of deleting these comments, write some generic safe phrases that will make the customer feel heard and state what you are doing to address their problem. Use these statements as examples:
“We apologize for your experience with our staff/service, please send us a personal message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can personally address your issue.”
“Thank you for leaving a feedback, your review is vital to us as we continuously strive to improve our services.”
“We’re very sorry to hear about your experience, we would love to make it up to you by offering you a free 2 night stay at any of our hotels, just send us a PM so we can get this process started. We value your feedback as it will help us know where we can improve.”
What do these sample statements show?
#1 That you LISTEN to what they have to say.
#2 You are willing to talk it out and resolve the issue and
#3, that you value your customers by offering them something to compensate them or to make up for their bad experience. Now THAT is customer service!
# 3 CAT-FIGHTING
Nothing ruins a brand’s reputation more than petty fighting in the comments section. There will be times that a person will bash and criticize you by commenting on your posts. However, you must remember to BE PROFESSIONAL at all times. Whenever you tweet or comment, you are representing the brand! Even if the attack is personal, do not ever stoop down to that level and always present yourself in a calm and collected manner. Fighting or arguing in public just shows immaturity and unprofessionalism of not just the person handling the social media account, but reflects that negativity off the company’s image.
Think before you hit that “Post/Tweet” button.
# 4 UNDERDELIVER
All the hype with none of the value? Never promise anything that you won’t be able to fulfill. This actually happened recently, with one big retail store who posted on their Facebook account that they will have a 50% off sale in one of their products. Naturally, the people who saw the ad on Facebook visited their branches in malls, only to find out that the promo was only valid for one branch. BIG mistake. Social media posts went viral over the long lines and 12 hour wait only to find out that the branch did not have the promo or the product in stock. So next time you think about promoting something online, be specific and make sure that you can fulfil what you promise to your loyal fan base.
# 5 BEING A ROBOT
Social media is “Social” for a reason. It’s not a publishing tool, but a conversational tool. Post to CONVERSE and create DIALOGUE with your fans. No one wants to hear a standard answering machine response to each of their comments. Create personality and voice to your page by interacting with your fans. A transport app company here in the Philippines recently received flak for using “official” responses to all complaints received from a certain incident. People started to notice and even stated “robot ata ang nasa likod ng fb nila. Parepareho yung sagot nila (I think the person behind the company’s Facebook is a robot, they have the same response to each of the comments). Always inject some level of personal touch to each of your response, do NOT copy paste responses, especially in comment threads where anyone can see.
# 6 GO NEGATIVE
Competition is unavoidable. You will always have businesses or brands who may offer the same products, value, and promotions as yours. But no matter what, or who they are, do NOT bash them in social media. Remember, bad PR is still PR, even if you are saying something negative about your competition, you are still somehow promoting their brand….for free, I might add. So instead of bashing your competitors, focus on what makes you different and highlight those differences!
#7 ABANDON SHIP
Having a social media account is actually a 24-hour property. No matter what time of the day it is, people can access your page or profile. When you are a company, make it a point to be present or online most of the time. Always respond on time to inquiries or concerns posted. You’ll never know one post or comment could go viral in an instant, even for the wrong reasons! Social media is great for instant feedback, however, if the feedback is not as desirable as you would have expected, then prepare to act on it. You can delete/hide your previous post or post an apology (if you post wrong). For example, US Airways once had a mistweet of an NSFW photo, it took them an hour to remove the tweet, unfortunately, that had gone viral. They have issued an apology like the one below, however, it was too late, the damage was done and the original post was retweeted countless times, and even made the headlines in major news outlets.
# 8 MAKING YOUR PAGE YOUR PERSONAL BLOG
Sometimes, our social media following is based on who we are as individuals. This is true for celebrities, models, bloggers, athletes, and other professionals such as doctors and lawyers. However, what you say to a friend may not be appropriate to share with a client. Here are some pros and cons of maintaining a separate personal and professional social media account:
- Creates work-life balance (You actually get a life outside of work!)
- Less fear from your boss or colleagues reading your personal experiences (people actually get fired over social media posts/tweets)
- Look more professional in public
- Less chance of breaking privacy/confidentiality rules
- Safety and Security: Protect your personal details (family, address, location, birthday, etc)
- Harder to manage two or more accounts
- Time consuming
- Separates your target audience
- Lose original followers (if you started off with a personal following)
- In the case of Facebook, you cannot “add Friends” as a page, only “invite” people to Like your page.
So what works best for you?
It depends on what the purpose is for creating the social media account. If you are the type of person who doesn’t share as much personal details in social media anyway, then having just one account may work for you. But if you truly want to create an identity and branding for your business/professional page, then it may be better and safer to use an account that is separate from your personal profile. If you are a company, better create a separate Page and have someone manage it professionally with updated posts, timely responses to inquiries, and consistent relevant contents, as that Page will also serve as your public profile, and hopefully will serve as one of your lead generators.
# 9 PROMOTING YOUR PRODUCTS… ALL. THE. TIME.
No one watches TV just for the commercials. Use the 80/20 rule of social media. 80% of the content should be engaging and high-quality content while 20% should be about the product. Do not promote your products directly over social media. Try to see how you can insert your product or service into the contents that you publish without being pushy or sounding too much like a car salesman. Social media is NOT the place to be selling aggressively. Remember that your purpose for social selling is to build a relationship with your customers by providing relevant content that they can relate to. Build around your product, discuss how people can use them to their benefit, research on what problems or issues your customers usually have to deal with and focus on helping them solve that problem.
# 10 BEING EVERYWHERE
With the plethora of social networks out there, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, to name a few, no one has the time, energy or resources to manage multiple accounts at once. Focus on one to three social networks that fit your target audience and be awesome at those. Make sure to research on where your listeners are active at and post there! Check out which social network is best for your industry here. Spreading yourself too thin can lead to mismanagement of the accounts that may cause you to lose followers and potential clients!
No matter how advantageous having a social media presence can be, remember that what is posted online will live on FOREVER. That “delete” button is just a temporary relief, or shall we say the “calm before the storm”. What is posted can be reposted, or taken a screenshot off, and whatever you post can be used against you. That’s just how netizens are, and if you don’t know how to ride the wave of emotions and opinions that come with social media, then you better sit back, observe and practice a little at a time, until you’re more comfortable and confident in making riskier posts. For now, stay on the safe side and avoid these 10 social boo-boos for a stress-free social media management, and most importantly, remember to have fun!
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