What Brands Do On Social Media That People Hate

Like practically every brand these days, you probably already have a presence on social media. And there is plenty of guidance out there on what to do to best set your social media pages up for success. How to best optimize your pages, what kind of content to post, how to grow an organic following, and so on. Heck, we post things of that nature all of the time. However, have you ever sat down and thought about what you shouldn't be doing on social media?

About if there is anything you are currently doing that your followers just cannot stand? Truth be told, that's not a topic that has crossed our minds, until now. With the impact social media can have on purchasing decisions, you need to make sure your brand is always conveying the right message and avoiding these pitfalls that absolutely drive people crazy. Without further ado, here are 4 things to avoid if you want to keep your audience happy:

Poor Customer Service

More and more people are turning to social media for customer service. People just no longer have the time or patience to spend a half hour or more on hold listening to elevator music, or go through a million menu options, just to try to reach a live person in order to get their questions answered. So they turn to social media, where they expect a response rather quickly. Here are some stats that may open your eyes in regards to the demands people have for customer service on social media nowadays:

  • 33% of people prefer customer service on social media versus telephone or email
  • 67% of people use social media networks to seek resolution for issues
  • Customer service interactions on Twitter have increased by 250% over the last 2 years
  • 60% of customers who complain on social media expect a response within an hour

Curious what poor customer service on social media can cost you? Consider these stats:

  • Customers spend 20-40% more when companies engage and respond to them via social media
  • 71% of customers who have positive customer service experiences on social media are likely to recommend the brand to others, compared to just 19% of customers who failed to get a response
  • 88% of customers are less likely to buy from companies who leave complaints on social media unanswered

So what do those statistics tell you? Poor customer service on social media equals lost revenue. When a customer reaches out to you on social media, you need to respond quickly, listen to what they have to say, if you've made a mistake, own up to it and apologize, and always offer to take the conversation offline (ie, into a private message) to better serve the customer. Go the extra mile to show the customer you care and never leave a question or issue unresolved. Here is an example of a fantastic social media customer service reply (note the blazing fast reply time!):

Fast Social Media Customer Service Response Time

Too Much Self-Promotion

One of the worst things you can do on any of your social media pages is post too much promotional content. In fact, promotional content should only make up about 20% of what you post overall. People follow you on social media because of the value you provide to them and to engage with you. If all you do is post promotional content (ie, a non-stop sales pitch), you are not providing much value to them and they will quickly unfollow you, causing you to lose all of the hard work and possibly money you spent to gain that follower.

Instead, you should focus on posting relevant industry news (this actually helps identify you as the go-to source for relevant news on your industry and gives people a reason to continually check your page), tips and tricks, blogs, FAQs, tutorials, infographics, quizzes, free resources, user-generated content, contests and giveaways, and so on. Posting a good mix of content, with promotional content tossed in every once in awhile, will help ensure the promotional content you do post is well received, while keeping your audience engaged and interested in your page. 

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Jumping In On Every Trend

It's important that you, as a brand, add personal touches to your social media pages. You need to be able to relate to your audience and show that your brand is keeping up to date with what's going on with the outside world. One way of accomplishing that is by tapping into the latest trends, news stories, and/or cultural references. There is a fine line to walk here, however, because if you make an attempt to jump in on every latest trend, your brand is simply going to appear as an annoyance and you are going to have the opposite effect you were trying to achieve.

When done correctly, tapping into the latest trends can have a tremendous impact on your social media pages and demonstrate to your audience that your brand is able to relate to what's going on in the real world, assuming it's relevant to your industry. When doing this, you should avoid any subjects that are political or sensitive - the goal here is not to offend anyone or start a debate on your pages that is going to lead down an ugly path, or even a social media crisis. Whatever topic you choose to join in on, make an effort to contribute to the conversation, versus twisting the news story and making it all about you. That "all about me" attitude is just as annoying in a business setting as it is in a personal setting and your audience will not respond well to it.

Sometimes humor goes a long way when jumping in on a trend - take this example from Kit Kat. Remember when the iPhone 6 Plus came out and it was bending by accident from people putting it in their back pocket? Kit Kat seized on that opportunity with this humorous tweet, and it obviously paid off...check out all of that engagement!

Social Media Newsjacking

Mixture Of Poor Spelling, Grammar, & Too Many Emojis

We decided to groups all of these issues together as they all fall under the same general category of post formation. Poor spelling is a big no-no. Take a few seconds before publishing each post to ensure everything is spelled correctly (it's time well spent, trust us) - not only do you risk the possibility of annoying your audience, but a misplaced letter or misspelled word can change the entire meaning of your post and you can end up with a social media crisis on your hands as a result. Grammar is another issue that consistently comes up on social media and people will not hesitate to call you out on it. Going crazy with caps or putting periods after every word is a surefire way to get blasted in the comments section by your audience.

And then the latest trend on social media is going over the top with emojis. In the past, brands were taking hashtags to the extreme, but they quickly learned their lesson and for the most part, have dialed that in. Emojis, on the other hand, remain a major issue. When used sparingly, emojis add a delightful element to your post, brightening up the mood of the message and giving people a quick chuckle. But when you go crazy with them and include, for example. ten emojis in a single post, it starts to get offensive and is a major turn-off.

Take the below tweet from Goldman Sachs as an example. They were trying to be humorous by tying emojis to millennials, but in the comments section of that tweet, most millennials let them have it, with the common theme being "apparently Goldman Sachs thinks millennials can only read things in emojis". This is the type of social media fail you want to avoid.

Social Media Emoji Overuse