August 21, 2013

With so many businesses using social media these days, the noise can get overwhelming. Some companies use it well and embrace their audience. Others have a seemingly talented means of alienating their audience. If you want to see your fans abandon your page like a flock of birds chased out of their resting place, commit these mistakes on your social media pages.

1. Being Selfish

Yes, your social media pages are a means to "promote" your business. But talking about you and your company 24/7 is a sure fire way to lose your followers. Sharing only your own company-created material will bore your audience.

Instead, share posts from other sources and give credit to other industry leaders. Providing information that your audience will value will keep them coming back for more.

2. Ignoring Your Audience

Taking selfishness to another level, ignoring your audience will leave you with few fans and no engagement. Never asking questions and not asking them to participate will look like you don't care about them. Similarly, not responding to their comments and questions will send them looking for answers elsewhere.

Instead, take the time to interact with your fans. Ask them questions and invite them to be a part of the conversation. And when they reach out to you, make sure you actually respond to them!

3. Being Negative

Using social media as a platform to complain about staff, customers, competitors, politics, personal beliefs, or anything else will cost you countless fans. Reducing yourself to name calling and engaging in negative comments and behaviors will send your fans running for the hills.

Instead, use your page to be positive and rewarding. Stay away from taboo subjects and avoid negative banter with fans. If you receive negative or critical comments, respond professionally and offer to resolve the situation.

4. Oversharing Personal Info

If you want to send your followers scattering, make your page more personal than professional. Share countless photos of your kids and your vacations, talk only about your feelings and emotions, and describe your every aspect of every day.

Remember that your page is a business page. It should be professional. Yes, you can share the occasional post that shows your personal side, but keep your personal posts for your personal pages.

5. Sharing Inappropriate Photos

People often check their social media profiles while they're at work, so if you want to have them block and ignore your posts, share inappropriate photos during business hours. Share photos of you in a skimpy bathing suit, share photos of animal abuse, or share photos of items that can be interpreted to be sexual in nature.

Think about what and when you're posting. I understand that if you're a fitness trainer, you want to show successful clients or images of you in shape. Congrats! But keep the photos classy - not sleazy - and keep the posts to outside traditional work hours. People don't want their boss walking by when they have half-naked people on their screens. And if you're a non-profit looking to build awareness of a cause, great. But remember that people at work want to uplifted and productive. Showing depressing photos is distracting and time consuming - you're not serving your audience in this way.

6. Not Using Visual Posts

If you want to alienate a large population of fans, don't post any photos. Keep all your posts text based. You know everyone reads every post in their feed, right? And, why use a photo to say a 1000 words when you can type it out, right?

People are visual creatures and visual marketing is huge right now. Make sure you actually use photos and videos in your posts to increase reach, viewership, and engagement. Make sure that people are "seeing" your posts by making them visual.

7. Only Use External Links

You have so much information to share that every post should be a link to your website, another blog, YouTube videos, or your other social media sites. Talk about diversification! Get these fans off your page and checking out everything else online!

If every post you share sends your fans off your page, why should they even come to your page? While it's great to provide outside content, make sure that your a good portion of your posts encourage engagement on your current page.

8. Incomplete Posts

Who cares if your posts have links that don't work? And who cares if your post got cut off mid-sentence? A lot of people actually. Frequently posting incomplete posts and invalid links will definitely send your fans looking for the "unfollow" button.

Make sure that you proof read and audit your posts. While the occasional mistake can be forgiven (and should be corrected), ensuring that your posts are complete is paramount to your audience.

9. Inconsistent Posting

When you overwhelm your audience with 8 posts within an hour and then not post again for the rest of the day, you're going to upset your fans. When you post like crazy for one week, and then disappear for the next three weeks, your fans aren't going to trust your commitment. These behaviors get posts hidden quickly.

Instead, use a post schedule to distribute posts throughout the day. If you can only get online once a day, then generate your posts and use a scheduling tool (Facebook even has one built in to their pages) to determine when the posts should actually post to your page. This also ensures that fans online at different times will see a variety of your content.

10. Demanding Engagement

One of my personal pet peeves that almost instantly will get a page unfollowed is when every post says "Like and Share". It's one thing to ask your audience to engage, it's another to demand it.

Yes, it's worth including a request to like your photo. For example, "Like this photo if you can relate!" But not every post should include these requests. And they should be varied - some for likes, some for comments, and some for shares. Posting "Like and Share" at the end of every post is just plain annoying.

 

So, this is my list of 10 things to alienate your fans. Do you agree? Do you have other pet peeves that make you run from a fan page? Let's keep the conversation in the comments below!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Oh number 10 is my personal favourite! I make a point of never doing the action I’m supposed to πŸ™‚
    I think that business owners mostly tend to do the opposite of sharing too much personal stuff though. Finding the balance can be tricky.

    1. Haha! I love that you don’t do what they ask. I’ll admit that I have not followed or unfollowed pages because of the incessant use of that tactic.
      I agree that there are a lot of business owners who don’t post any personal stuff, but I’d rather err on the side of not sharing, than oversharing.

