Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Social Media Mistakes: Things You Must Learn

Posted on: September 12, 2011

This isn’t just a normal top tips to succeeding in social media. I tend to stray away from writing that kind of bullshit. Instead I thought I would write some genuine advice points that I thought anyone that dabbles in social media would find relevant and of useful.

With help of some very steep learning curves, I have come to find that social media is not always easy and it can get messy at times…

Don’t Get Personal

I manage a number of client accounts from my personal iPad/iPhone for when I am not in the office. When out of the office it can be all to easy to reply/post in a different tone to what you would do if you were in the office.

I would recommend that when posting as your brand/client on Facebook, Twitter etc., ensure you have your ‘brand cap’ on. Whether I am in the office replying to complaints or commenting on a post in my pants at home, messaging should be consistent within the brand voice.

Don’t Rush It

The instant gratification culture (I blame McDonalds) has been fuelled by platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Often customers want or even demand an answer to their questions within hours, let alone days! An aggressive reply-time window baits one sometimes to answer questions with a knowledge best described as ‘I think’. Take time in sourcing the correct information instead of going with a hunch. Often customers don’t mind waiting for a reply when the information is to be correct.

Primarily this is an act of poor customer service but it is also a public portrayal of incompetence. A company that fails to make the distinction between its arse and elbow is certainly not a company I would want to buy from!

Life Is A Dialogue, Yet Your Shift Isn’t

As already mentioned I often use my personal iPad/iPhone for when I am not in the office. I also use it outside of work time because I understand the importance that the brand doesn’t turn off when my shift does. Questions are still asked and as such, need to be answered.

Every question asked on your brand’s social networks are important and try your hardest to answer them as quickly, as uniquely and as correctly as possible. If you do, your customers will appreciate it!

Why Am I Here

Why Am I Here

Timing Is Everything

You want your tweets to be read by as many people yes? You do but ideally you want as many people to interact with it as possible too. Interaction could mean a RT, a re-share, a Like or a comment.

Take this as an example. If I was a restaurant promoting a dinner discount voucher I would probably get far better interaction levels later on in the afternoon (when people are thinking about dinner) than if I was to post just after 9am when people are thinking about coffee and bed. Higher impression levels but far less brand interaction/conversion.

The time of your tweets are imperative and will vary hugely to your industry sector (this is where research can be fun!)

Remember Social Media’s Core Function.

Communication. Life is a dialogue and as such, your brand should be built on a solid yet dynamic framework for you to adjust to your audiences’ needs and demands.

Problems with communication are often down to three things: Communicator, message, audience. It is why brands that communicate via social media know what messages the audience wants and ultimately how each message will be received by the audience. Know your audience, not your goals.

I do hope this helps. Please leave comments. Rant if you like 🙂 I work at White Hat Media – Social Media Agency


5 Responses to "Social Media Mistakes: Things You Must Learn"

Good advice! It’s about communication and the sharing of relevant information.

Relevance is often a word disconnected from social media strategies when it should encompass the core of any strategy moving forward. Thanks for commenting Sean 🙂

Good post! Your note under “Don’t Get Personal” is good, and reminds me of another tip when posting on SM for clients on Hootsuite (which is what I use): Double check your icon before you post! There have been a couple of occasions when I accidentally sent a personal tweet from my work account. Fortunately, it wasn’t anything inappropriate and was quickly deleted, but still…. it is too easy to make that mistake! 🙂

Hi Stephanie. I have come close sometimes doing the same and like you say, FAR too easy!

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