If you’ve got nothing to say, should you still say it? | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

A lot of businesses have rushed in to setting up social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, et al), drawn by the promise of “developing relationships”, “one-to-one marketing”, and “leveraging brand advocates”. But among the clamour to get the accounts set up and start building as big a following as possible, one vital question is often missed. That question is: “Have we got anything to say?”.

Because of my job (and professional interest), I follow a lot of business-related social media accounts. And of course not all of them provide great advice all the time. That’s understandable given how hard it is to keep providing top quality content day in, day out. But worst of all are those business social media accounts that are no longer updated. Once knocked up, they are either left to wither and die, or just become posh RSS feeds for blog posts and news. It just looks bad.

There are a number of characteristics shared by businesses social media accounts that probably should never have been created in the first place. If you find yourself committing the majority of these social media sins, then maybe you need to rethink your strategy.

Forwarding followers to other people's social media content

Almost exclusively forwarding followers to other people’s content

There are no new products or services being launched, no new content to publicise, no offers to promote, no awards to sing about and maybe they aren’t even particularly proud of the brand in the first place. When this happens, but you’re desperate to say something every day, all there is left to do it retweet other people’s messages and link to third-party resources on your Facebook page. That doesn’t look great.

You need to be producing your own content whenever possible. Get people talking about you. That’s what social media is for.

Linking to unrelated websites on your social media

Linking to unrelated websites

You tend to find this when the marketing team isn’t involved in the community the market to. When someone who manages the account is so removed from the industry they work in and has no interest in the same fields as their customers, how can they be aware of what followers will find interesting?

People will follow a business’s social media account because they’re interested in that industry. So keep your content on point at all times.

Letting forgotten social media accounts rot

Tumbleweed city

Abandoned, unloved and left to rot, the forgotten accounts are one of the biggest threats to a brand’s credibility. Often they are still linked to from the website, but with no one person holding responsibility for it they soon go the way of the dodo. Monthly updates show someone is still at the other end, but they are half-hearted and add next to no value.

Create a social media calendar and post regularly!

Stopping people from leaving comments on your social media

No comments allowed!

Businesses that have a history of customer dissatisfaction or vocal criticism are often wary of giving people a new way to provide public negative feedback. That’s fair enough, however, if you are so unsure that people have positive emotions towards your business, what on earth makes you think people will want to use Facebook to engage with your brand?

Social media is a two-way street, so be sure to engage with customers. It might not always be pleasant, but people do appreciate openness.

Talking about the weather on social media rather than what your customers are interested in

“Good morning, isn’t it nice weather?”

Tweets about the weather or welcoming people to their desks in the morning are a real sign that the person in charge of a business Twitter account has nothing to say about the company and probably knows next to nothing about their customers, so can’t even link to related articles.

Keep it interesting, and keep it relevant. There’s always chance to show a bit of personality, but stay on topic.


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