There are a lot of basic things that we are taught as young children not to do or say. Apparently, Donald Trump missed a few of these early life lessons which became evident in his recent presidential campaign speech. It include such gems as insulting people (“Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people that are…stupid.”) making racist comments (“[Mexicans] They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.”) or just being a general jerk (“I don’t need anyone’s money, I’m rich!”). Fortunately for us, most of our parents took the time to teach us these things so we could go through life developing positive relationships and ultimately avoid having an entire country want to make piñatas in our likeness (yes, that actually happened to Donald, see it here). So, just incase you missed some of these things, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 things you shouldn’t do or say on social media…or in real life for that matter.
1. Buying Your Friends
Everyone knows that in real life, you can’t buy your friends. Well, you can try but it ends up being a shallow, pointless relationship that costed you a lot of money and heartache in the end. The same thing goes for friends on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you want a meaningful, lasting and profitable relationship you can’t just pull out your credit card. Instead, take the time to follow or friend people who already have an interest in what your company does or sells. They are likely to be intrigued enough to check out your profile or even follow you back, and hey, it’s free.
2. Forcing Your Product Down Peoples Throats
No one follows a brand’s account to see non-stop posts about their products or services. In fact, according to Mashable, people follow a brand either because they are a current customer or because the brand is offering a promotion only available on a certain platform. For example, offering a 10% discount code to all Twitter followers or liking a Facebook page to unlock a coupon. So since most people are already familiar with your brand, having a feed full of product advertisements is an easy way to annoy and lose followers. Consider breaking it up with entertaining news articles, adorable cat photos or fun DIY projects, you know, the things the internet is known for.
3. Keeping professional and Personal Separate
For most people, their personal and professional lives are two completely different things. While you may feel comfortable sporting a speedo at the beach in front of friends, you’re probably not going to be as keen to wear it for a day in the office. The same goes for things you may say or do on social media, or in everyday life for that matter. Let’s use good old Donald as an example. While he may have certain opinions on Mexican Immigrants, it probably isn’t the best idea for him to share them with the world during his presidential campaign speech. Case in point, there are now skyrocketing sales of Donald Trump shaped piñatas now available in Mexico. So next time you think about posting your personal opinion on your brands accounts, think of what your customers may think and if someone is soon going to making popular piñatas shaped as you.
4. Excessive Hashtagging
Okay, this one is hard to do in real life (although I’ve seen it happen, “hashtag not okay”), but it’s an important thing to remember on all social media platforms. Excessive hashtagging can come in two forms. One, you put 20+ tags on each post and 10 of those tags have nothing to do with anything (#instagood). Two, you again use 20+ tags but this time they are all slight variations of the same word. For example, #cat #cats #kitten #kittencat #mycat and so on. Forever. Instead, try to stick to a few (5-8) tags that actually explain your photo or tweet. #moderation
5. One Way Communication
You know those people who like to talk and talk and talk but never take the time to listen? Well, you can be that person on social media too and it happens easier than you think. Have you ever tweeted a question or concern to a brand and never saw as much as a “favourite” or “retweet” in response? This happens a lot and just as people don’t like it in real life, people really don’t like it on the internet. A great way to establish meaningful relationships with customers and clients is great communication. If someone tweets you a question, answer it! If they voice a concern, address it! They aren’t taking the time to tweet for it to get lost in cyberspace so take the time to respond to as many tweets and comments as you can.
6. Having No Personality
You can’t have a conversation with a robot. Or more specifically, you can’t have a conversation with scheduled posts and automated responses. Sooner or later your followers are going to become wise to your game and give up interacting with you all together. While there is definitely a time and place for scheduled and automated content, make sure you are breaking it up with some random, fun or silly posts to show you are, in fact, not made of metal.
7. Being Antisocial
It sounds like an oxymoron to be antisocial on a social media platform but it happens, and it happens often. This is just like the person that goes to the party, only to stand in the corner and watch everyone else have a good time.They are there, but they aren’t there. You need to be one of the people at the party that’s in the middle of the action telling an awesome story and making everyone laugh! Well, they don’t necessarily need to be laughing but they do need to be engaged. Retweeting, liking and sharing things from your followers will show there’s a real (and fun) person behind the brand. All in all, try not to be the weird kid sitting in the corner that no one wants to talk to.
8. Ignoring Negative Feedback
No one likes dealing with negative feedback. Let’s be honest, we would all much rather see a, “This is an awesome company!” tweet than an, “I hate this product and want my money back!” tweet. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone and these comments are bound to come up sooner or later. So instead of hiding under a rock or deleting anything negative, take the time to talk to the person behind the message. Find out why they are upset, what the problem is and go from there. Ignoring these things will only cause problems to get worse, and you may miss some valuable feedback or ideas for making you product or service even better!
So, just because there is a screen and 1000 miles between you and a customer, try to pretend you are interacting face-to-face. Don’t be a robot, don’t ignore people and above all else, don’t say anything that Donald might say.