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10 Business-Killing Social Media Mistakes

destroy your online business in 10 steps graphic As you can see, I like to have fun with my titles. Despite the sarcastic tone, you will find helpful material in this article to help you navigate the troubled waters of social media reputation management and marketing amidst a chaotic world where mistakes like Amy’s Baking Company still occur.

Needless to say, I’ve been “inspired” by some of the latest conduct on social media platforms by unsuspecting businesses and this is my most recent effort in the campaign against it.

If I have anything to say about it, you won’t be making these 10 horrible mistakes on your social media strategy anymore. Please!

Scroll down to see the full articleinfographic outlining rules of social media reputation management for your 2013 social media strategy

1. Cheap Out On Your Image & Online Brand

This needed to be the first point because it should be the first step you take when bringing your business into the social world. If you are not a professional graphic designer, you should not even consider doing your own graphics.

Your presence needs to be professional in every way and nothing will get you dismissed faster than poorly designed or an unbranded look on your social media platforms. Invest in quality design if you want to be taken seriously.

2. Go Off-Topic In Groups To Promote Yourself

Whether you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, groups are a fantastic way to connect with new people in a specific niche. Don’t screw it up by changing the conversation to you.

facebook user going off topic in group

Be considerate of the environment you distribute your content in.

Even if you think people are going to love your blog, context is so very important to successfully promote anything for your social media strategy.

3. Don’t Setup Alerts For Keywords

You have to keep one ear to the ground online at all times when it comes to your industry, brand and products. It’s incredibly easy to get setup with automatic alerts from Google or to do a quick search on Social Mention to find out who, when and where people are talking about anything relevant to your business online.

4. Leave or Ignore Negative Reviews

Many businesses fear the consequences of social media marketing once they begin to receive negative reviews and comments online. Rule #1 in social media reputation management is to address negativity immediately and turn around the experience.

Your customers understand that accidents happen, they happen to them too, but what they need to see is how you react and fix them when they occur.

mcdonalds ignoring negative social media comments

Amazingly, McDonald’s chooses not to reply to ANY comments.

I’ve continued to eat at The Keg for years because whenever they have screwed up a meal, they have always been prompt and classy with their reaction and efforts to make it right. Although restaurants are a great example of this, any business can (and should) aim to duplicate these experiences online and offline.

5. Have a Bad Attitude

When creating social media guidelines for your business, “The customer is always right!” is the best mantra to adapt. You need to constantly perceive the experience of your brand the way your customers do. If they say something sucks, and they will, you need to look at that criticism seriously, regardless of its crude delivery.

amys-baking-meltdown

And…here is a prime example of what NOT to do!

The Internet is a big and scary place. It’s going to knock you down, occasionally down vote your YouTube videos (even when they rock) and say bizarre, mean things to you. The worst thing you can do is repeat that behavior, that will only result in a disaster (remember Amy’s Baking Company). That’s a promise!

6. Don’t Follow Up

Have a specific and defined process for follow up. Don’t leave messages hanging unattended for days on end. An old saying in sales says that leads are more like fresh fish than fine wine…in a few days they are going to be rotten!

Act now or forever hold your peace.

7. Talk More Than Listen

Hey, if you want everyone to progressively block you and shut you out of their News Feed or Twitter feed, just keep on talking about yourself and hope people will listen.

The reason why listening is so important is because that’s when you find the best opportunities to create lasting impressions with people. I remembered when a Twitter follower of mine mentioned a special event they had coming up, they were so surprised and happy that I had actually remembered.

It’s tough but try to spend more time talking to other people about them rather than spending that time trying to get them interested in you. You might be surprised at how well it works!

8. Don’t Create Content That Shows You’re The Expert

If you are not producing great content, you are missing the biggest part of what makes a social media strategy successful. Focus on creating and sharing valuable content that shows you’re the expert in your niche. Consistency is a critical element to social media reputation management, especially when you’re trying to build a reputation as a credible expert.

9. Don’t Consider A Strategy For Conversion

You aren’t allowed to complain about your social media strategy not converting for you if you never setup a strategy for conversions in the first place. This mistake is one of the reasons I get paid to do what I do, so I really can’t complain, however my conscience demands that I let you in on the secret.

You need to always be thinking about exactly how that next step from social media platforms to email or telephone or customer/client will happen. It’s not your standard sales funnel and requires a different approach but as long as you are thinking about it, you’re a few steps ahead of the competition already.

10. Ignore Valuable Niche Markets

One of the easiest ways to get lost in the noise online is to pander to large demographics and ignore the value of targeted niche markets. My stomach churns whenever a business owner tells me everyone is their target market.

Everyone is not your target market. More on that in another post!

You will be far more successful with your social media strategy by getting down to the nitty gritty of what you do best and focusing on the specific type of people that need it most. Not even Walmart can say that everyone is their target market. Get targeted and you will avoid wasting time, effort and money.

Whether you’re interested in social media reputation management or using social media platforms for marketing, all of these 10 points are extremely important to remember. What are some of the worst business-killing mistakes you’ve witnessed online?