Brands on social media

12 things brands are still not getting right on social media

A friend asked me yesterday which brand I think does the best job on social media. And I had to think for a very long time to actually come up with a brand that I feel has done it 100% perfectly.

Perhaps because I don’t engage with every single brand on social media, I am not exposed to all the good out there. Or maybe I am just too critical when it comes to social media engagement and, more importantly, the integration of it within the business.

However, there are some things I still think a lot of brands are getting wrong. Here’s a list of things that are top of mind for me:

  • Quick engagement on social media, but no follow up from a business perspective because the right systems and processes are not in place. No point in tweeting me back within 5 minutes, if your back end processes still require a 48 hour waiting period before my query can be resolved. It still leaves me hanging with my query or complaint.
  • Not recognising me whilst I have complained about your brand on social media before. Brands should have a ‘black book’ with the contact details of people that frequently engage with them on social media. Instead of asking me again to DM my contact details, just phone me!
  • Explicitly asking me to share, post or retweet something. If your content is that great, I will do that regardless of you asking me.
  • Publishing content that I cannot find back on your website or in a store. Where do I go if I want more information, or if I want to contact you regarding what you have posted. Brands should make sure that people can find content that is relevant to them regardless of the channel they are using. But make the content relevant to the platform they choose! Don’t just duplicate! (see next point)
  • Apologising for something on social media, but not actually fixing the problem in the real world. If people are constantly asking you to fix a problem, try and fix it. Learn from the things people tell you are good and bad and use this to improve your products and services. Social media allows you to gather all this information and research (instead of the traditional focus groups) and use it. So, use it!
  • Publishing the same content on different channels without making it specific to the channel you are posting it on. Your audience and their behaviour is different from platform to platform. If you cannot customise the content per channel, rather choose 1 or 2 channels than trying to be everywhere and anywhere.
  • Linking me to your social media profiles from your website, but not engaging on these platforms. Rather not put them on your website then until such a time that you are ready for engagement.
  • Posting content on a regular basis, but not going back to comments posted on your wall (especially on Facebook). I know this sounds like something no brand would do, and something every social media specialist will tell you is wrong, but trust me, it still happens!
  • Responding to me on a public platform, because everybody can see it, but not when I phone in with a complaint or send you an email. We’ve all gotten into the habit of tweeting a brand if we have an issue, because we know we will get a response, but why are these brands not taking the same approach on all their other channels? These are just as important.
  • Tone of voice and slang. Are we ok with brands using slang on their social media channels? As much as this is a channel that provides us with a lot more freedom (and limited chars), is it ok for a brand to say ‘u’ instead of ‘you’? Maybe I am just old fashioned, but in my books I am not ok with this.
  • Chasing likes and followers. Again, if the content is engaging and relevant enough, I will follow you or like you. Don’t ask me to take an action merely for you to get more followers and me standing a chance to win a price. I’m also pretty sure that according to the latest Facebook and Twitter rules you are not allowed to run competitions in this fashion. (Correct me if I am wrong here)
  • Using the wrong Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, GooglePlus CI on your adverts, billboards, print ads, website and email comms. As much as this is a very small thing, their brand guidelines are as important as yours. And they have dedicated sites set up to show you which logo to use (Twitter bird instead of the T).

Anyways, these are just a few of the things that come to mind whilst sitting at a coffee shop working on a public holiday.

And trust me, I have made a lot of these mistakes myself when looking after the social media for big brands. But I have learned from it for the next brand that comes along and needs help!


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