Marketing

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July 15, 2021

Social Media Marketing Actions to Avoid

Megaphone and marketing icons
SECTIONS
  1. Is your brand annoying?
  2. Trying too hard to promote your brand
  3. Posting too much or too little
  4. Not being able to stick with a single brand personality
  5. Bad customer service
  6. References
SECTIONS
  1. Is your brand annoying?
  2. Trying too hard to promote your brand
  3. Posting too much or too little
  4. Not being able to stick with a single brand personality
  5. Bad customer service
  6. References

As discussed in previous articles, there are many things  we can do to boost our online business: we have already talked about boosting our e-Commerce site, our brand perception, and mobile e-Commerce. 

However, when doing social media marketing, we need to know, not only what to do, but what not to do. In this article we will focus on what we should avoid doing.

Is your brand annoying?

Nowadays it is easy to remove, unfollow, or block others whom we don’t like via social media. The same is especially true of brands! SproutSocial conducted a survey that shone light on the main reasons someone gets annoyed with a brand and unfollows it. 

Top five annoying actions brands take on social media.
Top five annoying actions brands take on social media. Image source

What are some points from this chart?

  • The number one reason is posting too many promotions - you are too focused on selling!
  • The second, third, and fourth reasons are all tied up in not being able to craft a good social media profile.
  • The last reason concerns customer service and interactions. 

To pin down the main problems, let us see the main reasons people unfollow a brand on social media:

Top six actions that make people unfollow a brand on social media.
Top six actions that make people unfollow a brand on social media. Image source

What can we learn from this chart?

  • Again, it shows if you are over-promoting your brand!
  • Information overload, especially irrelevant information, IS annoying!
  • Being unable to stick with your brand personality is jarring.
  • Inactivity is a big brand killer!

Having identified the most salient issues, we can now summarize the reasons to the following:

  1. Trying too hard to promote your brand
  2. Making poor jokes
  3. Not being able to stick with a single brand personality
  4. Too little engagement

Trying too hard to promote your brand

What does it mean to be trying too hard to promote your brand? You always need to keep your brand visible, right? So you can post endless promotions and ads everyday right?

Turns out this is wrong. Why? Here are some data:

  • Posting more than once a day on your Facebook page works only for pages with more than 10k followers. (Hubspot)
  • The total engagement plateaus after your fourth tweet on your Twitter account. (Socialbakers)
  • Quality is more critical than quantity when making posts on Instagram. (Neil Patel)

Finally, a user can only see so much content before fatigue sets in. This chart from Sparktoro is revealing:

Seeing too much content can be tiresome.
Seeing too much content can be tiresome. Image source

Every post you make is competing with a dog/cat pic, a pic of their best friend's newborn, and someone ranting about the news. This does not include other pages that they follow, which may be promoting your competitor’s product or service. 

So how frequently should you post in your social media pages? RevLocal summarizes them:

  • Facebook: once a day or five times a week
  • Twitter: 3-5 tweets a day
  • Instagram: once a day
  • LinkedIn: once a day, strictly business-related

Ok, but what should we post about? 

You can’t just have all your posts look like an ad trying hard to sell your product or service to your customer! 

In fact, you need variety, and other content can also help promote a better image of your brand. In my personal experience, I become familiar with most of the brands in the field of marketing and e-Commerce only through doing research for the articles I am publishing. In other words, what worked were the posts that are not designed to promote. 

You should considering posting the following:

  • Tips and tricks
  • Infographics
  • How-tos
  • Other content that is not directly promoting your brand

Posting these types of content presents an image of your brand that genuinely cares about helping your customers improve in what they are doing. 

We will talk more about the types of content you can post in the near future. Keep checking our blog!

Making poor jokes

Unlike people where we can appreciate their effort even though they can be quite annoying at times, brands don’t get that privilege. This includes poorly-made jokes and fiascos that look like a poorly-made joke:

In 2017, Dove released a video ad showing a black woman transitioning into a white woman. The outrage was swift.
In 2017, Dove released a video ad showing a black woman transitioning into a white woman. The outrage was swift. Image source

You can easily find via Google articles summarizing these fiascos, but let us zoom on what we can do to make sure we don’t make a poor joke or two, because a perfectly-crafted joke will massively boost your audience rapport:

  • Be updated on the current events
  • Don’t be out of touch with current ideas
  • Don’t make fun of something that can’t be changed
  • Double check the content before posting it

Finally, make sure the joke fits with your brand personality. That’s what we will talk about next.

Not being able to stick with a single brand personality

A memorable logo is an important part of a brand personality.
A memorable logo is an important part of a brand personality. Image source

Do you know a brand that does not have a personality?

No, because such brands are forgettable.

Brand personality is a requirement for presenting itself to its intended market. It is the main way a brand can stick to the minds of its customers, and hopefully lead to sales.

No brand personality, no awareness. No awareness, zero revenue. Zero revenue, your business is dead.

So how can we construct a single brand personality?

