By Tina Zafiropoulos
The social media world has brought with it an abundance of online jargon, which often finds me bombarded with questions on what businesses can do to boost their “online presence”. How do I get more followers? How do I make my Instagram account more active? How do I use Twitter to sell product?
With big thanks to misinformation on the web, some business owners have been misled into thinking that starting an Instagram account means that uploading a sketchy photo of your product will bring you an immeasurable return on investment.
Here are 8 tips on how not to use social media for business so that your potential customers are not cringing every time a photo or status is uploaded.
1) The boyfriend I never had
Waking up to a gorgeous photo of the Sydney weather is riveting, only to find half an hour later you’ve posted a feel-good quote on life, death and the afterlife. QUALITY not QUANTITY. Harassing your followers with an overload of content is possibly the fastest way to lose them. Limit and space out what you’re putting out to the universe.
2) Your product looks dead
Don’t expect your followers to take any interest in what you’re selling them if your new range of chocolate bars has been photographed at your mother’s house with her crocks in the background (TRUE STORY). Use high-resolution photographs. VISUALLY appealing imagery. Social media has grown into a picky picky world and no one wants to buy a dead product. The absolute queen of succeeding in social media is Sydney Fashion Blogger who reaches audiences and generates engagement in the millions across Facebook/Instagram and most recently Snapchat. Nowhere on her page will you find a dull or low-resolution image – her cult of a following clearly indicative of her success in this area.
3) You’re hashtag crazy #######
Hashtag’s are an important way of promoting Instagram or Twitter page/s. However using ALL 30 hashtag’s that Instagram permits for each photo only reminds followers that you solely exist to wrangle in their money or to catch on to a trend that has far surpassed the use by date. Let organic and genuine likes for your photo’s eventuate.
4) What complaint?
Don’t foster a resentful + toxic culture amongst your existing/potential customers. I’ve seen so many cases where a customer has complained about a product or service, only to have the account holder instantly delete that complaint. The #1 rule of thumb when it comes to handling bad PR (generally speaking) is to address complaints quickly and as smoothly as possible. Deleting a problem doesn’t make it go away – you’ll only find yourself stuck in a widespread social media rant on “why did you delete my post?!”.
5) Don’t be a snob
When followers comment that they LOVE your product it won’t hurt to say thank you. Chances are your positive recognition of that comment will fuel an even greater sense of followership in consumers. A recent piece I read by Kristin Muhlner, an expert in driving strategy in business noted, “Engaging with online reviewers is crucial to getting the positive sentiment you need to win guests”. Don’t make yourself inaccessible nobody likes a snob.
6) Social Media Hog
You don’t need every single platform. Having Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and every other insignificant imitation will be less effective than being a master at just one or two. Find the RIGHT platform for you – less is more!
7) Posting once every blue moon
Avoid being a part-time social media user. You’re only proving that you jumped on the trendy bandwagon and don’t actually find any enjoyment in social media. IN or OUT – the most popular accounts make their followers feel that they have a passion for taking highly constructed and QUALITY images.
8) Friendship accepted – now what do you want from me?
This one is most applicable to LinkedIn and Facebook. So many times I have questioned whether or not I should accept a complete stranger only to find upon doing so that they immediately have some life-changing product to sell me that will make me millions. Be careful about who you are spamming and possibly establish some sort of common ground with that person (umm like an introduction?) before you ask them to give you a kidney.
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