There are two kinds of companies in today’s world—those who rock at social media, and those that don’t. The following is, obviously, a collection of things not to do, unless you prefer to fly under the social media radar. And, in that case, go forth and suck with style. You have my permission.
Everything you do in social media should drive sales, right? Wrong. Your social media accounts are tools to build relationships and turn casual fans into brand evangelists. The best way to do this is to start the relationship slowly and follow the 90-10 rule: 90% of your content should be educational and only 10% should be sales-oriented. Repeat after me: social media is NOT advertising.
Ignore, ignore, ignore
If you want to be truly awful at social media, ignore comments and questions from your fans. And, for heavens’ sake, if you absolutely have to answer your fans, take your sweet time. Sure, if you take longer than 24 hours to respond, your fans will be disappointed, but maybe the delay will keep them coming back to your page to look for an answer (and in the meantime, they can read all about your latest sale).
Consistency is for chumps
Engagement is the key to truly great social media, but so many companies fall short because they don’t post enough. You should try to post at least twice per day. If you’re confused about when the best times to post are, SocialBro is an amazing site that lets you know when your fans are the most active. If you don’t have time to post, I highly recommend Buffer for scheduling tweets and Facebook posts.
If you’re going to invest your time in social media, you need to know if what you’re doing is paying off. SproutSocial and Facebook Insights have tons of stats about your posts and how well they’re being received.
Engage in dysfunctional relationships
Loving only those who don’t love you back is the stuff of Lifetime movies, not social media. Dump those you follow who don’t follow you back. Likewise for people who haven’t tweeted in the past 60 days. Again, SocialBro is a great tool for determining the dead weight you need to eliminate.
Make like Mr Roboto
There is nothing like an automated direct message on twitter to make someone want to engage with your brand, right? Don’t engage directly with a fan unless it’s an actual message—that means no more “thanks for following” messages. Got it? And, for the love of all that is holy, stop sending direct messages to people who don’t follow you.
Finally, the best way to suck at social media is to post content that isn’t relevant to your brand. If you sell furniture, post the occasional recipe. If you run a non-profit organization that feeds needy kids, post Grumpy Cat memes. There’s nothing wrong with posting content that your fans will love and share (and maybe even keep the brand-relevant content you posted along with it!), but everything you post should be an extension of your brand.