The two edged sword of Social Media
Social media can be a powerful tool in a small business arsenal. Done right, it can provide
free (inexpensive?) marketing, brand reputation/awareness, and engagement in a very short time. Done wrong, it can alienate your customers (and prospects!) and make your business lose credibility.
We follow a lot of small businesses and these are a few social media faux-pas that really bug us. Please note, this list is completely subjective, and we don’t have any substantive proof to back up this list. Most of these come from Instagram but should apply to any platform.
In no particular order:
- Photo Posts with no description or context – 99% of posts don’t make sense without at least some context, so always include a short description.
- Too many re-posts – When you’re thinking about a re-post, ask yourself, have I posted this image in the last 9 months? If so, then we don’t need to see it, no post is better than a repeated repeat of a repeat.
- Giveaways that require too many parameters to enter – We know you’re trying to exchange products/services for increasing your presence, but don’t make us share, like, and tag 3 friends on your Instagram account and your Facebook account to get an entry. Use one or two parameters at most, and never cross platforms!
- Posting too often and blowing up my feed – If you have the urge to post more than one photo at a time, just don’t. No more than 2 posts per 4 hours is a good guide and no more than 6 posts in 48 hours.
- Posting inside jokes or things that might only make sense to a small portion of your user base – Full Disclosure: We are never in on the joke, and it makes us sad to be left out…
- Posting photos with really bad composition, quantity, or photoshopping – There are lots of info online on how to take good photos with your smartphone, find one, read it, and apply it. Also, just stay away from Photoshop.
- Posting Picture of new items, but noting that the items have not been added to your website, but would be added “soon” because you have been so busy. – Don’t post new items till they actually ready for purchase, so that we don’t have to remember to check your website a week later if we wanted to buy that awesome new product.
- Posting photos of boxes ready for shipping – Don’t bother with these humble brag posts about how busy you are, they don’t add any value to your feed.
- Posting separate photos of the same thing from different angles and not using a gallery – Galleries are awesome for posting groups of photos and will keep your followers feeds tight. Also, you don’t need to tell us to swipe, Instagram does a good job of that already.
- Posting bad photos (out of focus, blurry, bad lights) – It’s not hard to take good photos with a smartphone. Take the time to learn the basics and then only post photos that look good. Remeber this photo might be the first thing someone sees when they are introduced to your brand, so make every post count.
Too many #hashtags! – Our rule is no more than 5 hashtags per post. We know what you’re trying to do with all those hashtags, but it just comes across as desperate when you have 50 hashtags…