Having a social media presence in today’s world seems assumed, whether you’re an individual or a multi-million dollar corporation. Regardless of the type or size of the business, it would be smart to consider adding social media content into the marketing plan if it’s not already. Just two years ago a study showed that 55% of consumers in the US chose to make purchases through social media platforms rather than the individual respective websites. With more people turning to Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok for online shopping, social media is worth investing in.
Social media platforms are now running e-commerce channels for companies worldwide. Competition for attention is becoming fierce as Facebook now has over 90 million small businesses on their platform alone. The fact that there are millions of businesses fighting for billions of eyes every single day reinforces the importance of avoiding social media mistakes. Social media mistakes are costly and can have lasting effects on a company’s reputation. It only takes one bad post for a company to lose customer trust forever.
If this information seems intimidating, don’t fret. Here at Flyrise we offer bundled social media packages for those who need help managing their business’ online presence; but for the DIY crowd, read on to make sure your following best practice with every post!
The Cost of Social Media Mistakes
Although some social media mistakes may seem common and innocent, all mistakes leave a mark. Consumers today are more ruthless than ever. It’s been shown that after just one bad experience with a trusted company, 72% of customers will turn to a competitor’s product. That number only reflects the percentage of customers that were directly affected. This number does not, and cannot, take into account the negative ripple effect made by each individuals’ online following.
When a consumer has a strong enough experience with a brand or business, they will share it with their friends and family. This type of information sharing is, at its core, marketing. As people share their experiences on social media, their lives become more connected; and so do their purchases. When a consumer posts without being paid to do so it is called organic word of mouth marketing (WOMM). This is the best type of marketing for a company, especially if it is positive. Though, if it is negative the impact can be detrimental.
Currently, every second there are 6,000 new opinions, ideas, or experiences added to Twitter’s platform. Mistakes are going to happen and people are going to know, quickly. Understanding the wide range of social media marketing techniques, and possible mistakes can help companies stay on top of potential damages and create solid marketing plans for the future. One of the more recent examples of costly social media mistakes occurred within the fitness community one year ago to the tune of almost 4 billion dollars.
The thing to remember about social media is that what happens on social media, stays on social media; forever. Once something is posted online, it can be deleted but more often than not the information has been shared and the damage is done. Having proper social media etiquette is extremely important for any individual, but especially if you are the founder of a multi-billion dollar corporation.
The CrossFit community was rocked in 2020 when the founder ended his career with one Tweet. Although still seemingly mysterious to some, the world of CrossFit has made its way into the mainstream media. The CrossFit Games, a once small competition held inside a barn in Tennessee, is now a global event with sponsored athletes, paid tickets, and competitions all over the world is broadcasted on ESPN. Before the disastrous mistake, there were over 14,000 affiliates worldwide. Each gym paid an annual fee of $3,000 to use the CrossFit name. All trainers in the affiliates needed to be CrossFit Certified for an initial fee of $1000, which became more expensive with every level. The potential growth for CrossFit is still endless as health and wellness are always relevant.
The original tweet was made on a Saturday. By the end of the next day, Reebok, Crossfit’s main sponsor and licensee for their clothing for 10 years, made a statement that they were ending the partnership by the end of 2020. The founder posted an apology but over 500 affiliates ended their contract with CrossFit HQ within days. High-profile athletes who dedicated their lives to the sport were forced to make career-altering decisions, and inadvertently they took their fans with them.
Many mistakes can be fixed or forgiven, like a typo or picture quality. Other mistakes like the one identified here are irreparable. So how do companies mitigate these very avoidable yet potentially devastating situations? Conscious marketing efforts.
What Not to Do on Social Media
It’s 2021, babies have social media accounts before they’re born and dogs have more Instagram followers than some businesses. A Pomeranian puppy named Jiff, for example, currently has 6.6 million followers while the international corporation Costco only has 843 thousand. Unfortunately, not everyone is a dog lover, but everyone does need to eat. The difference between the two is that Jiff has a great marketing plan, and he’s cute. The potential traffic that million-dollar companies could gain with a little more time and creativity is remarkable.
