Today we’re going to talk about social media don’ts, some things that are still pretty prevalent in 2019 that can get your audience to take a powder. Do people still say that? I’m going to guess no because I’m the least cool person ever. If you don’t want to push your audience away, these are mistakes that you want to avoid.
1. Do NOT engage with haters, trolls, or other negative influences online. Sometimes there are valid complaints and those deserve interaction, to be acknowledged, and sometimes deserve an apology. But if you have somebody who is straight up crazy who is trying to engage you online, just don’t, just ignore it. That’s the best thing you can do. You know when your mom told you when you were little, “Just ignore the bully, they want to bait you”? That’s exactly what they want. If you have somebody who’s fake, who’s a spammer, or somebody who’s complaining about something you didn’t do, one of the best things you can do is just ignore it. You do sometimes want to come back with some positive comments on top because not everybody who goes to your Facebook page or your YouTube channel will know that that’s fake. But you cannot argue with crazy so don’t try to do it.
2. Don’t try to be everywhere and do everything. You can do anything but sometimes you can’t do everything. That’s especially true of social media. There are so many different platforms and channels that it’s very easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed. So pick one to start with that you’re super comfortable with and get really good at it before you add another. I will tell you, three is pretty much the max for most people to handle. There are very rare exceptions, especially if you’re talking about solo-preneurs who are doing it all themselves. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’ve seen less than a handful who can jump in and handle multiple channels. If Facebook is where your audience lives, get really good at Facebook before you jump into Instagram. And don’t feel compelled to jump on a platform just because it’s new. If Snapchat isn’t your audience, then don’t get on Snapchat. Now sometimes you do need profiles on all of these platforms just so people can recognize you, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend two hours a day on each of these things. Find what works for you and do that. And sometimes, if it’s just Facebook that’s OK. If Facebook works for you, that’s great, just do that.
3. Don’t post without proofreading. If you think nobody’s paying attention to what you’re posting, spell something wrong — they’re watching, I promise. This happens a lot in graphics where something is misspelled and you might not catch it when you post it. The second it goes up people are going to see it. A lot of times we keep backups so we have notes on our material and if you copy and paste it into a Word document it tell you if a word is misspelled. Facebook will tell you if a word is misspelled but they don’t all do that. Make sure what you’re posting is correct before you hit the “publish” button.
4. Don’t ignore your followers’ questions, comments, and messages. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. It takes time and energy and money for you to get people to engage with you and engage with your brand. It really makes me crazy when nobody responds. A lot of times people will ask questions that are frivolous, like “hey, what are your hours?” when your hours are posted right there in your About section. The point is they’re taking the time to talk to you because they’re interested in engaging with you or your brand or making a purchase so you need to respond. It doesn’t always have to be a whole monologue, sometimes it’s as simple as giving a thumbs up or letting them know that you’re there and you’re watching. Especially if you put up something that gets a ton of comments, you want to pick and choose who you respond to but you want to make sure that everybody gets some sort of recognition. Millennials are highly influenced by brand influence. They are more likely to engage with a brand or to respond to a brand positively if the brand responds to them. So the younger your ideal target is, the more critical it is that you engage with them.
5. Don’t use automation to substitute for human interaction. It’s totally normal to have a business owner and they pay another service to post on their social media. And that’s OK, you can’t do everything. But you do need to monitor the responses and you do need to make sure that what’s happening is speaking in your voice. If it’s not, that has negative repercussions for you. You don’t want to rely on automation so much that you don’t check it. I see where people will pay someone to do it and not everybody is me and my team — we monitor those comments very closely — and if we get a question we will send it to you, but not everybody does that. If you’re paying someone to publish content but nobody is monitoring, it get super frustrating for your end user because they feel like you’re checked out and not engaged. So don’t rely too heavily on automation. It’s good to be you! You need to jump in there and comment or post.
6. Don’t dwell too much on your competition. I have seen complete decision making chaos because you get so bogged down in what your competition is doing that you can’t focus on what you’re doing. I had somebody ask me this the other day, who’s your competition? Umm… Not that we don’t have competition, we do, but I try not to get focused on who else is doing what I’m doing that I don’t complete what I need to be doing. Part of what makes you unique is not doing what everybody else is doing. And there’s so much business, there’s business for everybody so there’s not really a need for you to get so caught up in the competition. Don’t worry about what the competition is doing. Yeah, it’s OK to check once in a while but don’t get bogged down by it.