In part I of The Worst Pieces of Social Media Advice we looked at common pieces of “expert” advice, which really should be ignored. Here are some more that you can add to the list. If you have any you think we have left off leave a comment and we will happily add.
1. Disable comments or delete the negative ones.
The Verdict: One of the most unwise and anti-social actions to do. Understand that people have the freedom to say whatever they want and if they want to say it, they’ll find a way. When you allow comments, you can still monitor them and choose how to respond. You may not be able to change someone’s opinion, but it’s much better than burying your head in the sand.
2. Ignore negative comments
You are probably thinking: “If I ignore it, it will go away”. Well, think again. By not responding to negative comments you are not actually protecting your brand, you are risking a small comment spiraling out of control. Instead address the issues, provide support and admit if you have made a mistake. You have to be wary of the “Trolls” though, there is no point debating with someone who only wants to stir up trouble. Instead direct them to a a communication channel that is more appropriate (email or forum for example). There will always be people who are on social media as if only to cause trouble. The Verdict: Differentiate between when it’s smarter to step back and when you should respond.
3. Social media is free.
The Verdict: But human resources aren’t free. The truth is that signing up for free to a social network is only the most basic step. From then on what you have to do is actually learn how to use the service, find ways to engage with followers, produce and publish content, etc. These take time and energy, so you need to invest in people who will do the job well.
4. If you’ve got social media, you’ve got everything you need.
We’d like to see you try converting Twitter followers into leads without a great landing page or a compelling offer. Or get new followers without producing any content. If you manage to do that, get in touch with us and let us know how you did it. The truth is, social media alone cannot replace other marketing tactics, it’s another channel for you to add to your tool box. The Verdict: If social media was so powerful on its own, we could all kick back and watch success flow.
5. You can’t measure social media
The Verdict: In fact, you can measure just about anything web-related these days. Know what your goal is and measure the progress towards it, whether it’s to get more leads, increase your content’s reach or reduce customer support calls. Measure the leads you get from social media.
6. The most important metric is fan/follower growth.
The Verdict: Fans and followers mean nothing without your focus being on the end goal. When’s the last time a fan base has paid a brand any money, or have kept them in business? That’s right – never. The growth of your network is only a piece in the whole puzzle. Just recently Oxfam announced that it has seen a significant drop in donations. And it is known to have one of the most active Twitter presences of all the major charities.
7. All your posts should be about your company.
And you are guaranteed that your followers will find something more interesting to do than check out your updates. The Verdict: Not enough engagement, not enough interest, no reason to be followed. You might as well quit social media altogether. We all have that one friend who talks about themselves all the time. It’s just soooo not cool!
8. Post X updates per day.
When Hubspot published data around the optimum number of posts for each social media site, some users took it so literally that they started posting up to 22 tweets a day. It could be a massive amount for some types of businesses. The reality of predetermining how many updates you are posting a day removes the social aspect of social media.The Verdict: You need to test the frequency and timing of your updates, based on your brand, audience and goals. Otherwise you risk becoming a spammer and losing followers.
9. You can’t ask your fans and followers to share, comment or retweet.
You not only can, but you should. Just make sure you know how to ask. Including a simple call-to-action phrase such as “Like this post? Why don’t you share it?” or even the debatable “please retweet” could get you up to double more retweets and interaction. The Verdict: Do it, but be subtle. You have nothing to lose.
10. Ban social media in the office
First of all, this is virtually impossible. Second of all, it’s bad for your brand. And third of all, your employees could grow to dislike your draconian ways. The Verdict: It shows one thing – your lack of trust in the people you’ve hired. You hired these people, do you trust your decision? Don’t block social media on their computers, your employees can be your best asset. They are the face of the company and their friends and followers only help the brand’s network grow even more. You can provide guidelines on social media use – however the only guidance they need is to be careful what and how much they share – and not to “poop on their own doorstep”!
Have you been given terrible social media advice recently that you’d like to share with us? Use the comment box below.