How to Fail Miserably on Social Media

5 Steps to Creating a Terrible Online Presence

I thought long and hard about writing this entire article sarcastically but ultimately decided against it. I’ve seen too many great brands and businesses make these same five mistakes over and over again to not address them head on. So, with that, take a give this article a read, and make sure you’re not committing any of these social media sins.

1. Automate everything

How can something automated feel authentic? The answer is simple — it can’t.

You can’t expect to build relationships with your followers by taking a “set it and forget it” approach. If you want to succeed on social, you’ll need to participate in the conversation.

2. Open profiles and never log in

This is the most common social media mistake we see businesses make. Here are three reasons why it’s such a bad move.

3. Let your emotions get the best of you

Unless you’re running a political business or a faith based service, keep politics and religion off of your social media accounts. You’ll only be eliminating half (or more) of your audience by commenting on anything divisive. Of course, believe in freedom of speech and know that you can say whatever you’d like — but when you’re running a business, that comes at a cost. Don’t alienate your brand. Focus on your real message which should be providing a solution to your customer’s problems.

This goes for responding to angry reviews on social media as well. Keep a cool head, move people into a private chat as soon as possible, and address the issue head on.

4. Always be selling

That “Always be closing” line was great in Glengarry Glen Ross, but it’s not how social media works. If you only add links to your products and services on Facebook, you’re going to lose your reach really quickly. You need to engage with your audience — ask questions, tell stories, BE REAL. If you’re constantly pushing product, you’ll never get the chance to be heard.

Instead of trusting Alec Baldwin, take the Gary Vaynerchuk approach — Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s an analogy for giving before you ask. Give, give, give, then sell.

Additionally — I should add that not every holiday/happening is an opportunity to sell. Hopefully, you can see what’s wrong with the GAP’s infamous tweet below.

5. Have conversations with yourself

Social media is meant to be social. If you can’t figure out how to have a conversation with someone online like you would in person, you probably shouldn’t be social networking with anyone.

If I’m being honest, I created this point in particular just to show you how ridiculous people can get on social media. Take a look at how this person chose to interact with me on Twitter.

I never asked for her thoughts or interacted with this person in any way. This is the perfect way to destroy your brand. Thus, my initial reaction:

Sharing content on your social networks is fine. But tagging people who have never expressed interest in your content before is not. Don’t mix them up.

What’s your number one tip for creating a terrible online presence? Let me know in the comments section.

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