  1. Research your audience, competitors, and value proposition. Your audience is essentially the target market of your products and services, and thus of your social media pages. You will most likely have existing competition in your market. Looking at them to see what they are doing and not doing will give you a hint of the best practices and actions to avoid. Your value proposition is essentially what you have that others don’t, thus making you unique. It can be a product, or a service, or even just finishing touches. Doing market research on these three items will give you a better idea of the stage on which your business will be competing. 
  1. Identify the main personality trait. Marketing MO identifies five main brand personality traits:
  • Competence
  • Sincerity
  • Sophistication
  • Excitement
  • Toughness

Choose the main personality trait that will work best with your brand, and stick with it.

  1. Craft a mission statement. It may sound a bit too cheesy, but a mission statement essentially lets you declare what you want to achieve(besides dominating the market and earning all those bucks). The mission statement guides what you can sell, how you sell it, and even what promos you can use to attract customers
  1. Design a logo, template, and a color palette that fits the brand. This is a bit technical and is best left to graphic designers, but you still need to take a final look. The logo should be memorable! A memorable logo (in a positive way) will cement your brand in the minds of your customers.

With these things in mind, you can now align your content to your brand personality.

Bad customer service

It’s easier now to send a DM to the official page of a brand in a social media site than craft an email or call their hotline. In fact, expect that a lot of people will inquire or complain via your social media pages! 

DMs to your social media pages are a wonderful way to add personalization to your social media presence. And unfortunately, a lot of businesses miss that opportunity! 

Hootsuite lists eleven wonderful tips to turn your social media pages into hubs of excellent customer service. We will focus on five of them, condensed to three tips:

Make a page dedicated to customer support 

If you already have an existing page, it can be quite overwhelming if most of the comments to your posts include customer service requests. A flood of these requests in DMs and comments can become overwhelming to the social media team, especially just after the launch of a service or a release of a product.  

If you face a huge amount of requests everyday, you should consider diverting them to a page dedicated to customer support. Customer support-oriented pages should be handled by your customer support team, and a page dedicated to customer support can be run by them instead of a social media team, which is not fit for that work. This will keep promotion and support separate, and you can also easily track their performance separately as their analytics can be separately recorded over time. 

Prepare FAQs and be proactive

Getting the same basic questions regularly is one good sign that you are potentially acquiring new customers. To deal with them, you need to check what questions are frequently asked and compile a set of answers to the most common questions. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow the pages to pin a post so that it will be the first post a user sees when opening their page. 

Additionally, being proactive will also help to filter out repetitive customer service requests. To be proactive requires one to post in advance about changes that will be rolled out. This can be useful when you are offering a service or even a promo for your chain of restaurants. For the latter case, being proactive reduces ambiguity on the mechanics of your promo, contributing to the success of your campaign. 

Respond publicly or privately when appropriate

Nothing is more damning than getting a frustrated customer screenshot their interaction with you which consists of nothing but a series of questions from them with not a single response from you. There are ways to deal with people sending you DMs in your official pages:

  • Set standard responses and questions that a customer can select when sending you a DM
  • Use a chatbot for more sophisticated responses 

But don’t forget that you should always make sure someone is assigned to read these DMs one-by-one! Customers will notice if their message is programmed or is coming from an actual person or agent. 

You should also respond to public comments for inquiry. If their comment or inquiry would be something of interest to the customers, responding publicly can be the best way to inform others who are having the same issue or request. If the comment or inquiry is about something specific to an individual customer’s experience, it is best to respond to them privately in order to preserve the privacy of their case. Some social media sites such as Facebook indicate if the page responded to the issue privately. 

Summary

We talked about four actions to avoid, alongside tips to make sure you don't commit these errors:

  • Trying too hard to promote your brand: post once a day and diversify the content posted.
  • Making poor jokes: be updated on the current events, don’t be out of touch with the current ideas; don’t make fun of something that can’t be changed; and double check the content before posting it. 
  • Not being able to stick with a brand personality: research your audience, competitors, and value proposition; identify the main personality trait; craft a mission statement; and design a logo, template, and a color palette that fits with the brand.
  • Bad customer service: make a page dedicated to customer support; prepare FAQs and be proactive; and respond publicly or privately when appropriate

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References

The Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index

Content Marketers Could Become Their Own Worst Enemy | SparkToro 

Social Selling: 10 Ways You're Turning Off Prospects Online

Social media marketing How Often Should Your Business Post on Social Media?

How Often Should You Post on Facebook? [New Benchmark Data]

12 Ways to Effectively Promote a New Product or Service

Tweeting too Much? Find Out the Ideal Tweet Frequency for Brands

7 Instagram Marketing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs 74 comments

20 of the Biggest Marketing Fails of All Time (and Why They Sucked)

Dove apologises for ad showing black woman turning into white one 

Crafting Your Brand Personality

How to Develop a Unique (& Memorable) Brand Identity in 2021


SECTIONS
  1. Is your brand annoying?
  2. Trying too hard to promote your brand
  3. Posting too much or too little
  4. Not being able to stick with a single brand personality
  5. Bad customer service
  6. References

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