We all want our social networks to be busy, buzzing places, effortlessly attracting new followers, prompting conversation and generally flourishing. Sadly however, this doesn't always happen.
If you are finding it hard to grow or maintain your social media communities or if you are experiencing low levels of engagement, make sure you aren't guilty of any of the following social media mistakes.
Woo! I'm such a party animal!
Don't treat your business Facebook/Twitter etc. social media accounts like you do your own. Banter with mates should be kept to a minimum and general bufoonery should be kept in check.
People following your business accounts do not want to hear about you getting hammered on Saturday night before crawling home at 3am and vomiting on the floor. Adding personality to your posts is one thing, but this kind of level of detail will only ever come across as both irresponsible and highly unprofessional.
These are my political/religious beliefs
Having an opinion is fine, but expressing views that might be contentious, could be considered radical or insulting really is not a good idea. Your businesses Facebook wall is not the place to be expressing any extremest views you might hold. It goes without saying that you risk alienating a large number of followers if they don't agree with your strongly held personal views - don't do it!
Mr or Mrs Angry Pants
We all feel cross and exasperated and need to let of steam from time to time - your businesses social media accounts are not the right place to do this. Sure, you can express some emotion - people don't want to be dealing with a corporate drone after all, but likewise, ranting really isn't a good idea.
Never post messages out of anger or frustration on your businesses social media that you might regret later. Whilst your rant might be thoroughly justified, this type of post can just look petulant and highly unprofessional.
I'm really dull and I don't have anything to say
"We've got a sale on!" "Buy this now!" "20% off this!" "Free shipping for the next 24 hours....." *yawn* repetitive messaging gets old real quick and will turn your followers off. They'll end up ignoring your messages in their time line, muting you or even worse, unfollowing you.
Keep your messaging varied and interesting. Promotional posts are a great idea, but should be used sparingly.
You tend to check your social networks at the same time every day and so the majority of your messaging goes out at the same time too. No one wants to see their timelines spammed with message after message from the same source!
You should space your messages out for maximum impact. It's far better to post 6 messages at intervals throughout the day than it is to post 6 one after the other at the same time. Binge messaging is not cool.
Ignorance is not bliss
Ignore your followers when they respond to you and you'll find that ignorance is not bliss, it's downright rude and annoying. Social media is about two-way conversations, you need to remember to listen and respond when your followers talk to you, so make sure you are monitoring your social networks for brand mentions and that you respond to followers who mention you.
Ignoring questions, comments or even just general mentions makes you look incompetent and like you just don't care. Doing this won't just lose you social media followers but it can actually put people off using your business so it's important to be on the ball, making sure no mentions go ignored.
Pets are people too!!
Behind closed doors it's fine if you are mildly obsessed with your pet. It's fine if you think it's the most adorable creature in the whole wide world. It's fine for you to spoil and fuss it and take endless photos. It's even fine if you feel the need to dress it up in people clothes from time to time. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving our pets and depending on your business and customer base, occasional pics of your furr-baby are likely to go down well, but seriously, endless Instagram shots posted of your fuzzy companion will get boring and annoying.
Remember too that many people tend to be polarised when it comes down to their affinity for cats or dogs. A cat lover endlessly seeing pics of your dog or vice versa, will find it incredibly tedious. Go ahead and express your kooky pet-mad side, but don't force your personal 'enthusiasm' on your followers.
If your goal is to alienate your existing followers and put people off becoming new followers, then go right ahead and do all or even just some of the above!
If however you'd like to grow a community that has value, full of people who will listen to and share what you have to say, then make sure you studiously avoid doing all of the above, and here are some pictures of my cat...