We’re all looking for the quickest, most effective way to grow our brands and businesses; however, we must recognize that there is no silver bullet to success -especially when it comes to building genuine relationships with the social media users who start as fans and transform into an active community of customers. Having said this, I see many people take social media shortcuts, sometimes out of ignorance, and sometimes with the hope that they can get away with doing as little as possible.
Trust me, I know we are all crunched for time and have a million things to do from the time we open our eyes each morning to the moment we finally curl up in bed for the night. But hear me out -you do not want your digital strategy to rely on the following social media practices; and if you’re already doing them, now is the time to put a little more effort into your social media presence and go the extra mile.
- Cross posting – Do you remember when I spoke on the importance of staying native to each social media platform? If not, refer back to 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Content gets Zero Engagement. You are bound to have a slightly different audience on each social network site who consumes information differently. For this reason, you should never write content and copy/paste it across the board with no alteration. Also, never connect your social networking sites so that when you post to one, it automatically posts to others. Although the content for each social networking site may reflect the same message and theme, customized content will come across more naturally, and your audience will appreciate you taking the time to better connect with them.
- Automating comments, responses, and likes – Using bots to leave pre-written comments under Instagram photos is all fun and games until you check your “posts liked” and see that you’ve left some pretty awkward comments under the photos of a teenager, or perhaps under a sad announcement. “Cool picture” and “this is great!” will turn out weird at least 30% of the time, regardless of which hashtags you’re tracking. Just don’t do it. And on Twitter, it comes across very spammy to set bots that automatically reply to tweets with a call to action to check out your website. Remember, real interaction is always the best interaction.
- Relying on scheduled posts – Notice I used the word ‘relying.’ It’s perfectly okay to schedule content, and it is almost imperative to do so if you want to get content out on a consistent basis throughout the day. However, you should never rely on scheduling to the point that you’re never actually logging in to your social media profiles to create real engagement with your followers. If your timeline is full of one-way dialogue, then you’re taking the ‘social’ out of social media. Even though you schedule some of your posts, be sure to review your content daily. Quite a few brands have suffered backlash for “it’s an awesome day” type posts that were scheduled, while the reality of current events was natural disaster or some other horrific news. Always be present.
- Automating direct messages -Yes, it IS obvious when you use programs to send an automatic Direct Message to every new Twitter follower; even when the message says “this isn’t an automated message, but…”. This was a cool concept when it first came out, but now it is just corny and inauthentic. If you truly want to introduce yourself or thank someone for following you, take the time to type up a genuine message (and not one that is spammy and asks a user who does not know you to go to your website and make a purchase).
If you’re guilty of any of these lazy social media practices, it’s not too late to turn your act around! If time is the issue, consider setting aside just five to fifteen minutes each morning to check each platform and engage with your audience. You will see a huge difference in your social media activity if you make this a habit. If you do not have a communications department, consider outsourcing your social media efforts to a firm like Capitalize Social, or training a virtual assistant or employee to maintain an active and authentic presence on each social network site.
What other lazy social media practices would you like to see disappear? Tweet us at @Cap_Social or comment below!