We’ve spent a lot of time telling you how to succeed with social media. Now we’re going to tell you how NOT to fail. Here are ten of the most common mistakes people make when using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools. Avoid these ways of “being” and you’ll be a social media superstar.
- Being pushy. Social media is not designed for the hard sell. Yes, we know. At some point you have to ask for the order, but not here. If you are constantly begging people to send you leads, give you a listing, or buy your latest hot property, you’ll end up with lots of “unfollwers” and “unlikes.” That will get you nowhere fast. Instead, focus on adding value. Providing your readers with news they can use builds confidence and trust. That’s where sales come from.
- Being phony. There’s a reason why they call it “social.” Social media is a great place to show off your personality, to be who you really are. People hunger for human relationships and warmth. You need to come across as a real person who ‘likes’ comments, goes by a real name, responds to people and cares about your readers. Pages that just churn out property photos, new listings, and links to your website are missing a major opportunity to build relationships.
- Being disrespectful. Occasionally, you’re going to get some negative feedback. Somebody will not like your style, or how you handled their transaction and they’ll go public with their opinion. Do not respond in kind. Let people have their say–good, bad or ugly. But always make your response calm and courteous. Publicly defuse negative comments by thanking them for an opportunity to investigate and set things right.
- Being spammy. Plugging your business, your page, or your web site all over other peoples’ pages can get you disliked in a hurry, if not outright banned. Just don’t do it.
- Being opinionated. Yes, we all have opinions, political and otherwise. Perhaps you belong to some online communities of like-minded individuals. But your social media pages are not the place to express those opinions. You may be righteously right about everything you believe in, but somewhere out there is someone who does not share your beliefs and your comments could alienate a whole universe of potential clients. It’s not worth it.
- Being gone. Social media demands attention. You need to either post updates every couple of days, use some kind of management tool such as Buffer, or hire someone to take care of your social media for you. If someone posts a comment or asks a question and gets no response, they are likely to look elsewhere. Not only will they forget about you, they may complain about your neglect on their own or someone else’s pages.
- Being wordy. The flip side of not saying enough is saying waaaaay too much! There’s a reason why Twitter gives you 140 characters to make your point. It forces you to be concise. Your Facebook page and your LinkedIn profile are not the places to write the Great American Novel. If someone has to click “See More” to read your posts, you risk losing them. Stick to one fact or idea at a time. You ought to say just enough to leave them wanting more.
- Being sloppy. OK, so you’re not Hemmingway or Shakespeare. Few people are. But you can write a coherent sentence—or two. Assume your readers are intelligent, educated adults and treat them as such. Compose your posts in Word. If you see a word underlined in red, it’s probably misspelled. If you see something underlined in green, it may be grammatically incorrect. When you click on the spelling and grammar check function, Word will suggest appropriate corrections and changes. Once you’ve made the changes, you can copy and paste what you’ve written into your post.
- Being annoying. No one wants to know what you’re thinking or doing 24/7. Unless you’re dining at the Four Seasons, we don’t care what you had for lunch. We all love little children, but your business pages are not the place to brag about your budding Picasso or your piano prodigy. There’s a fine line between sharing your personality and sharing TMI (Too Much Information).
- Being “The Joker.” Yes, we all need a good laugh on occasion, but save the funnies, the links to crazy cat videos, and the clever one-liners for your personal page.
There you have it. These social media “Crimestoppers” can keep you out of Internet trouble, keep your followers coming back for more, and turn your readers into raving fans.