Want to alienate potential and existing customers alike? Ruin the social experience. Don’t worry, the big guys do it, too.
Mismarketing content is a good way to turn off users, no matter how savvy they are. Whether out of failures to test, or complete ignorance, these five ill-used methods are great examples of what not to do.
1. Ignoring demographics.
Last night I had to look up what “BAE” meant. I’d seen the slang turn up in my Twitter timeline several times, but never took the time to research its meaning. Come to find out, it’s slang for “babe”. If you were trying to sell me a product or service using “BAE” in your post, guess what? You lost me. (You probably shouldn’t be using “babe” in your posts, either.)
Unless your target audience communicates using slang, you should avoid tying these words into your marketing. You should also avoid posts that assume your followers have seen the latest viral videos. If you want to market on those, you need to educate first.
This is why using analytics is so important. You need to know the gender, age group, general location and other key factors about your existing customer base so you can truly understand what route to take when trying to engage your target audience.
It also helps to know that, while they make up a lower percentage of users, people aged 50+ take to social media at a faster rate. And their money is as green as everyone else’s.
2. Requiring followers use another network to read your message.
Anyone can view a pin or an image on Instagram, even if he/she doesn’t have an account. If you want to point your followers there, though, you need to tell them why. Just posting a link doesn’t do it. Whenever possible, you should integrate media and text in the actual post. You’ll gain more traction if users don’t have to leave one account for another network’s page.
Ask yourself: If people are following you on Twitter, why are you sending them to Facebook?
3. Using too much automation.
We all agree that there’s just not enough time in the day. Total automation of your social accounts, however, typically results in lots of duplicate posts and a lack of true interaction with customers. I wrote this post about auto-posting tools in 2010, and think it still holds true today.
Oh, and stop with auto-tweeting all your Facebook posts. It’s annoying and insulting, and tells savvy Twitter followers you don’t know what you’re doing. I could write up a good how-to-do-it-right post on the topic, but Anita Hovey already covered it quite well.
4. Failing to include the right data for the post. Or, not including data at all.
Every system, including WordPress, should have the proper data fields for shareable content. Common fields include the tagging of a “featured” image (which appears on posts and/or in tweets), a social styled headline for the article, and an article summary. These are the three key components that makes content get re-shared. Leave any of these fields misconfigured or blank, and you’ve defeated the purpose of promoting the shares.
Sure, savvy users can back out and share a different way, even typing their own summary for the post, but these folk are the minority. And the minority doesn’t want to waste time doing your job.
5. Including personal religious or political comments.
Unless you are in the true business of religion (i.e. a Christian bookstore) or politics (you’re a political analyst), including this type of controversial commentary is a good way to lose leads. High-profile business owners should also refrain from discussing these topics, even on personal accounts.
Have some recommendations to share? I’d love to hear what you have to say.