CEO Insider

Five Ways Social Media is Ruining Your Business

Posting random things on your favourite social platforms doesn’t make you a social media marketer. While social media is a great marketing tool, it, like other great tools, can be misused and cut a business right down to size.

Instead of meeting your goals (engagement, conversions or brand awareness), you may damage your reputation and hurt your business. How much damage? Hubspot says that 71 per cent of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals and 62 per cent look at reviews. When it comes to customer services, here’s what to avoid when posting to your business’ social accounts.

Ignoring customer service

Whether you like it or not, social media is a customer service channel, whether you are selling custom stickers and labels, or an AI service. Marketforce, a customer experience management company says that social media has become the place for customers and fans to interact with brands and the place where they can complain when they have a negative experience with a brand. Too often brands forget that their social media platforms are not broadcast sites, they’re also client-facing.

While you hope for a never-ending stream of positive reviews, comments and images, when you receive negative feedback, remember to treat that customer like you would someone who calls or walks into a bricks-and-mortar store.

Being reactionary instead of proactive

We’ve all seen it — the Instagram or Facebook account that deletes negative feedback off their pages or responds snarkily to comments. Deleting comments doesn’t make the issue go away because screenshots ensure your poor customer service lives on forever. (And gets referenced in articles in marketing magazines on what not to do.)

A lack of proper guidelines

Negative feedback and mistakes do happen, especially if you’re a B2C company. One of the best ways to prepare for negative social media feedback is to create a social media plan that addresses what to do in negative situations. Your plan should have:

  • Brand guidelines. This includes voice and tone and when to use them in various situations. This should also include guidelines for imagery, GIFs and memes.
  • Suggested messaging to be used in different situations.
  • An escalation path for your social media managers
  • Firmly established guidelines around privacy and confidentiality so your social media managers and customer service representatives know what they can and cannot share and when to take interactions from the public to the private sphere.

Poor cybersecurity

What does cybersecurity have to do with social media? Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report found that small businesses are a favourite for phishers who may want to hack your social media accounts and worse, steal your and your customers’ data. Prevent social media embarassment by ensuring your cybersecurity is secure and updated on a yearly basis. This includes training your employees on how to recognize phishing and social engineering attacks. Plus make sure multiple people have access to your social platforms so a disgruntled employee can’t post and lock your accounts.

You don’t have a content calendar

Social media is content and the best way to meet your company’s goals and garner trust with your customers is to have consistent, on-brand content populating your social media channels. Make a content publishing schedule and plan ahead to keep a consistent and professional posting schedule and whatever you do, don’t automate and ignore. That way lies a tone-deaf post going live during a major crisis. (Again, you don’t want to be held up in marketing magazines and classes as a case of what not to do.)

Social media platforms can help make or break your business. Poor planning can escalate a minor problem into a full-blown crisis. Having a plan (and sticking to it) is the best way to ensure that your social media is a net plus for your business.

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Andrew Witkin
As the founder and president of StickerYou, Andrew Witkin believes in the enormous power of customization. With over a decade of StickerYou success, he is one of Canada’s leading experts in e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Witkin has previously served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel. Andrew is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.