Note: This was featured as part of our Web Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:20 am ET for your dose of social media & digital marketing news. You can listen to the segment below:
It’s 2019 – we’ve long since established that social media is important and your business should be on at least one or two social media platforms, depending on your audience but now let’s talk content. You know where you need to be, but do you know what’s appropriate and not appropriate for your business to post?
Having been in the social media business a while, we’ve certainly seen some social posts that make us cringe. These so called mishaps often alienate customers and can turn them away. What once was a loyal fan now becomes a “brand basher,” and all because of one post that your business could have avoided.
Some small business owners tend to treat their business pages as their own and this is the biggest no-no. Your business is a separate entity and should be treated as such. In no way should your personal opinions end up on your business pages. It’s wise to keep these two worlds separate and to keep your personal pages private if you are expressing strong opinions on your social media pages. To help you steer clear of anything that might create a brand basher on your business pages, here are a few topics that you should avoid:
1. Negative or Derogatory Posts Towards Customers or Clients
If a negative review is left on your page, never respond negatively via social media. The most important thing to remember here is that your social pages are being seen by all your customers and potential customers, so treat this as a customer service opportunity. If it’s an irate customer, always take the conversation offline – never offer a free product or discount on social media to try to make amends. This could spark additional complaints from others just looking to grab a discount. Also, never argue online and ask the customer to please call you to resolve the issue. Your other customers will see that you care by responding to these reviews and that you are wanting to make amends.
Any given day, you can see various memes and posts that are political in nature. Everyone has an opinion and tensions remain high on this particular topic of conversation. As a business, you should never engage in political chat online and certainly this should never be a focal point for a social media post to represent your brand. If you do, you’re just asking for angry comments and upset customers.
This falls into a similar wheelhouse as political content. Unless your business is religious based, it’s a good idea to steer away from content that could alienate customers that may have different religious beliefs.
4. Slanderous Posts About the Competition
My Mom always said, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This parental advice certainly pertains to this category, especially for a small business. We understand that there will always be competitors, but putting down a competitor on your social media pages will just make your business look petty and juvenile. It’s better to take the high road here and leave your competitors out of your posts – even if they started it.
5. Curated Content That Isn’t Vetted
We recommend using curated content that’s relevant to your business, but it should always be vetted. Click on the links and read the article. Make sure the article comes from a reliable source, doesn’t feature any advertising that could make your business look bad for sharing, and finally look for any negative words that you wouldn’t want associated with your business. Proofing an articles before posting is a simple way to avoid stirring the pot with your social media followers.
6. Too Much Promotional Content
We recommend the 80/20 rule – which means 80% curated or informational and 20% promotional. Your followers are there to learn more about you, but they also don’t want constant promotions showing up in their newsfeeds. Posting too many promotional items could cost your page followers. Make your page a place to educate with brand relevant content.
A good rule of thumb is if you question the post, it’s a good idea to have someone else look over it or don’t post it at all. Use your instincts and think of the receiving end – how will your customers perceive this piece of content and how will they perceive your business after digesting?
If you struggle to find good quality content or aren’t sure that you understand what to post for your business, give us a call. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and would love to help get your business started on the right foot for 2019.