Too many businesses come out of the gate on social media with no plan of attack. It’s a completely normal response, as even many Fortune 500 companies admit to shooting from the hip without a strategy when it comes to social media. The downside of that, however, is that you’re more likely to fall into habits that turn your target audience away instead of drawing them in.
Investing in a content strategy is the best way to make sure you develop relevant ideas, creative content and a delivery style that inspires a loyal community.
A Sprout Social study found that 86% of social media users want to follow brands. But when they do, there are particular social media habits that cause them to turn and walk away.
Over-promotion: If someone you’d never met before knocked on your door and told you to go to their new store down the street, would you? What if they did it every day? Or three times a day? No. You’re more likely to slam the door in their face and hide. But if they introduced themselves & demonstrated interest in your needs, and shared a bit about their story, you may stop by for a visit in support of them. Then, you may build a rapport and start to appreciate their brand. Soon, you buy something. And you tell your friends and they buy something. And the cycle continues. It is better to have patience in the process to inspire relationships, referrals and longevity, instead of forcing a first date where someone leaves when you go to the bathroom.
Slang & jargon: If you said something like “I soo can’t with adulting right now, I’m getting turnt tonight!” Would your friends look at you like…
Yeah, then don’t…
Trying too hard: Have you ever watched a newbie comedian struggle, and curled up in your chair with discomfort & embarrassment for the poor entertainer? It’s kind of like that. You may not walk out on the show, but on social media, we have an unfollow button.
Be yourself. Don’t try to hard to force humor or a style of communication you think is going to appeal to your audience. If it feels weird, it probably is. Do research first. Follow other pages that appeal to a similar audience as your business. Watch their interactions and participate. This will help you get a better feel for how to be yourself while communicating successfully to grow an authentic following.
Obvious automation: Do you post every single day at 10:18 am? Does every post follow the same format in copy, link, and image? Is there no personalization to your conversation? We see you robot! There’s nothing wrong with scheduling your uniquely crafted content in advance. But it’s critical to show up and mix in some ‘in the moment’ content and participate. The days of “set it and forget it” are long gone, and people will move on to a more real experience.
Ignoring conversation: This can be a result of automation, missed notifications, or simply lack of awareness. Make sure to respond to your community. People expect a response on social media. It doesn’t need to be immediate, there is still some forgiveness mindset out there but never ignore them.
Especially if someone asks you a question in a comment, sends a private message to your business, or presents you with feedback. It is critical to makes sure the original poster and the rest of the community see you acknowledge, demonstrate care and follow up. People may be a bit forgiving about how long it takes for you to respond, but they are not forgiving about being completely ignored.
What you should do:
Edutain them! People crave new ideas, they want to learn, to be entertained, and yes, to get to know the humans behind a brand. Make them laugh! (In an authentic way of course. See: “Trying too hard” above…)
They will buy from you, but first, they need to… !!cliche alert!! know, like and trust you.
Make notification and message review a part of your daily process. This will help you keep in touch with your community and also learn more about what they want to see from you.
How do you make that happen? A solid strategy and action plan. Unless you are a master of improv, shooting from the hip will never support you in truly crafting a message that meets your audience in a consistent, cohesive manner, and allow you to build a strong community.