5 Social Media Practices You Should Not Do

Don Not Enter

I’ve been doing quite a bit of spying lately, in search of social media best practices among organizations.

While there’s some good stuff out there, the social landscape is littered with examples of what not to do.

If your social media initiatives are not yielding proof of engagement — sharing, comments, likes, and/or click-throughs — you’re probably not going about it in the right way.

Five Social Media Things You May Be Doing Wrong

Here are five things that you may be doing wrong.

1. Clogging the stream.

Are you integrating your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook posts so the exact same message appears on two or more platforms? Are your posts unscheduled or all within a matter of seconds? Those are two big no-no’s.

Each social media platform has different audiences, requiring individual engagement strategies. Take the time to make each post on each platform relevant or you will be hidden, ignored, disliked or simply not followed. If you are pushing out multiple posts, space them at least an hour apart.

2. Being self-centered.

If more than 25% of your posts promote your offerings and share content you’ve developed, you’re going to smell like spam. Instead, you should be curating lots of helpful content from other sources and having real conversations. If your community views you as being helpful and living your mission by providing educational value (regardless of the source), you’ll reap big-time benefits.

3. Hiding behind your logo.

In the social media space, people want to interact with people, not brands. This one’s tough. Most organizations use their logo, but that’s so 2007!

Make your social media platforms more human by including the people behind the logo. Feature their profiles. Have them participate in ongoing conversations. Some off-topic discussions that can be loosely tied to your industry also help humanize your social media efforts.

4. Not answering the social phone.

If a member of your community asks a question or posts helpful information, it’s your job to make sure that they get a timely answer or are thanked for contributing. It’s neighborly!

The same standard operating procedures you have in place for returning phone calls or emails should apply to your social media engagement. There’s no difference.

5. Over- or under-policing.

Most organizations are loosening the reigns and opening up their social media pages and groups to a wider audience. If you limit access, you run the risk of disenchanting future customers.

On the other hand, if you don’t make sure that your sites are sales-free zones, you’ll scare away the community members you want most. Your best play is to accept all, follow back on most, and establish posting guidelines that your members can help enforce.

A strong and open Facebook page or LinkedIn group has huge SEO (search engine optimization) value.

Adapted from Dave’s People & Processes column in PCMA’s June edition of Convene. Reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. © 2011.

What other social media don’ts would you add to this list? What irks you the most that some organizations do in social media?

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  1. AndreaG says:

    Dear “Mr Social Media Spy (AKA Dave Lutz),” You wrote an excellent and concise article! I see a lot of blunders in the form of selfish posts–me, me, me stuff. What will help the reader? Jeffrey Gitomer (sales expert) shares his quote that people don’t want to be sold but they do want to buy. Of course people want to make a living. Wouldn’t it be ideal if all people and organizations genuinely wanted to HELP others, and in the process, they gained a huge following and thus, a well-earned loyalty? That is the real prescription for success.

  2. Dave Lutz says:

    Andrea, thanks for adding to the conversation! I’m a big Gitomer fan. One of his other true-isms is to give without expectation. When you help others, trust is built, and either a buy or referral will come in due time. You don’t need to keep score…good things happen for those that are genuinely helpful.

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  5. Sarah says:

    Great tips for businesses using social media. As a consumer, I see a lot of these tips not followed specially the self promotion tip. Most brand twitter accounts do that and I end up either unfollowing or not reading their tweets anymore.

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