social media jobsSocial media has the power to convert the undecided and the sceptics alike into fervent fans – all from the comfort of a laptop (or, increasingly, mobile). How can you leverage this power into brand longevity?

We’ve listed eight pitfalls to avoid when establishing those all-important connections with your customers – and we’ll also share a great takeaway method for creating engaging conversations.

1. Don’t spin too many social plates

Chances are that everything will come crashing down. As tempting as it sounds to make your voice heard on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and practically every platform in existence – omnipresence becomes noise, and that noise gets tuned out. Find the platform that works for you, and master its art to make a lasting impression.

2. To pay or not to pay…

We say ‘nay’. Purchasing ‘fake’ followers might seem enticing for the sake of numbers, but this only deceives your genuine followers. It also damages your brand’s integrity, which will leave many of your true followers running for the hills in search for a more genuine brand. It takes time to build a loyal fan base, but it really does pay off in the future ahead.

3. Mirror mirror on the wall, don’t act the fairest of them all

It’s very common for brands to be a little too self-obsessed about their products and services on social media. Your customer and their needs always come first before the brand; while it’s understandable that you’re trying to promote your business, ‘broadcast mode’ is not the only station on the dial.

Here’s the secret: Share stories that your audience will like that is not related to your products or services. Try the 5-3-2 model for social media, which is a healthy mix of engaging content that leaves customers clamouring for more. Let’s say you publish 10 posts a week:

• 5 posts should be content shared by other people – and not about your brand

• 3 posts should be content by you that is relevant to your audience, but not sales

• 2 posts should be fun and personal, and gives your brand a human touch

4. Too many hashtags can be a nag nag

Hashtags can crank up your brand visibility on social media, but only if used moderately. Think of them as a condiment rather than the main dish. Too many risks appearing annoying and ‘try-hard’ – make a decision about which are the most important, and which you #can #leave #behind.

5. Don’t be afraid of the human touch

Nobody likes to feel they’re interacting with a corporate cyborg, which is why customers value the importance of brands that offer the ‘human touch’.

This is all the more paramount when responding to customer queries on social media, so becoming ‘social’ on social media leaves customers feeling that your brand is genuine – and encourages their loyalty.

Never underestimate the importance of the smallest things such as commenting on a customer’s post on your Facebook or Twitter, which helps to ‘humanise’ your brand. It goes further than you realise, and makes customers feel you’re approachable.

6. More is definitely more… irritating

If you’re poised to post on social media every two seconds, this can alienate your followers – which can lead to them unfollowing you in a matter of moments. Two or three posts (maximum) a day is best.

7. Don’t fail to plan – or you’re planning to fail

The internet loves a good fail, but your stakeholders? Not so much. Companies that focus heavily on their social media have a definite blueprint, where they map out the lines of their strategy for the next 6-12 months – so it’s important to realise that brand visibility is big business.

Try this: create a plan for the next couple of months, mapping out campaigns and content that will engage your customers. As strategies go, you’ll find it much less painful than ‘winging it’ in the long term.

8. Don’t forget the detail

This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many brands take their eye off the ball when it comes to posting the right tweets or posts. Classic mistakes include the wrong links to articles, copying and pasting the wrong text in a post, or making constant spelling or grammar mistakes. It can make your brand look amateurish and untrustworthy.

You only have a first chance to make a good first impression. Make it count and keep your eye on the ball at all times!

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