Having an effective social media presence is key in building your customer base and brand. On the flip side, having an ineffective presence is a great way to lose existing clients and ensure you won’t be gaining more. If you think you’re ahead of the competition by just creating your Twitter and Facebook accounts—you’d be wrong.
Setting up a business page on Facebook and an account on Twitter are two great steps forward in marketing your business, but in the online world, there are many ways misusing these can set you 10 steps back.
Leaving reader questions unanswered: The reason social media is so great is the ability to be constantly connected. Along with this comes easy communication. Your customers see your Facebook or Twitter as a simple way to connect with and learn about you. When a customer takes the time to ask a question via social media, it should be answered with the same quick and thoughtful response as it would in person or over the phone. Leaving a question unanswered will not only turn off the person who asked it, but also the rest of your followers who see it being ignored.
Unresolved customer complaints or a defensive response: Liking your page right along with those who love you are those who hate you. Dissatisfied customers are just as likely to post on your page as happy ones. And just like the questions from curious clients, these posts cannot be ignored. If someone is using your page as a complaint department, it’s going to get noticed by the rest of your fans—and so is your response. The best way to deal with these is to react quickly and politely. Make it known that your business is proactive about customer satisfaction and squash the complaint as quickly as possible. Having unresolved complaints on your social media is a huge turn off to potential customers, but trying to resolve them in a defensive tone is worse. The old motto “the customer is always right” still stands true, especially when the interaction is visible to hundreds or even thousands of existing and potential clients.
Mixing business and personal: This is simple; your customers don’t want to know your political or religious views. They also could not care less what your dinner looked like, even if you did use a sweet Instagram filter. People have liked and subscribed to your pages because they care about your business, so keep it professional.
Annoying your followers: Just because someone is interested in your business does not mean he wants to be subjected to a daily barrage of random, repetitive posts. Let’s face it, society as a whole is easily annoyed. The key to making your social media work for you is to be present but not post so frequently that you are monopolizing your followers’ feeds. Find a middle ground, somewhere between one and five relevant posts a day.
Too many hens in the hen house: Everyone in your office does not need the passwords to your business Twitter and Facebook accounts. Having too many people updating a page leads to a disorganized social media presence. At most, you should have three designated employees who are responsible for maintaining your pages. This will help ensure things are run efficiently and cohesively.
As impersonal as social media can seem, it is not to be taken lightly. You have a responsibility to your business and your customers to present yourself in a professional, organized and polite manner online, just as you do in person. Having a great online presence can do wonders for you in the business arena, so take the time to put in the effort necessary to maintain a high standard on your sites.
Courtney Moser is an Associate at Kuno Creative. She applies her passion for writing and editing to assist in creating content for Kuno and its clients. Courtney loves to read, expand her vocabulary and write engaging content for multiple audiences. You can connect with Courtney on LinkedIn.