Your Guide to Avoiding #Epic #Fails on Social Media
When I started at Noisy Little Monkey over a year ago I never really knew how much time and planning went into a social media strategy. Over the last 12 months, I’ve frequently pulled my hair out trying to find the time to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc for brands.
I’ve had some big wins, even won some awards. I’ve also had a few blonde moments, but you do learn best from your mistakes right? That being said, there are some things for which there is simply NO excuse. Sit back and hope you don’t feature as I run down my top social media bugbears and why you shouldn’t do it!
Stop Facebooking Your Tweets
With the plethora of social networks it can be hard to find time to get your message across all of the platforms. Particularly, as you ideally want to communicate in a slightly different manner on each, so as not to sound repetitive. However, there is no excuse for tweeting on Facebook! I can understand that it may save time but a tweet will not look good on Facebook and will do very little to enhance your brand personality.
For one if you put a hashtag in your tweet it’s completely irrelevant on Facebook as is ‘@’ someone’s Twitter name (as their Twitter name most likely won’t be the one they use on Facebook). You also don’t have a character limit on Facebook and the new timeline profile is a great layout to show off your pictures, which you can’t effectively use if you're tweeting 160 character statuses.
Moral of my moan: If you don’t have time to share on all platforms, be selective, choose the ones that work best for you or your brand and concentrate on those networks until you have time to branch out. Let’s say you’re a consumer product company like a cupcake store, concentrate your efforts on Pinterest and Facebook as they will allow you to show off your product to their full potential (with pictures), then later branch out onto other channels when you have more time.
#hashtags! = #epic #fail
#Too #many #hashtags #make #it #difficult #to #read #this #sentence #don’t #you #think #its #annoying #too #?
I truly have never understood the point of using loads of hashtags. It makes the status difficult to read and many of the ‘#’ lead to other peoples’ ramblings and don’t actually lead to anything of any value.
On the upside I do quite enjoy reading about some of the accidentally humorous hashtags e.g. #susanalbumparty and #McDstories but often they can cause negative attention for the brands. Like when Hurricane Sandy reached the US, Gap and Urban Outfitters among others jumped on the #sandy for promotion during the storm, which did not go down well with their followers.
Moral of my moan: They’re not of great value so don’t spam your tweets with hashtags. Use one if you’re hosting an event or webinar and make sure it’s relatively personalised towards the company or brand. Check what your intended hashtag is being used for already on Twitter and whether it’s worth using or if it’ll just get lost in the tweeting noise.
“Where can I buy this product, what blog is this from???”
Now I use most social media channels on a daily basis but there is only one I am probably addicted to. Pinterest. I use it ashamedly every day, first thing in the morning and then on my way home and then again in the evening, so it’s fair to say I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. One of the things I like most about it is that if you see something you like, you can click on the image and it takes you straight to the web page where you can buy it or to a page that tells you how to make it. Well, it does when it’s done right. Occasionally pins will lead to sites like Tumblr or will link to nothing as they’ll probably have been uploaded directly. This is fine if it’s your own picture and you don’t want it to link to anywhere useful. However, if you are a brand or have a blog then shame on you!
If people are going to click on one of your pictures, wouldn't you want those people to go to your site? Surely that’s just common sense?
One sinner I follow is Missguided, an online fashion retailer. They've got loads of well organised boards that would appeal to their demographic and have created a nice personality for the brand. They’ve also got a number of boards that are pictures of the clothes and accessories from their website that you can purchase but when you try to click through on the pin they lead not to their website but to a larger version of that image. Really? What’s the point in that?
I should mention they do put the product link in the description but it looks messy and is lost amidst a number of hashtags they use on every image (not to mention, part of the point of Pinterest is clicking the pins!).
Sorry Missguided guys, I love your clothes, I love your brand and I love your Pinterest boards but please, make it easier for me to buy your stuff (and stop hash-tagging your pins to death)!
Moral of my moan: The categories and description box is how people will find your pins/boards so make sure to tick all the right boxes and describe what the image depicts. Avoid too many generic words like ‘love’ as there will be thousands upon thousands of images described as ‘love’. And like you would on Twitter, use hashtags sparingly. They don’t really add a great deal of value to your pin and unless it’s really specific to your brand then it will get lost amidst the Pinterest noise.
Extra Tip: Use Professor Traffic to track which of your social shares drive traffic to your website.
“This really answered my dilemma, thank you! michael kors bags outlet”
One of the things that regularly makes me laugh is spam comments;
“Oh kittens yes. This is the one reason I was born", "To find you, my long lost blogging soul-mate”, “Never too old to learn, never too late to turn”.
“Thus, our shelves find yourself filled with ingredients that we love.”
The thing that annoys me is not actually the spam itself but when people approve these comments and ACTUALLY REPLY TO THEM! Fair enough, if you’re a newbie you might think some of the comments actually make sense and are really nice, but if they’re from someone called Burberry Outlet or Social Media SEO they’re not real people and approving these comments could actually harm your online health if the comment contains spammy links.
Moral of my moan: Make sure to moderate your comments, look at the author name, check the author's website to make sure their trustworthy, check the IP address and look for spammy email addresses.
So, while it might sound like someone’s moaning madness, there is method to my moaning and I want your brand to be excellent online. If you disagree with anything of the aforementioned moans or reasoning, please feel free to tweet me on Facebook with #complaint and I’ll get back to you once I’ve responded to all my spam comments.
Image Credit: Andrew Mager