Navigating the social media landscape as a brand can be
tricky. One wrong move and you could damage your reputation beyond repair.
Cassy van Eeden
Whether you are outsourcing your social media marketing or
you have someone in-house taking the reins, it’s important to know what the
mistakes are before you make them.
Failing to engage
with your community
Social media is not just about self-promotion and selling
your brand. In order for any social media marketing strategy to be effective,
you need to get social.
Digital marketing consultant at Go Social SA, Jacqui Mackway-Wilson, says
“Having the ability now for the first time in media history to have a virtual
dialogue at any time of the day or night, from anywhere in
the world is a golden opportunity from brands.”
She advocates that while you can use social media as a tool
to listen to what people are saying about your brand, it can also be used to
build your brand by “responding and actively creating conversation with their
followers as well as seeking their input”.
Clinton Muir, MD of Black Snow Digital, says one of the
surest ways to be ineffective on social media is to not
engage with your community. “The way a brand connects and responds to their
fans will either turn a fan into an advocate of the brand or an antagonist of
the brand,” he adds.
Ignoring (or even deleting) comments, remarks and other
interactions on social media is detrimental to any brand. “Nobody likes to be
ignored,” explains Mackway-Wilson.
Blogger and social media marketer Katerina Petropoulou writes,
“Ignoring a negative comment on social media is perceived as indifference
towards your audience and [it] simply sends out the wrong message.”
Petropoulou also points out that: “Once a tweet, a Facebook post or a comment is out there,
it’s out there.” In other words, deleting an interaction could potentially
cause more damage to your reputation than responding to it.
Instead of ignoring or deleting, Mackway-Wilson advises
using these interactions to your brand’s advantage. “Even remotely negative
customer experiences can be turned around when brands respond positively and go
out of their way to make things right for their customers. This is again, an
someone in charge
Muir notes that: “Many companies don’t hire professionals to
manage their social media platforms, they often give it to an internal admin
person as a side job.” He explains that, in doing so, companies are expecting
staff to split their attention between a number of tasks.
Having someone’s attention based solely on social mediamanagement prevents slip ups. These slip ups include not monitoring
conversations related to your brand, not replying fast enough and not being
consistent, writes Petropoulou.
“A professional social media agency has a handle on the
entire online landscape and the digital marketing mix and has time dedicated to
offer vital assistance to companies to achieve professional results,” says
Mackway-Wilson recommends that brands should “have either an
in-house our outsourced team of community management or PR professionals who
are permanently on call to monitor and respond to comments and mentions of the
Do you have any other social media dos and don’ts? What is
your brand doing to avoid social media mishaps? Let us know in the comments