When we talk about social media, the conversation is often filled with warm and fuzzy buzz words. While it is always nice to talk about the engagements and connections that brands have with people in the social space, the reality is that brands often make people mad. Based on a recent study by Disruptive Communications, there are five things that you are doing that your social community hates.
Bad Spelling & Grammar
According to the study, a majority of users hate when brands use bad spelling and grammar. Of course we are all human and are prone to mistakes; however brands have to always be mindful of how they communicate with their communities. Brands are often seen as welcomed intruders in social media and are often the subject of severe scrutiny. Having bad spelling and/or grammar just adds fuel to the fire. Use spellcheck, use grammar check and read through your content a few times before posting. Mistakes are going to happen, just try not to let them happen very often.
Being Too 'Salesy'
People enjoy connecting with brands for useful information; however people do not like salesy sales talk. Realistically, brands are using social media as a marketing tool to ultimately help the bottom line; however there is a time and place for sales speech. Online marketing has become much more like farming than hunting these days and we have to cultivate relationships in order to harvest from them. I like Chris Brogan's approach. Mr. Brogan sends out weekly emails full of great information and compelling insight, however every once in a while he will send out an email that blatantly tells you it's a sales pitch. I love this. If you have the intention of trying to sell to your community, at least be up front about it. Imagine in real life if you met a new acquaintance and the first thing they do is try to sell you something. Pretty annoying, right? Spend your time cultivating relationships with useful content and learn to sell transparently when the time is right.
Too Much, Too Often
This peeve has been around since the dawn of advertising. If one marketing message is good, then 10 is better, right? WRONG! More is not always better in social media. As a brand, you have to respect the culture and style of each channel and act accordingly. Content ages faster on Twitter than it does on Facebook, so you can get away with publishing more content. Pinterest and Instagram have different dynamics, so you would have to modify your approach accordingly. The moral to the story is don't post MORE content, post BETTER content. Brands are competing with friends, family and other brands in newsfeeds. Don't post too much, too often and give people a reason to hate you.
You Try Too Hard
We all know that person at parties or social gatherings that tries WAY too hard to be liked or be funny, don't be that person online. It's great if you want to incorporate memes or silly content into your strategy, however it should always make sense in relation to your brand. Brands naturally have limitations when it comes to what they can and can't say while the average user does not. When try too hard to be funny and fail it's like a call for online trolls to attack. Avoid putting yourself in a position where you cant respond with the same wit or jest as your community. I recommend using silly content in moderation or allowing your community to hit the punch line. This way, the entertainment value is there but the focus is on the community members. This can be done through caption contests, polls, fill in the blanks and other tactics. One of the hardest things in the world to be is funny. It has to be natural, if not people will hate it.
Not Enough Content
Imagine being invited to a party that had a lot of hype and intrigue, however when you arrive there is no music and 3 people standing around. THIS is what it's like when you don't provide your social communities with enough content. People connect with brands because they are interested in what brands have to say or offer. Be sure to provide enough meaningful content to quench that thirst. This does not mean you should post excessively. Create a clear content strategy with regimented posts and use the engagement data to decide whether you should increase or decrease your posts. Strive to find that sweet spot between too much and not enough, THAT'S where your content strategy should live.
What do you think about these five things communities hate? What would you add to the list?
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