Brand social media annoyances that deserve the dislike

One of the most anticipated, unsurprising and talked about Facebook features of recent years, the ‘dislike’ button, may finally become a reality for the Californian based social media platform. After announcing plans to introduce the feature, Facebook has already been on the receiving end of mixed reactions.

Many who predict this will result in an increase in cyber-bullying and many who have wanted to see the introduction for many years, many who really aren’t bothered either way. Only time will tell of the impact this introduction may or may not have, and how users may chose to use this feature. Will it eventually count towards business reviews and social media perception of a brand if they receive a high number of dislikes? Or will this only be rolled out to individual users? Time will tell.

As with the majority of digital media and marketing, social media is is more successful when thought about as an experience and not a necessity. Whether that experience is turning a negative sentiment into a positive one through great customer service skills, or providing exclusive content and added value to your association with a brand. The expectations of social media users, namely mobile ones, has been set high. Just being active on social media is no longer enough to impact your marketing efforts, you need to stand out and push the borders of social media marketing.

@Oasis_Drinks, @Innocent and @adidasUK are just a handful of great examples of effective Social Media use. These great examples connect with users on a personal level and help to provide a platform for users to interact and engage online. Following the news of the much anticipated Facebook Dislike button, we thought we would share some of the biggest user dislikes about brand social media…

Lady on phone

Don’t ignore social media users

With the introduction of ‘canned responses’, and page responsiveness metrics, it is in company page administrators best interests to reply to all users in an effective and timely manner. These days, people who make contact using social media, expect the same if not a higher level of service than in face-to-face situations. We understand that not all complaints, comments or requests are reasonable and/or sensible, however, users seen to be ignored promote further negative comments. The golden rule is to never ignore a social media post, but effectively approach it. Often a very difficult skill to master.

It is best practice to have a strategy in place for social media crisis, risk management and prevention.

Of course, you should try and diffuse any potentially negative situation and take a conversation to a private message where possible. However, not all comments are negative – many may just be looking for a bit of guidance or support from your brands product or service. Try to respond in a timely and effective manner.

Stop duplicating posts across all channels

One of my personal peeves has to be a lazy content and posting strategy.

Users converse using more than one social media platform daily, often 3, 4, 5 and even more!

If you are following a brand across multiple channels, users now expect to see differentiation of content across platforms. Of course you can give the same marketing messages and promotions, but try some alternative creative, different snippets of text and different approaches. It’s always good to draft a number of alternative posts to help engage with a wider audience. Posting the same message at the same time across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms will not help in your social media efforts.

Shameless sales promotion rarely works

I see social media as a crucial part of the sales cycle, but not necessarily the deal clincher. It is at its most effective at either very early customer engagement and awareness stage or the post purchase advocate stage.

Brand awareness, audience reach and advocacy are the results of positive social media work.

Many are not quite at the ‘ready to buy’ stage when using social media to discover.

Social media should be soft, welcoming and contain a human element that actually connects with the users on your channels. Tell your brand story and highlight what makes you different and unique to the competition.

Mis-informaton provides social media ammunition

Social Media is a very powerful tool, which should be approached with caution.

The underlying ‘problem’ is not just the power of social media but the transparency too.

It is reported that there is in excess of 1.73 billion social media users globally. If it is used without caution and experience, and monitored regularly, the impact could be very damaging indeed. Make one hiccup or mistake and it can lead to a negative backlash and the snowball effect. All it takes is for one user to make a point for all to see and the ball is rolling. Perhaps poor in store service or something deemed below-par. I can think of a few examples where brands have set up social media users with prime opportunities to voice an opinion that is less than flattering for the brand.

Generic responses are not welcome

As mentioned earlier in this post, social media page owners have the ability to quickly diffuse situations and resolve them via a private message, however…

Users still expect a certain level of human interaction and for you to read posts and respond accordingly.

If a user has taken the time to constructively inform you of a situation or experience, at least take the time to respond in appreciation. That said, in some cases, a generic response is acceptable providing it reassures users that it forms part of a resolution process.

Simply asking for a disgruntled user to PM with the details that will be logged in a system often prompts users to continue ranting in view of the public and offers no real solution to the end user.

In summary

it has never been more important to take notice of your social media audience and bring your brand to life. There are two sides to social media management (if not more), which should both be considered equally important to the effective performance. The first being posting compelling and original content to engage, inspire and grow your audience. The second is to provide a platform for a business to interact with their community and show that prospective customers can trust and respect your brand.