The Crucial Social Media Mistakes That Are Costing Your Company Business And Hurting Your Reputation

If you looked at your company’s Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook pages right now, what do they say about your brand? Is the last time you posted more than two weeks ago? Is all of the content you share self-serving? Does it sound like your posts were written by different people?

As painful as it is to hear, it’s very likely that at least one of those answers is “yes.”

As the chief content officer and co-founder of a content marketing agency, I often talk to companies that simply do not understand the value social media can add to their brand. Whether you’re a startup just launching a product or service to the world or an enterprise-level organization with brand recognition, your social media channels are just as important as your website itself, if not more so.

Social media is about far more than marketing. It’s your voice to the world and the opportunity you have to not only share your company’s point of view and expertise but to connect with real people, whether for business, networking, customer support, recruiting or partnership purposes, in real time.

Here are the most crucial mistakes that many companies are still making in social media today.

Using Social Media Only For Marketing

While being on social media channels is crucial for marketing purposes, marketing is not the only reason your business must have a strong social presence.

  • Recruitment: Candidates looking into job opportunities at your company will investigate your social channels. Having an active and up-to-date LinkedIn profile, in particular, will show candidates that you’re engaged in the professional community. If a candidate reviews your LinkedIn or Twitter page and you haven’t posted in weeks (or longer) it might even cause them to think you’re having trouble as a company, you’re understaffed or unreliable.
  • Customer Service: Smart businesses are actively monitoring company mentions online and are prepared to respond quickly to any customer service complaints. When those go ignored, it immediately impacts your reputation and trustworthiness. In fact, 72% of people who “complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour.”
  • Lead Generation: With 500 million users, 40% of whom use the platform daily, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place online to search for quality B2B leads than LinkedIn. Developing lead generation and social selling strategies are an impactful way to connect directly with professionals in decision-making positions.

Social Media Is Managed By An Intern

Nothing makes my head hurt more than hearing this. Just because someone is a digital native and they know “how to use Facebook” doesn’t mean they should be managing your company’s most public communication channels. Social media management requires an in-depth understanding of your products, services and industry verticals, as well as knowledge of and experience in developing professional content aligned with business goals.

Approximately one in every three minutes spent onlineis spent on a social network or messaging, for a daily average of one hour and 58 minutes.

Winging social media is a brand killer. It’s like not training your customer support team how to answer calls or emails. Every social media channel needs a unique plan for that platform (because no, they’re not all the same), based on actual goals and key performance indicators. For example, if one of your goals is to increase traffic to your website from Twitter by 20%, you should create an action plan for reaching that goal.

Social Channels Are Only For Sharing Your Content

If someone is considering doing business with your company, and your Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with only your brand’s own content, it gives the impression that no one is engaged in monitoring your online presence. A self-serving feed looks spammy and unprofessional. You must have a mix of curated content, retweets from other reputable sources and engagement in actual conversations with people. No one wants to follow a feed of your blog content; they can sign up for your blog RSS feed for that.

It’s time for businesses to stop fearing social media, neglecting its importance or relegating it to the marketing department to deal with. Your social presence can have more impact on your business than your company website or sales team, so consider this: Based on your social media presence right now, is that a good thing for your company?

Article written by: Debbie Williams