Some brands just aren’t cutting it on social media are they. Poor user engagement, negative PR, unsuccessful contests and flopping campaigns are all signs of an unpopular brand. Is it happening to you? Here are 6 ways to avoid being a hated brand on social media.
Firstly it is worth noting that social media is not a magic cure for an already unpopular brand. Take for example, the recent #AskSeaworld fiasco which simply highlighted the existing unpopularity of the brand as it was inundated with negative comments from around the globe. Brands that indulge in questionable practices are already walking a fine line of popularity and social media exposure can only highlight it further. So let’s assume for the purposes of this article that your brand is not one of these… let’s see how to avoid being a hated brand.
#1 Stop Being So Corporate
Yes, I know how difficult it can be to manage social media for corporations who are scared to step outside of their white collar world. Many CEOs still believe that social media content should simply echo their website content which really illustrates how little they actually get it! Let’s say it again… fans are not interested in seeing a carbon copy of your website on your social media pages. Your social media pages should present different angles of your company which show the human, fun, fan focused and interactive side of your brand.
#2. Stop Being Inconsistent With Your Updates
Are you doing this or aren’t you? If a potential fan looks you up on Facebook to see that you haven’t updated your status for a week then it makes you look as though you don’t have a strong social media presence. Similarly if you bombard fans with constant updates (yes, too many is a problem) then you will also get unfollowed. Have a loose plan for updates (eg 2 per day on Facebook, Linkedin, G+ and 10 for Twitter) and try to be consistent. Similarly, keep your tone consistent on your social media channels. Imagine your brand as a person… if he serious, funny, witty, geeky? Inconsistencies in your tone can leave fans feeling alienated and confused by your message and ultimately your brand.
#3. Stop Bragging
Have you ever been at a dinner party where a person can’t stop talking about himself? Well it happens with brands too and it isn’t pretty.
“Our brand is the best at X, Y and Z”
“Our brand won more awards than everyone else”
“Our brand made loads of money last year”
Posting torrents of egotistical and self centred updates will not endear you to the public. In fact the only person who might end up loving you is… well …. you! Remember that social media is more about your fans than it is about you. Think of ways to build genuine connections, add value and inspire your fans to love you.
#4. Stop Being One Sided
Are you actually communicating with your fans or are you just talking at them? Let’s revisit that dinner party scenario and imagine that you continually talked and did not listen to anyone else. Another guest asks a question and you ignore them and continue to speak. Do you think you will make many friends? Brands who simply post updates and do not take the time to chat to fans, respond to messages and listen to feedback are effectively doing just that. Listen to your fans, respond to them and take their ideas into consideration for you next campaign. Be sure to pass on their feedback about your brand or product to other departments within your organization.
#5 Stop Copying Other Brands
Social media users aren’t stupid and if you copy another brand’s high profile or successful marketing campaign you will be found out! By all means study your competitor’s campaigns and look at why they were successful. Similarly take the lessons you learnt and use them to build your own campaign but don’t copy them! Each brand is different with unique aims, fans, demographics, products and prices so copying another brand will not yield the same results for you. Know your audience and be confident enough to be original.
#6 Stop Your Outspoken CEO From Using Social Media
Is your CEO a Donald Trump wannabe? Does he have strong or controversial views? More importantly, is he likely to air them on social media? Social media users are unforgiving when it comes to separating brands from their leaders. If a leader makes a homophobic, racist or sexist comment then the brand is going to suffer as a result. Just because he is using his own Twitter account, don’t assume that it won’t damage your brand. Get him in check and make sure he understands the importance of being nice on social media. And you know what my Mum used to say? “If you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t say anything at all!”
I hope you enjoyed reading 6 Ways To Avoid Being A Hated Brand on Social Media . If you did then why not tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know.