First published: 31 August 2015
I do not consider myself a social media expert but a fan of social media and an apps explorer. I have observed a few social media practices online and would like to bring these to light. This post would hopefully assist some small and medium-sized companies who commit these mistakes to re-modify their social media strategy or drop it totally, would explain this further in my post. As earlier stated I am not an expert, I gained my knowledge and experience through e-learnings from HP and independent research, managing 4 Facebook pages (mine and that of my sister) and also through personal experiences as a customer on other pages of businesses I am a fan of. I noticed a few mistakes that I would be bringing to light in the next few paragraphs and suggested solutions.
Observation 1: A less active and engaging social media presence
Having a less active social media activity is like ‘being there but not really there’. This is similar to sitting on a fence in my opinion. Before I decide to like or follow a page, I lookout for the date the page was last updated and also the gaps between various posts made. This is a sign of the business’ level of activity and engagement. I have seen quite a number of pages with last updates dating between 2010 and 2014, although we are in 2015. People follow pages to be updated and engaged. So why would someone follow or like a dead page?
Engage your audience with relevant content at least once a day or adopt a consistent timing. Pushing too much in a day would just put off your fans or followers. Use your page insights and statistics as a guide in setting out your strategy. A customer won’t always be pleased if you are trying to convince them to buy something from you everyday without providing any benefit to them. It is a give and take affair.
My advice is to adopt and stick conscientiously to your social media strategy. The good thing these days is that, posts can be written now in bulk and scheduled for future dates which is very convenient. To conclude if you are not up to the game, you either quit or get an expert to assist. It’s better not to have a page than have an inactive one.
Social media activities are linked to your company’s brand so please take note of this. If you are not up to the task you can hire or outsource this to a social media marketing consultant to do this.
If you have set up a new account, have all old accounts deleted as it confuses your customers since they are unable to decipher the real account,You should also be on the lookout for fake accounts in your name and get them reported. You never know what picture they might be painting of you out there.
Observation 2:Slow response time
We live in a fast paced environment. Almost everyone prefers real-time or close to real-time information and response to queries. Some time back I needed supplies and I saw a company’s page on Facebook that had just what I needed. I dropped an email to them immediately. They promised to get me sorted out soon. I waited for days and still not a word from them. The final result of this is, I found an alternative in another country and ordered online for the supplies. Response time was great so I went with them. I decided to ignore the Ghanaian company but later changed my mind. I sent a follow-up message detailing how displeased I was with the lack of feedback and how that had pushed me to purchase from elsewhere. Additionally, I made them aware that this could easily push their potential customers away. They apologised and explained the cause of the delay.
Make it a goal to respond promptly to customer queries. If information is not readily available or would be delayed, make the customer aware so they know they would be sorted out in a few days and not feel like they have been ignored. They can easily bad mouth you to others in their network which is not good especially for a start-up. You can set response time as a KPI for who ever is responsible for attending to such messages. Thankfully there are apps for Facebook, twitter, etc to enable real-time feedback. Make maximum use of them.
Final observation: Scanty information and details on a company’s social media platform
Several times I have come across companies with eye-catching profile and cover pictures that I get attracted to. Sadly, I get to the page and I now have to figure out what they are about. This is because that information is not detailed on the page. Others also don’t leave any contact details which makes it hard to reach them especially if their page is not very active. Every business should be easily reachable.
When you set up a social media page make maximum use of the ‘about’ section. Include what the business is about, its values, vision and mission and most importantly numbers, website or email addresses you can be reached on by your customers.
These are the 3 most obvious observations I have noted. Turning a new leaf with your social media strategy would help your business expand its market and build its brand.
You can comment or drop me an email with your additional observations and suggestions or disagreements or if this post has been helpful to you.