Avoid These Common Social Media Fails

815 525 Gail Bergman PR

With endless social media opportunities available to companies today, it’s more important than ever to take a step back and assess if your efforts are helping or hindering your business. According to Fran Jakubowicz, CEO of leading digital marketing agency SunHouse Marketing, here are three common social media fails companies make and how to avoid them. 

1. Failure to create a content calendar

Think social media content calendars hinder creativity and spontaneity? Think again. Studies show that an effective content calendar keeps your team on the same page and accountable for activities, with assets organized. For maximum effectiveness, use a shared “live” document in spreadsheet format that outlines all posts you plan on rolling out over the course of a day, week, month or year. Beyond Google Sheets, other trusted content calendar templates available free of charge include SEJ Journal Template, Social Media Examiner Template and Sprout Social. Organize content by fields such as Topic, Publishing Channel, Publish Date, Content Type, Asset Type, Post Frequency, Status of Activity and Results. The Results field should measure engagement of a post, including likes, shares, follows and link clicks and conversions. Consider tracking posts via Google’s Campaign Builder to determine which posts helped convert users into sales or leads.

2. Failure to adapt messages for the platform

You may have invested in market research to define your perfect customer profile and voice of your brand. You may have even invested in defining the social networks where your customers are most likely to engage. Where companies often stumble is in assuming that one post or ad style fits all. To take advantage of all that each social network has to offer, you first need to know the best way to amplify your message within that channel.  Each platform has its unique mode of delivery, video length, image dimensions and protocol, and your company’s efforts will yield the greatest results if your content is specifically suited for each option.  Here are some resources for guidance: Facebook Ad Formats; Complete list of Ad Sizes and Specs for Instagram; Get Started With Twitter Ads; Snapchat Ads – The Complete Guide for Business; The Complete Guide to LinkedIn ads; and Pinterest Ad Formats.

3. Failure to respond to comments, positive or negative

Social media is not simply a means of broadcasting your message, but also a platform for your current and prospective customers to connect with your company.  Responding to both positive and negative comments needs to be an activity that is built into your social media strategy. By doing so, you not only strengthen trust among users, but you also create relationships and humanize your brand.  On a strategic level, your interactions will encourage users to continue engaging with you. Positive comments are easier to respond to, while negative comments present a greater challenge. Consider these tips on addressing negative posts:

  • Respond quickly. Users expect answers within an hour.  A quick response helps them feel heard, which can stop an issue from escalating further.
  • Hide a rude, inappropriate or outrageous comment posted on Facebook.  Facebook has an option that allows social managers to hide a comment publicly, while users and their friends can still view and respond to the comment.
  • Direct the comment internally.  In the best case, provide a direct phone number to a customer service representative or at least a contact email.
  • Consistently monitor all comments. This should be done once per day as a minimum, and ideally, once an hour.
  • Don’t delete any comments. Users will know their post has been removed and this can make an already unhappy customer irate, leading to a flurry of negative comments.
  • Never defend your company.  Always let customers know they have been heard and that you feel their pain. If in fact your company is at fault, take responsibility.