Are You Committing These Social Media Sins?

No matter what size business you own, you probably have a Facebook Pages profile, a Twitter account, an Instagram page, a Pinterest presence, and a (probably rusty) Linked-In profile.

These days our clients and customers carry us in their pockets right alongside the latest celebrity news and recipes for Oooey Gooey Chocolate Crock-Pot cake (because you can cook anything in a Crock-Pot). So making the right moves and avoiding all the wrong ones on social media can be the difference between going viral and falling flat.

Some things are frowned upon, some are just annoying, and others are outright confession-worthy sins. Where do you stack up? Keep reading and see if your social media moves are heavenly or… well… not.

Sin #1: Your social media pages are incomplete.

You know what I mean; you’ve seen them before. It’s the Facebook Pages profile that looks like it should have a big yellow 75% off sticker on it because the cover photo is blank. Or, the Instagram page that doesn’t have anything in the bio section and you’re left wondering what or who they even are.

If you are going to have a social media presence, and we’ve already discussed that you must, then you need to take advantage of every digital inch of space you are offered. That doesn’t mean your profile picture is crowded with text or your bio takes up every character available in length. However, it does mean that you fill in every available question and fill out every profile and cover photo possible.

While we all like a good clearance section, no one’s social media page should look like it belongs in the bottom of the discount bin.

Sin #2: The last time you updated, posted, or pinned was three shaves ago.

You spent hours setting up social media profiles and pages when you were just getting started. You filled out all the information, uploaded a few images with your favorite filter, and gained your first handful of followers. But today it’s been months since your pages have seen any movement.

Activity on your social media pages keeps the blood warm. Whether you update your profile picture, post an interesting article, add a picture of a product, or a graphic describing a service you offer, you should be active on all your social media pages every day.

Set aside 10-20 minutes each morning to remind your customers and clients about your presence. Or, set aside a chunk of time once a week to automate a new (applicable) article, fun image, or inspirational quote to post using Buffer, IFTTT, or Zapier.

Sin #3: You can’t stop posting!

If sin #1 is poverty, sin #2 is gluttony. Social media is your buffet and you are going “all-you-can-eat” crazy. You also probably spend too much time on social media and need to see our last post about productivity.

While being active on a daily basis on social media is necessary, don’t go overboard. This is where that magical word comes into play: Balance. For Instagram and Facebook, 1-5 posts per day are ideal. For Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest, 5-15 posts per day are just fine.

If limiting yourself is hard, let all those pictures, articles, and clever quips fill up your Buffer queue and let Zapier blast it out to all of your respective social media pages on a pre-determined schedule. Then go Cold Turkey for a few hours so you can get some actual work done.

Sin #4: Your customer response rating is in the red.

If someone takes the time to comment on something you’ve shared, asked a question about a service you’ve recently promoted, or sent you a private message, you’d better reply. Don’t leave them in the dark for more than 24 hours. Don’t have time for this? We do -- and we can help!

Each comment or question could be a potential or existing client. You are building a brand and a platform and responding to your followers is foundational to kindness. And, we’ve already learned, the number one social media rule that never fails is kindness. Remember, there is a person on the other side of the screen and how you make them feel will last.

Sin #5: You don’t stick to your brand.

We get it. Everyone likes a good cat video and seeing other people embarrass themselves on camera can be good for our own self-esteem. But, unless you’re a comedian or a cat groomer, these are not going to help you. Sure, people like them but your social media presence is to help you reach your customers and show them why they need you.

Don’t get me wrong, a cute video or funny meme every once in a while isn’t a big deal; just show some restraint. Before you post, make sure to ask yourself how sharing that picture or piece of content will make you look to someone who doesn’t know your sense of humor or love of all things feline.

Bottom line, if it doesn’t help you, it just might hurt you.

And while we’re at it, unless you’re running for public office or are a spiritual leader of some kind, don’t post anything political or religious. Just don’t go there. Trust us.

Sin #6: You are greedy.

The social media world is increasingly more and more like our real world. People work together, collaborate, and share “life” on social media. If you aren’t willing to occasionally share your online space with another like-minded company or unashamedly tell your customers about a great experience you had with another company, then you are greedy.

Think about it. We love seeing companies share space, don’t we? Remember when Target collaborated with Lilly Pulitzer and the products sold out in hours?! That’s it. People like seeing collaborations of their favorites.

And if you are willing to share space with another (like-minded) entrepreneur, they may be willing to share theirs with you. Win. Win!

Sin #7: Your brand isn’t cohesive across all platforms.

On Facebook, your profile picture is a smiling faced you. On Instagram, it’s a picture of your dog. And on Twitter, you haven’t even loaded one. On Facebook, you define yourself with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote while on Google+ your bio is all emojis.

If you wouldn’t advertise yourself with such inconsistency in print media, don’t do it on social media either. We can all recognize the Starbucks logo from a mile away…seriously, I have some real skill in picking out that signature green siren. The best companies have strong branding, yes. But what makes it really work is they are consistent in using it EVERYWHERE.

If you line up all your pages split-screen style can you tell they are all the same person/brand (you)? Can you tell that they all provide the same service or offer the same products? Are the description and image quality consistent? Is the messaging unified?

Social media is an amazing tool – if you do it right. So, are you committing one or more of these social media sins? Do you have any sins to add to the list?