Successful marketing plans are time-consuming but they are extremely necessary for long-term prosperity. There are companies that can emerge from the darkness with thousands of followers in days but their fire will only burn so bright for so long. Building a meaningful presence and loyal online following takes dedicated effort and time. Here are a few general guidelines to start with on all social media platforms:
Don’t post for everyone.
A company needs to figure out ‘who’ it is to the community. What purpose do they serve? What are the company’s core beliefs and values? Who is the target audience for the service or product? Where are they located? Where are they looking? Once it’s been established ‘who’ the company is as a brand and who they are speaking to, the content needs to reflect that.
Don’t post just to post.
When consumers ‘follow’ a company on social media, they might as well be signing up for an email newsletter. Similar to scrolling through an email inbox, consumers will scroll through their news feed and pass over posts that are irrelevant to their purpose, even if it’s a company they love. Consumers follow a company because they get something from them. Lacking consistency in post quality will cause followers to lose interest in future posts.
Don’t post long-winded captions.
The average person scans a page in 5 milliseconds. Get to the point, and fast.
Don’t delete negative comments.
Negative comments are opportunities for growth. Every company will make a mistake, but it’s how they handle the situation that will ultimately define their future. Engaging openly with customers on social media platforms allows them to feel heard. This gives potential clients a sense of security that if anything happens to them, they will be taken care of just as well.
Most Common Social Media Mistakes
Not every social media platform is created equal. Each platform provides different types of networking for businesses and content for consumers. As a business owner, knowing how and when to use each platform to its fullest potential is vital. The following items are some of the most common mistakes made on specific platforms.
Not focusing on themselves. A lot of companies that use Facebook focus more on the products they are selling rather than the identity of the company. Any retail chain can promote a product, the supplier needs to promote itself. Facebook is a community and family-oriented platform which is great for local networking. Consumers want to know who they’re buying from. They expect to see a little more insight into the company when using this platform so utilizing resources like live feed videos and daily stories will help them feel more connected.
Twitter is known as the hashtag hub. Consumers use hashtags to search for everything from a thai food delivery to shower caps. Posts on this platform are commonly lit up with royal blue hyperlinks so consumers have every opportunity to find them. These posts are eye-catching and can be beneficial for page traffic but companies need to beware of the temptation to use irrelevant hashtags.
LinkedIn is a great place for creating connections with partners nationwide. Individuals and businesses should take advantage of being able to lift each other up publicly. Showing support for each other’s professional work allows customers to see if you really have their best interest in mind. Confidence in your products around competitors speaks to the integrity of a company.
Instagram allows you to choose between two types of profiles when using their platform: personal or professional. All businesses and professional individuals need to change their accounts to professional. Professional accounts on Instagram allow for tracking of clicks, views, engagement on your page and more. This information can be used by businesses to see how their previous posts have been received by their followers and how to plan for future posts.
YouTube allows for infinite creativity. Just like a television channel, a YouTube channel is a frequency for entertainment. Many influencers stick to rigid advertising plans and lose followers to boredom. Companies need to slowly sprinkle in new ways of marketing for their products or services and see what works.
Stop Worrying About Making Social Media Mistakes
For some companies, the decision to outsource marketing is quick. With the infinite amount of mistakes and the risk of potential damages for each, outsourcing a team of highly skilled and dedicated professionals is a no-brainer. Smaller budgets, lack of experience, time constraints, and lack of manpower make it hard for some companies to truly portray themselves the way they want to on social media. When choosing a marketing company, businesses should try to create a real rapport with each other to see if there are shared core values. A marketing company should believe in the products and people they are supporting. This type of trust and understanding in a professional relationship ensures the best possible outcomes for both parties involved. Here at Flyrise we stand behind all of our partners and work with them to create personal market plans that fit their company’s brand vision. To learn more, book a call with our team here!