Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes

July 30, 2012 7:15 pm

In the past week, we have seen three major social media blunders. The first gaffe was an international social media outsourcing firm failing to recognize local trends by sending a highly insensitive tweet regarding the tragedy in Colorado. Later, in the wake of significant controversy, Chick-Fil-A was accused of creating a fake social media account in defense of their brand (note: there has not been proof that Chick-Fil-A was responsible for this account). Shortly thereafter, a Greek Olympic athlete’s controversial tweet led to her expulsion from the Olympics for racist humor. These incidents remind us of the inherent power and danger of social media.

Used properly, social media can be one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of a business. Used carelessly, social media can cause significant damage to your brand. Here are a few tips to make the most of social media – without causing problems.

  1. Be Contrarian, Not Offensive: State an opinion, and make it a strong one. Strong opinions create more traffic and generate engagement. When you say the same thing as everybody else, you get lost in the crowd. But don’t make a statement just for the sake of making one, make sure it’s something you firmly believe and is consistent with your brand. Be careful, there is a fine line between going against the grain and being offensive. Push for the right reasons. Try to expand people’s thinking. Make people look at something from a different angle. Don’t push people to make them angry. When in doubt, keep it to yourself.
  2. Know Who Is Representing You Very Well: For many companies, handing off social media may be the best option. Internal or high-level personnel may not have the availability to get involved in a social media campaign. You need to realize who you are handing your social media campaign off to. If you hand a campaign off to an intern, they need to have very clear guidelines and a good understanding of the brand. If you hire an outside company, make sure that they are qualified and have a good understanding of social media platforms and trends. Keep a close eye on their activity, especially early on in the engagement. Most reputable companies know the do’s and don’ts of social media fairly well. Just make sure you know who you are hiring.
  3. Don’t Be Too Self-Serving: It’s okay to promote yourself on social media. In fact, it’s expected. But if your entire social media campaign is self promotion, that probably won’t go over well. If you simply promote yourself and your services, you will likely be ignored. If your self promotion even hints at being underhanded or insensitive, it can wreck your entire brand. Promote your services, represent your brand, but most importantly strive to provide value for others. In the realm of social media, providing value for others goes a long way.

In today’s business environment, it is critical to be involved in social media.  If you’re looking for more social media tips or help with your campaign, contact our social media experts.  We’d love to help you make your campaign a success.

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About The Author

We specialize in b2b, supporting the clients who are the "The Brands Behind the Brands." These are the supply chain partners of brands, either in Tier 1 or Tier 2 positions, who drive value through the delivery of goods, services and technologies. We enjoy blogging about all things related to Branding, Marketing, Inbound, Tradeshows, etc... And we're always happy to talk about any ideas you may have that might Get You To Your NEXT!