5 Social Media Pitfalls Brands Need to Avoid

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Social media is helping brands build awareness and engage with consumers. A successful business relies heavily on efficient communication which in turn helps establish partnerships and allows the company to market its product and services to consumers efficiently.

Professional communication involves ethics and etiquette. While most businesses strive for excellence, not all have netiquette (online etiquette) down pat. Here, Lynn Cooper highlights five tricks of the trade to help you steer clear of common social media pitfalls:

Don’t be pushy

Many of us have experienced the overly aggressive salesperson in a retail store, and walked away from the situation annoyed, confused or startled—and, most importantly, without the product he/she was offering.

The online equivalent is constantly promoting your offerings and sales through social media. Fans and followers dislike it, and you may be able to tell by your dwindling follower/friends count.

Avoid spamming people

This one’s common sense:  Spamming other users’ comments, inboxes, groups and pages will only have people dislike you and ban you from posting on their pages. If you would like to have your message posted on someone’s feed, be courteous and ask for the group administrator’s permission.

Keep your business off the street

Using social media for business means just that. Hence, be as professional as you would in real life. Expressing your disdain for cohorts, clients and competitors on a public platform will only result in you looking petty, and may cause others not to do business with your brand.

Be prompt

Research has shown that more than half of social media users believe that communicating with a brand via social media is a preferred method of communication as opposed to more traditional means like phone calls and mail. Show your customers that you really value you them by responding to their queries in a timely manner, which today is through social networking sites.

Absence on social media is a no-no

Imagine walking into a restaurant and no one is there to greet you. What would you do? Would you stay or leave?

This scenario also applies to your social media profiles. Make sure you keep your profile and feeds current. If you do not have original content to share, then source others such as news or partner organizations.

Follow these simple rules and you will avoid upsetting others and your business will appear positive and professional online.

Have you witnessed any of these social media offenses? What are some of your best practices? Share your thoughts and comments below.
S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead.

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