Social Media Advice You Need To Ignore

Social Media Advice You Need To Ignore

By Benjamin Juru

I’ve witnessed the sprouting of numerous social media gurus in Zimbabwe, dishing out expert advice to unsuspecting marketers. Most of these unfortunately have some what experience using social media from a personal level and not corporate and thus feel they are qualified to comment. I want to share some misguided advice being dished out even by the true social media experts that you need to avoid. With all this bad advice floating around the web, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between what you should -- and shouldn't -- believe?

Keep calm I will help you stay away from the some of the worst pieces of social media advice I’ve seen to debunk all those misguided "best practices" and set you free from their spell!

1) You need to be on every single social network.

Especially if you have limited time and resources, don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to maintain an active presence on every single social media site. Research and learn about the makeup of the audience that populates each social network so you can figure out where you should focus. In Zimbabwe Facebook and Twitter are undoubltedly the go to sites for your social networks. If your audience isn't there, don't waste your time as marketing is all about reaching your target audiences and not everyone.

2) You can automate all of your updates.

Social media can be time consuming, so the automation of your updates is, of course, appealing. But the tough reality of social media is that it's all about people talking with people, and people can easily see through crap. Especially automated crap. Automating all your updates (and believe me, people can tell) screams "I don’t care about actually being here. Just come read my content." While it's okay to automate some content publishing you still need to support that with real conversations and interactions with your network.

3) Send an auto DM to all your new followers.

Whether you want to thank them, tell them to visit your website, or anything else, please please please don’t send an auto direct message (DM) to every new follower you get. Auto DMs are incredibly impersonal and perceived as spam by most. Sending auto DMs not only seems inconsiderate, but it also makes you look like a complete newbie who doesn’t understand social media etiquette.

4) Include popular hashtags in your tweets to get more exposure.

There was a time when hashtags were used as a great way to organize tweets. In fact, it’s still great for specific campaigns or events so a group of attendees or participants can share and monitor content related to that campaign/event. But when it comes to topic-related hashtags people don’t really monitor those hashtags, so your organized content is not reaching a new audience. Using such general hashtags makes you look, once again, like a Twitter newbie who's trying to game the system. It's also commonly referred to as "hashtag hijacking." Today, hashtags have also become a way to make a comment about the rest of the tweet. For example: "#Zvirikufire 

5) You can outsource your social media.

Social media is a way for you to communicate with your audience, which means it not only needs to be your voice, but the content of the conversations you’re having need to also be based on your expertise in the industry. Not just anyone can talk about the challenges and trends your customers face, especially if you’re in a niche in an industry. In fact, I’ve seen instances of social media outsourcing (combined with automation, not less!) go terribly wrong for some businesses. If you're considering outsourcing your social media marketing,check out this post first.

6) An intern can manage it all for you.

Who’s even less qualified to talk about your industry than an outsourced social media consultant? A college student with no real-world work experience. Now, that’s not to say that all interns are unqualified for such a job. The point I’m trying to make here is that social media is not just some throw-away marketing strategy; it’s a public face of the company. Would you let that same intern do an interview on behalf of your company for a TV spot?

7) Don’t get personal.

Social media gives you the opportunity to share a bit more personality than your website may allow. In fact, personality is often what gets you noticed in social media. After all,“People don’t fall in love with hex colors and logos -- they fall in love with people,” as branding strategist Erika Napoletano (@RedHeadWriting) shared. Show the personality behind your brand and people to make your social media marketing more lovable so people naturally want to connect and engage with you.

8) Don’t respond to negative comments to protect your brand.

If someone has said something negative about your brand, it’s out there -- visible to that person’s network or anyone searching for information about your company. And by not responding to negative comments, a small comment can spiral out of control for lack of attention. Admit mistakes when you need to, and share how you’re going to address any issues. A simple response can actually turn an angry detractor into an appreciative promoter of your business. For more on how to approach negativity in social media, check out this article, "How to Deal With Negative Nancy's Comments in Social Media."

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