Have you ever wondered what it is that most irritate potential customers when they interact with brands on social media (or rather, don’t interact)? Wonder no more. Here are four things that will get you unfollowed faster than you can say “Sale on now!”
Better yet, here’s a few things you can post instead (and still get your message across)…
The 4 Most Annoying Things on Social Media
According to a survey by scheduling platform, SproutSocial, four of the worst things you can be doing on your social channels (in no particular order) include:
- Posting too many promotions
- Not responding to DMs or Facebook messages
- Trying to be funny (when you aren’t)
- Not having a personality
But how do you address these? Seems easier said than done, right? But with a little bit of planning and forethought, you can make sure you’re still getting your brand message across without pissing off your potential clients.
Annoying Thing One: Too Many Promotions
Every second post is about a sale, a special event, a limited time offer, or something else asking people to buy, buy, buy from you. But here’s the thing, would you want one of your connections to constantly be trying to sell you sh*t?
Have you ever had a friend that became a Thermomix or *shudder* Tupperware rep? If you’re anything like me, you started dodging that friend’s invites like the plague. And if that’s all you’re going to talk about on your social channels, your followers will do the same.
Content that adds value. If you want a full breakdown of what that even means you can check out the blog here – yes, that particular blog is very fitness-oriented, but it will give you the rough idea. People want content that informs or educates them, entertains them, or helps them make a decision.
A graphic post screaming “BUY NOW” isn’t going to do that. However, if you focus on content that actually makes someone stop to think or laugh, you’re one step closer to building a relationship with them.
The best content allows users to momentarily imagine what it would be like to be in your business or using your product or service. If you can create that sense or emotion, it will do the selling for you.
Take a look at some examples below
No hard sells. No big red text proclaiming sale, or join now, or even NEW.
People immersed in the product or service. Valuable workout tips. User-generated content. All of these come together to promote your brand much better than a traditional promo post ever could.
Annoying Thing Two: Not Responding to Messages
Users are increasingly turning to Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages as a customer service channel. When that customer service fails to acknowledge them in a timely manner, naturally, they get annoyed
Being more on top of your messages is the obvious one, but of course, that requires plenty of man-hours.
Some ways to make this easier include:
- Setting up automated responses on Facebook
- Pre-filling the most commonly asked questions and answers on your Facebook Messenger
- Streamlining all of your communications through Facebook. Make sure your Instagram Business Account is connected to your Facebook page so you can monitor and respond to messages from both channels through the page. If you’re unsure how to do that you can read more here.
Annoying Thing Three: Trying To Be Funny (When You Aren’t)
Try as you might, some brands just aren’t funny. And there is NOTHING wrong with that. You don’t see Nike try to crack us up, or Apple making excessive puns.
The problem is when a brands persona leans more towards education, inspiration or any other number of things yet they try just a little too hard for the humour angle. Sometimes that is just the author’s own personality seeping through, sometimes you might feel a little levity is needed to convey your message. However, if that is not who you are as a brand, it won’t resonate with the audience.
Lean into what your brand actually is. Entertainment of the ‘ha ha’ variety is only one way of adding value. If you’re inspirational, be inspirational. If you’re trying to teach people something, lean into your nerd side. Think about the purpose of your product or service and how best to convey or explain that – if humour doesn’t immediately come to mind, don’t try to force it.
Annoying Thing Four: Not Having A Personality
People don’t just buy products anymore: they buy into ideas, values and emotions. They purchase based on how a company makes them feel. It can be hard to convey what ‘not having a defined personality’ looks like for a brand, but doing number one or three above are pretty good examples of what not to do. Other examples include not having clear values eg. ethically sourced, cruelty-free or a clear target audience. Take a look at Black Milk Clothing for example: they know their target audience and every post speaks to them. The style boss: the edgy gals (and guys) that dress a little alternatively, like bright-colours and express themselves through clothing.
Take the time to sit down and really think about who you are as a brand.
What’s your Tone of Voice? Are you serious, a little more light-hearted? Do you post inspirational quotes or informative messages?
What are your Content Pillars? What types of content do you actually focus on, and how often?
What are your Values? What does your brand stand for and what’s important to you?
Who is your Target Audience? What’s important to them, and how best can you convey that message?
Use these to develop your Social Media Guidelines, and once they’re in place do your best not to deviate from them.
You Won’t Always Be Perfect, and That’s Ok
Some of the biggest brands in the world are guilty of making these mistakes, so you can certainly forgive yourselves for making them in the past.
The best way to avoid making them in the future though is to plan, plan and then plan some more.
Your social media shouldn’t be an afterthought. If you can dedicate time to setting up your guidelines, and using time each month or week to plan your content you can help avoid these pitfalls. Instead, you can focus on content that strengthens your customer relationships, and reels new customers in.
Not Sure Where To Begin?
We’ve developed purposeful packages for social media management, specifically designed to be accessible and affordable to small and local businesses.
You can read more here.