Five Awful (and Awfully Common) Pieces of Social Media Advice
In the world of social media, it seems everyone has an opinion on what works and what doesn’t work. Unfortunately – and much like the nature of social media – even the worst ideas and pieces of advice can spread virally. With so many approaches being used to drive traffic to select social platforms, obviously some tactics work better for some than others. Still, some pieces of advice are universally bad and are leading to new brands failing in their attempts to gain traction in a world already heavily saturated with social media. Below, we will outline five of the worst pieces of advice you can follow when building your brand via social media.
Email Is Not Needed
Frankly, it is an idiot who says that email no longer serves a purpose in brand recognition, marketing or any other element of social media. Doomsayers have been predicting the death of email for years, and yet virtually everyone connected to the web uses email on a daily basis. Email offers flexibility that social media does not: for one, it allows users to interact with your brand unobtrusively and vice-versa. Even when it comes to social media alerts, many people receive these alerts via email. The notion that email is dead or dying is one terribly wrong piece of information and any brand that fails to utilize email is doomed to fail.
Publish All Content to All Social Media Sites Automatically
While this can be incredibly efficient in terms of distribution, it ignores a real issue when dealing with social media. Not all social media platforms are created equally, and not all social media networks cater to the same people. If you are pinging links to ten different social media networks without any alterations, then you will likely fail to engage your various constituencies. Avoid mass-messaging and instead, craft customized status updates for each platform.
Don’t Be Personal
People do not fall in love with a brand because of its logo or discounts: they fall in love with a brand because of its personality. If you keep your communication strictly professional, then there is a good chance that many of your readers will tune out your status updates or otherwise unsubscribe. Add a bit of flair and personality to your communication – this doesn’t mean be sloppy, but even professional entities should avoid purging a sense of personality from their social media campaigns.
Respond to Every Criticism
What a terrible idea! Some criticisms very well may be a direct attempt to box your brand in and engage in an unflattering argument. If a customer or follower has a genuine problem, then they will most likely convey an adequate sense of this in the initial post or reply. If a disagreement or problem seems to be going nowhere, then your judgement call should be good enough to determine whether to walk away from the discussion.
You Only Need Social Media
This is one of the most awful pieces of advice that can ever be uttered. Social media cannot replace other, more trusted forms of marketing and is still very much a quantity over quality approach. With email marketing having the highest ROI and a need for other venues such as blogs and websites in order to be pinging links, a social media-only approach is a house of cards waiting to fall.