Managing social media for a company is child’s play, right? Just share trendy topics, and posts that lead back to the company website and watch the clicks roll in. In theory, it sounds like a simple practice and something anyone could manage. In reality, the World Wide Web is more like the Wild, Wild West. One wrong post could bring a company to its virtual knees. A lack of posting can sink companies even faster. The balancing act between what to post and what not to post can feel like a tightrope walk. Even with the best of intentions and superior balance, doing these five things can get you in trouble on social media. Here’s what to stop doing right now.
1. Jumping into the fray – When something is trending in the news or in the world of social media, it might sound like a good idea to jump into the fray and watch your numbers rise as the dust settles. Don’t do it. The number one thing to consider before posting anything on social media is, “Does this fit with our brand voice?” If the answer is no, step away from your keyboard and wait for the next big thing.
2. Setting it and forgetting it – Managing social media accounts is tedious, and sometimes a bit boring. You might be tempted to schedule ahead using “post later” features or a management website, but beware! A lot can happen between the time you schedule a post and when it goes live. The wrong post showing up during a sensitive time can bring on the kind of backlash that only the internet and farmers with pitchforks can yield. So if you schedule ahead, check your schedule each day to make certain you’re posts still fit your company narrative.
3. Setting it and forgetting it, part two – So maybe your posts are innocuous and there’s no way the internet (or those pesky farmers) could misinterpret your message. Cool, cool. Manage away. Just keep in mind that you still need to check your posts each day to respond to community members and stay active within your social media sphere. Ignoring comments from people who come to your collective social media pages is a quick way to get them to stop showing up. This is a two-sided conversation, so make sure you’re doing your part with some social care.
4. Taking too long on trending topics – Remember that Instagram egg story that broke during the Super Bowl? No? Vaguely? That’s because trends rise and fall really, really fast. If part of your company narrative is to share trending topics and take advantage of their internet juju, you need to act fast. Posting about a trend that’s already dying off will give community members the impression that you’re behind the times, or maybe just don’t understand the “ol’ interwebs.” Don’t be that person. Post it fast, or don’t post it at all.
5. Over-posting/under-posting – Social media posting is a lot like Goldilocks. If you don’t do it just right, you might get eaten by a bear. Okay, maybe not. But both over-posting and under-posting put your media reputation at risk. Under-posting shows a lack of care, like you’re disregarding the community members who want to hear from you. It can also make it seem like your company is on the downswing and will send new customers looking elsewhere. Meanwhile, over-posting is a lot like throwing spaghetti at the wall – not every post is going to receive the same reach, and visitors can find themselves bombarded with the overwhelming amount of information you’re sending their way. So how much is just right? Truthfully, that depends on your narrative. Make each post count. If that’s five to six posts a day, great. But, they all have to be pertinent to your narrative or they’ll come across as spammy. Once a day is a good minimum, but again, only as long as each post counts.
So while managing social media isn’t quite child’s play, as long as you proceed like Goldilocks and stick to what’s just right, you’ll live to post another day. Remember: stay true to your brand voice, flow with the trends, talk to your community, and if all else fails, enlist the help of professionals.