Top 5 Mistakes Companies Make with Social Media

Here are five common mistakes a newer company can make with Social Media.

1. Having multiple “faces” on the  Internet

Multiple Facebook accounts and Twitter handles can confuse the image you want viewers to have of your company. You may have one for you personally, and one for the company. Just saying: “this is my private blah blah and does not represent the views of the company” WILL NOT stop people from connecting you and what you say with the company and it’s efficacy.

How to fix it:

If you have a personal Facebook or Twitter, make them private.

2. Collecting instead of networking

There is a difference between networking with people and collecting friends. So you have 20,000 followers on Twitter, but are you using them effectively? Are they being driven to your blog, are they clients?

How to fix it:

Treat the business relationship in the same manner you would build a relationship with a client in real life. Talk about business and making connections, but don’t overwhelm them and seem needy. Show them what you have to offer if they do business with you.

3. Wrong Messages

A business account must remain professional. Saying you are “Going out to eat lunch” is not appropriate unless it is something like “Going out to lunch with the Rock to discuss his new movie.”

The purpose of your business account should be to inform, give advice, and overall be useful enough that people feel that they have to follow you and pass along your message.

How to fix it:

Stay on message. Even a message such as the one about the Rock would only be appropriate once in a while. Your messages must be useful content that people feel they need.

4. Inappropriate Information 

As we have all witness with the Weiner fiasco, you want to be very careful about the level of appropriateness in anything you post. You never know where something will end up. For example, even something on your private account could be saved and then displayed by one of the people who are friends on your private account on a much less private account.

For example, if you say something about “Drinking the night away.. thank God for poor saps who buy my soap… they’re makin me rich” on your private account, you may find that quote on the front of a newspaper the next day, even though your settings are private.

This is an extreme example, but remember that some of your clients may be conservative and even a smaller comment like “Drinking the night away” might raise their ire. It is much better to err on the side of caution.

How to fix it:

Don’t post anything you would be ashamed to show your Great-Aunt Ethel.

5. Only displaying your message in one place on the Internet 

This is more a problem for old-school PR or Marketers than the new school. Nowadays everyone wants to go “viral” so there is more interest in spreading the message somewhere besides the corporate website.

You never know who will retweet you or blog about something you have said. If an Influencer likes a Tweet of yours for example, and puts it on their blog, a larger media outlet may pick that blog up and report on it.

An example of this would be the “What color is your bra?” phenomenon on Facebook to raise awareness of Breast Cancer. So many people participated that it made the nightly news.

How to fix it:

Have a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Blog, FourSquare, ANYTHING that can be an appropriate vehicle for your company’s message.

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