Whilst social media has connected many millions of people around the world and boosted business and customer relations, there are certain issues to remember in order to make your firm a nuisance free zone. The unfortunate truth is social media has the potential to bring out the worst in people and facilitate some truly annoying behaviour. You must steer your business away from such a fate, otherwise customers won’t be interested in what you have to say, and you may even lose followers.
It’s important to remember this online etiquette for a cleaner world wide web, so over the following ten points we highlight some of the worst sins you can commit yourself to on social media networks, and this goes for whether they’re from a business or personal accounts.
1. Automated Direct Messages on Twitter
One of the worst things you can do on Twitter is set up an automated DM message. Firstly, any Twitter user who has spent more than a few weeks on the service will already be inundated with these things (after two years my Twitter DM mailbox is clogged with thousands of automated DMs), and the overtly familiar layout of the messages won’t fool anyone; they tend to be packed with business spiel, don’t mention you directly, and have a link to some website/book/business the person expects you to own. By doing this the Automated DM Twitter user is coming across as spurious, lazy, arrogant, and it’s an extremely irritating practice to employ. It may seem like a tempting concept, but it will, ultimately, make you very unpopular.
2. Overdoing the Posting
It’s a fine line each business must tread when posting on their social media accounts. You do need to be sending daily messages out, but do not inundate your followers with endless updates. Post fun updates to encourage customers to engage with you, and each other, with this in itself being far more productive than endless Tweets about what products you have to offer.
Showing off isn’t a good idea. If your company has just won an award keep it to yourself and don’t brag to your customers (and other businesses) about how amazing you think you are. Be subtle with your success by adding icons onto your website so the success can be seen by customers, without having to rub their faces into it.
4. Marketing Too Much
The customers who “like” and “follow” your social media accounts know exactly what you do – this is why they’re following your activity. They already like your products and, when they want more of it, they will buy more. Unfortunately this doesn’t register with some businesses, many of whom proceed to lambast their followers with endless information about how amazing their products are; endless tweets, Facebook posts, and/or Pinterest pictures of products will soon get very tiring. Worse still would be to overdo the hashtags on your Tweets; a few is more than fine as they help to curate your Tweet and apply it to a relevant context. When you start heading towards a dozen you’re overdoing it.
5. Divulging Personal Information
The chances are you will, at some point, have an irate customer, or someone who has just won a competition. Don’t deal with these issues in front of the watching world – take your conversation into private messaging territory and deal with it there.
6. Widget Overload
Whilst it’s vital to have widgets for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and/or StumbleUpon at the end of articles, you should limit it to these networks. It is clear a site has entered desperation stakes when they’re practically begging you to share the article on Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, Bebo, MySpace, WordPress, Yelp, amongst many other networks. Stick to the most popular and let everything else take its course.
7. Begging For Shares/Retweets
Pestering yours customers/other users for social media shares is desperate and irritating. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and it is insulting when, having just followed someone, I find them brazenly expecting a retweet of a book they’ve written, or some blog post they’ve just had out. This usually warrants an immediate unfollow; if you’re only interested in self-promotion, people will realise and you won’t go anywhere.