Top 5 Social Media Blunders – (Avoiding Weiner’s Mistakes)

Photo by: Freedom To MarryAside from the obvious perils like sending pictures of your body parts over Twitter (Thank you Weiner for the confession), simple social media mistakes can stimie your business’ objectives to use it as a tool that engages, builds relationships and eventually has a bottom-line effect.

1. This is Public Domain

Ad exec, Donny Deutsch was the first to bring it up today (literally on the Today Show) that if you’re playing on the social media networks and are of a certain (less techy) generation, you perhaps aren’t aware that your posts last, can be geotracked, and don’t permanently go away if you hit delete on your phone.

The same is true for your business persona you use on any of the social media platforms. So implement your best PR strategies when you post, respond and chat. Consider the character of your company. Reflect the integrity your business stands on. Before  you hit Post, take a few seconds to consider how the written word could be interpreted.

2. Quit Fakin’ It

Be authentic on your social  media platforms. Be who you say you are. If you’re operating in the “we” mode as team approach to the company’s posts and replies, maintain that for the long haul. Example: “We agree, that photo does appear to be Weiner’s!”

Nothing’s worse than hiring an intern as the social media voice of your company and hearing the uncooth edge versus the professional voice you intended. It seems a cost-effective alternative to hiring a social media manager or leaning on trained professionals, but it can have damaging reprocussions. Consider how you feel when you tune in to a live music performance only to discover the singer is lip syncing…#FAIL! They lose your respect – that’s the last thing you want for your company.

Scott Ginsberg (the Hello My Name Is… guy) once told me that the minute you attempt being authentic you cease being so. He’s right, there’s no other way around it. If you develop a persona, stick with it.

3. Don’t Just Hear…Listen

The best social media players are great listeners. When you understand the topics your audiences are discussing you gain true insight into their world. Devote time to this process…it takes lots of time. If you can’t scour your social media platforms daily, hire qualified social media managers to help you glean:

  • What’s trending
  • What’s being said about you
  • What your target audience needs

Parlay that into genuine responses and engaging dialog. You’ll build a level of trust and curiosity among those to whom you are empathetic.

4. Quickly Apologize for Your Mistakes

Hey, we’ve done it. Just when you think you’ve posted something quippy and fun, breaking news changes the meaning of your phrase in seconds. For instance, our client BangBang Mongolian Grill often promoted a kitschy phrase: “BangBang You’re Fed.” Within one hour of it posting on Twitter the tragic news broke of the Arizona shooting. Ugh…quick and sincere apologies ensued.

Frankly you don’t ever intend to offend, life happens and something arises. Being well engaged and active on your networks can help avoid or quickly overcome public relations snafoos.

5. Are You Still Out There? Stay Connected!

It’s easy to get all charged up about launching your social media campaign because news feeds and statistics tell us this stuff works.

Well, then what?

You need a strategy, a plan to stay frequent and a passion to stick with it. Social networking does no good if you have an avatar out in space…make it move, do something excitable, start talking and with practice and professionalism you’ll soon get the hang of it.