Social media belongs to the masses. From Facebook to YouTube, Instagram to Snapchat, social networks function on user-generated content by the everyday person. In this unique environment, brands have the ability to engage with customers on an equal playing field. The benefits of social media for businesses fit attractively into the model of a customer journey. When businesses connect with customers on social channels, they can foster brand loyalty, customer referrals, and an create an increased presence in the online community.
However, brands are often seen as out-of-touch on social networks. They sometimes fail to communicate in the same manner as individuals, leaving their message impersonal and unengaging.
If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, there is no way to improve your strategy. So, we’ve put together a list of 4 social media posts customers want you to stop sending, and alternatives that make use of the unique benefits of social media.
1. Automated messages and replies
Automated messages are the epitome of robotic communication, and goes against the grain of acceptable social media interaction. An automated message clearly stands out amongst the conversational tone found throughout social networks when it ignores personal replies to customer-posted questions or feels overtly sanitized by legal requirements.
Alternative: Personal responses and conversations vs auto replies
Brands do themselves a favor when they start thinking as people. Conversational messages, clear replies to customers, and a casual tone of voice can improve the quality of your online engagement with customers.
2. Sales, sales, and more sales
This type of strategy could also be called “self-promotion to the extreme.” Customers expect, and accept, a certain level of self-promotion geared toward making sales. However, if you consider the role of social media among its average user – a place to engage with friends, escape from responsibility, and find entertainment – a tight focus on sales and self-promotion can be downright annoying.
Alternative: Promote your product/brand in unique ways
Take advantage of social media by marketing your product in a way that engages customers. Many brands have found success in giving users increased input on new products (think Lay’s Create a Flavor contest and similar voting opportunities) or a chance to promote the product themselves (Dorito’s customer-created commercials).
3. Linking from one social media account to another
This is another form of self-promotion that can put off customers if done against the tone of typical social media use. Frequently reminding users on one social network of your presence on another network can come across as a stagnant plea for likes and follows. An occasional plug of your additional social accounts is acceptable; going overboard can cause users to overlook your actual content.
Alternative: Link to brand-relevant blogs and videos
Social media is not limited to text-based networks such as Facebook and Twitter. A brand-relevant blog can be a useful supplement to your social media presence, and breaks the monotony of linking from social networks with similar platforms.
4. Posting the same content on all social networks
When customers have seen the value of following your brand on multiple social networks, it can be disappointing to see the same recycled content regardless of the network. This strategy comes across as lazy, and the content is often optimized for only one network.
Alternative: Play to the strengths of each social platform
While the basis of your post might be the same on multiple networks, capitalize on the fact that social networks all have unique characteristics or guidelines to stand apart from each other. Image-heavy networks such as Instagram and Snapchat can be used in conjunction with the text-based Twitter and the wide demographic market of Facebook. Find out where your customers are, and elevate your online presence with smart social media tactics.
At LimeLight, we believe that social media can be an important part of your overall content marketing strategy. Relevant, personalized social media content can be particularly effective as part of multi-channel marketing campaigns. If you are in need of a fresh set of eyes on your social media marketing strategy, click on the graphic below to schedule a free marketing assessment.