As an Account Manager the types of projects I work on daily are varied. One of my many tasks is social media. I plan, write, create and schedule in content for a range of clients on a daily basis. I try to keep my creative juices flowing and my content cap full to the brim. However, with posting on social media every day I need to avoid losing that all-important spark and not sound stale or extremely annoying.
You have to remember that on social media, what works and what doesn’t changes all the time, so staying ahead of the trends is crucial as a Social Media Manager. And it doesn’t mean that one solution fits all because that isn’t the case at all. You have to look at what is working in the world of social media (and what isn’t) and then see what works for a brand or business and form a strategy for that audience accordingly.
This will keep you grounded as a content creator because you can refer back to it and refocus your creative copy to it.
That being said, we all like a good routine but sometimes we need to pause and check what we’re posting as it might not be working as well as it used to. The content strategy may even require a much-needed makeover, or evolve as your discover what engages an audience.
Back to basics!
So, let’s strip it back to the basics and what you shouldn’t do on social media in general. As mentioned before, what works and what doesn’t on social media changes all the time so this blog post itself may become totally pointless in a few months. I may then sound like a mad woman that has no idea what she’s talking about, but at this moment in time these are the things that you should never post on your social accounts:
- Negative comments
- Abusive language
- Content with errors
- Too many hashtags
- False information
- Clickbait posts
- Content with no context
- Irrelevant posts
To be honest, it’s pretty straight forward with regard to not what to post, just don’t be an idiot basically. Remember when you post on social media, you are representing that brand’s/business’ personality and what it stands for and how you communicate that to an audience will determine whether they like that brand’s personality or not. You don’t want to be the Regina George (Mean Girls) of brands!
Let’s get into the nitty gritty!
Now let’s get more specific on things you absolutely shouldn’t post on social media.
1. The darn right yawn worthy!
Don’t be boring. Every post and piece of content you post should engage with your audience so make sure it’s interesting. There are so many different options to spice up a post whether it’s with emoji’s, GIFs, images or videos.
And we’re not talking about the generic stock imagery either, people love original content so if you have the resources, create a branded image, or take a picture yourself to make your post stand out. Also by using GIFs and memes you can adapt posts to the latest trends and crazes, making your content even more relevant.
Making those few seconds a follower spends glancing at your post count and grabbing their attention enough for them to react will do wonders for your brand. We aren’t saying that every post should be ‘on trend’ and ‘edgy’ because we understand the importance of sales content but it’s about finding that balance.
REMEMBER… Reactions = Engagement = Higher Reach = Brand Awareness. If you don’t put effort into your posts you won’t get engagement. It’s as simple as that.
2. Oh jeesh that image is terrible!
In a day and age where our mobile phones hold HD photo capturing capabilities with automatic focus and blurred backgrounds you really have no excuse to post blurry or quite frankly hideous imagery.
As mentioned before, if you have the resources don’t use generic stock imagery. Get creative with your imagery as it’s not only the copy you write that represents the brand but the imagery too. Can you design it, can you make it into an infographic, or even animate it? Can you add something to it that makes it attention-grabbing? In some cases a simple image may work better, so make sure it’s in focus and
the right size for that social platform.
The last thing you want to do is end up disappointing your followers and fans. If you lose them, it will take you double the amount of effort to gain their trust in your brand again than it took to ‘acquire’ them in the first place.
REMEMBER… there is the chance that if you annoy your fans they will unfollow or mute you so although technically you won’t lose any followers, you will lose engagement. Without engagement you also lose out on reach and brand awareness.
3. No one likes a terminator! (no… they won’t be back)
Social Media is a great platform for a brand to build a personality, to put a human element behind it, corporate or not. At the end of the day, you are one human being communicating with another human so make sure that comes out in your TOV (Tone Of Voice). You can be human in your copy but still write in your brand’s TOV.
That also goes for Community Management. If you are receiving complaints on social media, yes you have your set of protocols on how to handle it, and to manage it offline before showing the resolution to the public. Remember though, that they are a fan and they are annoyed. Don’t be a bot, talk to them like a friend, say sorry – this helps defuse many upset fans and is a pretty simple solution to a complaint that could escalate.
Get them to see you are a person behind the keyboard and not just another call centre customer service Karen that hates her job and doesn’t really give a crap about you.
REMEMBER…maintain a human touch on social media and even if it’s a complaint, if the customer has had a good experience with the handling of that complaint, it may just benefit you more than you realise.
4. Babes get some originality!
OMG tell me about it! We all have busy lives and the ‘To Do Lists’ at work that are never ending. But if you as a brand, have decided to venture on multiple social media platforms make sure you are catering your content to that platform. There is nothing worse than cross posting and your followers will pick up on it.
Each social platform is different, it attracts different audiences with different views on what content they want to see. For example, Instagram is a visual platform (derr) so people don’t want to see boring posts with lots of copy on them or bad designs that are not visually appealing on their feed.
Think of all the Instagram accounts that you follow personally, what types of posts do you see? What types of posts do you engage with and in those odd occasions what type of posts do you re-gram? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and then deliver what they want to them.
The format of Instagram is different to let’s say Twitter. Instagram you use more hashtags and you can’t link whereas Twitter you can link to articles and twitter recommends only using 2-3 hashtags per post. If you post a tweet that looks like it’s blatantly been cross posted from Instagram, Twitter users are never going to click through to see an image on Instagram.
Nothing says “I don’t care about this platforms or the people who use it” more than a post that was clearly meant for another platform.
REMEMBER… don’t be lazy. It isn’t a huge task to craft a post to each platform whether its tweaks in to the caption length, image format, vocab, hashtags and of course linking when the opportunity is there.
5. Don’t be a selfish biatch!
Yes we get it, you’re a brand and you have a product or a service to sell and of course you want to promote it, but your fans don’t want to hear about it every moment of the day. Again, this is where your content/social strategy comes in handy – what is your ratio of sales-like content to fun “fluffy” content?
When it comes to beating your competitors it’s all about standing out and being unique to someone else. What better way to stand out than to be the “expert” in your field and post content that shows you know what you are talking about. Writing blog posts that the audience is genuinely interested in are more likely to get a share than another post about one of the services you offer.
I am not saying don’t sell your product or service and end it with a CTA (Call to Action) but just not every single time. Sometimes not having an action to your post is a great way to show your followers you are not in it for the service gains but that you just want to interact with them. Asking them what they would like to talk about, comment on their content, reply to their tweets and make them smile.
Social Media is part of your complete marketing mix so it contributes to everything you do as part of your marketing strategy. It is not really about direct response, although it can be depending on the product or offer. However its main use is to create engagement and learning from your audience, in order to identify what they react to and help shape marketing campaigns.
REMEMBER… Engagement will eventually bring you leads because you are creating a brand halo effect with all the marketing activity you are doing (including social media). Plus being nice to your fans could also earn you a lifelong advocate or even a brand ambassador.
When you are crafting your social media content plan try to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% useful (informative/ entertaining/ awe-inspiring etc.) VS 20% promotions (CTA/Offer codes etc.) Take on board the general no-no’s mentioned above too. Make sure you are learning from the activity you are doing as well. Insert tracking links into your social media activity to monitor CTR (Click Through Rate). That way, you can see what posts are getting the highest engagement, so you can craft what you post, based on what is engaging your audience the most.
But the most important thing is to do your damn research. Keep up to date with the trends and changes on social media platforms, because you could end up making your brand look out of touch. Don’t be that annoying brand that no one likes!
AND REMEMBER… Make sure you add value to everything that you post on social media and everything else will follow (including customers).
Written by Becki Ashton