  2. Oh number 10 is my personal favourite! I make a point of never doing the action I’m supposed to πŸ™‚
    I think that business owners mostly tend to do the opposite of sharing too much personal stuff though. Finding the balance can be tricky.

    1. Haha! I love that you don’t do what they ask. I’ll admit that I have not followed or unfollowed pages because of the incessant use of that tactic.
      I agree that there are a lot of business owners who don’t post any personal stuff, but I’d rather err on the side of not sharing, than oversharing.

  3. Great tips to keep you from being totally annoying on Social Media! Over sharing Personal information is something I avoid. It is one thing to refer to something personal in a story, but I figure that my connections will discover enough about me personally through my posts and blog.

  4. Great tips to keep you from being totally annoying on Social Media! Over sharing Personal information is something I avoid. It is one thing to refer to something personal in a story, but I figure that my connections will discover enough about me personally through my posts and blog.

    1. Thanks Kim! I’m glad you like them.
      I agree, I think people get a lot of my personality from my blog posts. I think it’s good to mix in the occasional “personal” type post on a business page but it’s important to remember that it is a BUSINESS page. Even when sharing personal posts, they should be professional in nature and have some relevance to who you are and what you do, as a business. IMHO.

  5. I don’t know about #5… The inappropriate photos quickly make it to our virtual Wall of Shame (we are running out of room)

    1. Now that’s just plain entertaining, Christopher! You haven’t run out of room yet? When did you start your wall – last week? πŸ˜‰

  6. I don’t know about #5… The inappropriate photos quickly make it to our virtual Wall of Shame (we are running out of room)

    1. Now that’s just plain entertaining, Christopher! You haven’t run out of room yet? When did you start your wall – last week? πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks Mary! I agree, the multiple posts in a row are definitely annoying! And the oversharing – people need to remember that it’s a “business” page!

    1. Thanks Mary! I agree, the multiple posts in a row are definitely annoying! And the oversharing – people need to remember that it’s a “business” page!

  7. Oops, I’m guilty of number 7. With only 27 blogs under my belt I use lots of external links (always relevant). As my own material grows then I’ll reduce the external links I use. Yet again Jenn you’ve given me food for thought, thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Jason! Just to be clear, in this reference, even your own blog posts would be external links. I’m referring to anything that takes users off of Facebook and to another website (which would include your blog).
      I completely agree that we should all share our blog posts and others! This is a high value way of interacting with your audience. And I’m happy to hear that you are sharing other valuable content! This is a good thing!
      What I’m saying is that EVERY post shouldn’t be an external link. You should be including text posts, photos, videos, etc. that keep users interacting right there on Facebook.

      1. Good point to raise Jenn. On Facebook I do post far less external posts than on Twitter and on LinkedIn I post links to open up a conversation/debate. I’m getting the balance, especially since reading your blog πŸ™‚

        1. Great! I am guilty of sharing a lot of links on Twitter and LinkedIn as well. I also need to work more on sharing non-link type posts on these sites. However, I do believe that these sites are more conducive (and almost expected) to share more articles and links than Facebook. Best of luck on reaching that balance, Jason!

  8. Oops, I’m guilty of number 7. With only 27 blogs under my belt I use lots of external links (always relevant). As my own material grows then I’ll reduce the external links I use. Yet again Jenn you’ve given me food for thought, thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Jason! Just to be clear, in this reference, even your own blog posts would be external links. I’m referring to anything that takes users off of Facebook and to another website (which would include your blog).
      I completely agree that we should all share our blog posts and others! This is a high value way of interacting with your audience. And I’m happy to hear that you are sharing other valuable content! This is a good thing!
      What I’m saying is that EVERY post shouldn’t be an external link. You should be including text posts, photos, videos, etc. that keep users interacting right there on Facebook.

      1. Good point to raise Jenn. On Facebook I do post far less external posts than on Twitter and on LinkedIn I post links to open up a conversation/debate. I’m getting the balance, especially since reading your blog πŸ™‚

        1. Great! I am guilty of sharing a lot of links on Twitter and LinkedIn as well. I also need to work more on sharing non-link type posts on these sites. However, I do believe that these sites are more conducive (and almost expected) to share more articles and links than Facebook. Best of luck on reaching that balance, Jason!

  9. Jen,

    Y’know? Tips 1-6 plus 10 are JUST as appropriate for a cocktail party as they are for social media.

    Don’t be selfish. Don’t ignore who you are speaking with. Don’t be negative or overshare personal info. Don’t show inappropriate pics but do break out the kids, grandkids, your recent trip, etc.

    Hmm. SOCIAL media. It’s making the world smaller. Thanks Jen for the tips, I’ll try and behave myself and get invited to more parties!

    Keep Stepping,

    Kurt

    1. You’re right Kurt, a lot of “social media” rules apply to real life too! If you take the assumption that social media is just taking real life conversations to the computer, then this should be easy to do!
      I’m glad you liked the post! Have fun at the parties! πŸ˜‰

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