Henry Elliss, Digital Marketing Director of Social Media at Tamar, in a guest blogger posting on Econsultancy provides the following 10 ways to avoid harming your social media strategy and upsetting your customers .
1. Don't Sell, Sell, Sell!
Do not use social media channels EXCLUSIVELY as a sales tool. People hate to feel like they're being sold to. Make sure sales content is pushed in a respectful and intelligent way.
2. Don't Treat Your Social Customers as a Nuisance
If a customer has taken the time to connect with you, reward them by showing them some common courtesy. Worst offense of all is to completely ignore questions from consumers.
3. Don't Assume All Social Media Platforms Are the Same
Do not use exactly the same content for your Facebook page and Twitter feed. Tailor content to the channel.
4. Don't Act Like a Spammer
It's a brilliant way to annoy fans and create a backlash from users!
5. Don't Beg for More
Don't run promotions to find more followers, offering rewards to the new followers ("We'll give our 100,000th followers a free holiday!") without offering anything at all to the existing followers - a group of consumers who were both there from the start and loyal enough to continue following you while you grew and expanded. These are the people you need to think about rewarding first, not the fly-by-night, prize-loving gadabouts who will follow anybody who flashes a shiny object in front of their eyes...
6. Don't Target "New Customers Only"
The fact that you're running promotions on your social channels is a great start, and should be applauded. So don't go and ruin it all by only opening the promotion to new customers, or people in a certain demographic, while happily broadcasting it widely to everyone. Social networks are brilliant for targeting content, so do this wisely.
7. Don't Use An RSS Feed From Your Blog - Nobody Will Mind!
Nobody wants to follow a brand that uses an RSS feed of its blog or news page content in place of real content. If you can't be bothered to spend a small amount of time writing original content for Twitter, why do you even want to use Twitter in the first place?
8. Don't Promote One Channel on the Other, Over and Over Again
Make sure you don't target content on one channel which is heavily promoting another.
9. Don't repeat yourself. Don't repeat yourself. Don't...
Recent studies have highlighted that posting the same piece of content a couple of times can give you positive results, particularly if it allows you to catch a completely different audience or timezone. But the examples used are people who post one bit of content a couple of times over 24 hours, hidden amongst a lot of other engaging content. Not the same tweet, posted several times a week at exactly the same time. Nobody wants to be spammed with the same thing over and over, so just don't do it, okay? Simple.
10. Don't Brush the Nasty Bits Under the Carpet
It'll only snowball in to something worse if you ignore it, or worse still, delete it. Deal with it quickly and fairly. You'll probably end up looking better because of this than if you'd just deleted it in the first place.