The explosion of social media in the 21st century has transformed how many people communicate, express themselves and maintain relationships.
According to BroadbandSearch, the average social media user spent 144 minutes per day on their chosen networks in 2018, an increase of one hour per day (62.5 per cent) compared to 2012. It’s also estimated that more than three billion people around the world use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every month.
For brands, these huge figures equate to great potential for audience engagement. However, the amount of time people spend on social media doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to connect and build relationships in this space.
Like any other channel, social media requires a carefully planned, data-driven marketing strategy to yield results and deliver return on investment. One of the biggest benefits of a strong strategy is that it can help you sidestep some of the most common pitfalls of social media communication.
Here are a few examples of bad practices that should absolutely be avoided if you want to maximise your social engagement:
Not being human
Customers who spend a lot of time on social media are used to communicating in a fairly relaxed, informal way. It’s important that your brand voice and messaging feel natural, human and relevant, in context of the networks you choose to use and your target audience.
Research has shown that 64 per cent of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 65 per cent feel more connected to companies that have a strong presence on social. Seven out of ten people (70 per cent) said they feel closer to brands whose CEO has an active social presence, with 65 per cent saying it helps to give the business a more human face.
Incorporating a personal, natural element into your social messaging can be an effective way to make genuine connections that fuel brand loyalty and strengthen relationships. This can be a challenge when you are engaging with international audiences and communicating in different languages and dialects.
Specialist language solutions can help you navigate the complexities of social media engagement and maintain a human voice that connects with your customers.
One of the reasons social media is so attractive to so many people is that it provides an endless stream of interesting, educational, entertaining or helpful content. Users are generally looking for things that benefit them in some way, which means they have limited patience for brand promotions or marketing that serves the needs of businesses, rather than seeking to help customers.
You can avoid this pitfall by making sure you share and recommend a lot of non-promotional content, which could be anything from how-to guides or external blogs you think would interest your audience, to images or videos that offer an insight into your company culture and brand identity.
Not responding to feedback, questions and complaints
Social media is a hugely powerful channel for communicating with your audience and building relationships, but its potential will largely be wasted if you fail to connect with people when opportunities present themselves.
Feedback, questions and even complaints can be starting points for constructive conversations that boost familiarity with your brand and demonstrate your interest in building relationships on social.
Positive feedback allows you to show gratitude to people who appreciate your brand, while answering user questions is a great way to keep customers happy while providing more information about products and services.
When you receive a complaint, it’s worth thinking about the benefits that could be gained from issuing a positive response and asking for further feedback on how you could deliver a better outcome for the customer next time.
Being out of touch
Social media is a fast-moving, dynamic space where it’s vital to keep up with the latest trends and themes that are capturing the attention of your audience. You don’t want to seem out of touch with the things that matter to your customers.
If you are an international business, keeping up with regional trends and ensuring your social content is relevant to local markets is not easy. It can prove hugely beneficial to work with dedicated experts who not only understand the culture of your target markets, but can help you communicate in a way that feels natural, relevant and appropriate to that audience.
To find out more, browse through Locaria’s services or call us on +44 (0)20 3948 6800.