totally suck at social media |

So…you totally suck at social media (but you don’t have to)

you-suck-social-mediaImage of woman using phone from Shutterstock.

Whether you’re a newcomer getting accustomed to the nuances of different social platforms or constantly active on multiple social platforms, it’s important to keep in mind your personal reputation and maintaining professional business etiquette as a brand. Guest Author Meira Khosla, Social Media Manager for Outsite The Box, explains.

As the manager of multiple social media accounts across various platforms, I’ve had the opportunity to witness various ways people present themselves through their online personas.

I could go on and on about the dos and don’ts of social branding, but so as not to bore you, I’ll just gently remind everyone about a few good rules of thumb, instead.

Be authentic

I can’t stress this  enough. Your audience wants to connect with the human aspect of your brand, whether it’s personal or professional. Be quirky and let your personality shine through your content.

Your audience wants to know there’s a person and culture behind your brand. Associating with a faceless machine makes your followers feel less important and disconnected.

The lesson? One of the easiest ways to show the authentic side of your brand is by engaging directly with your followers, whether through comments or reposting their content to your profiles.

Be mindful

Now I didn’t want to bring this up, because I often have cravings for their tacos and piping hot churros smothered in dulce de leche (#drooling). But, the timing of these social media events coincided so perfectly with me writing this, I couldn’t avoid referencing it.

If you live in the Toronto area, you may know of a restaurant called La Carnita. For those who don’t, it’s a popular Mexican joint and something of a phenomenon in the city.

You may also know of a certain American presidential hopeful who goes by the name of Donald J. Trump, who recently set tongues wagging when the video of him bragging to an entertainment reporter about the disgusting things he could do to women went viral.

La Carnita, in an attempt to capitalize on a trending topic, posted this gem: “What if Donald said, ‘grab her by the taco?” along with a pic of of one of their signature dishes.

The only element of this social post that was correct was that it rode on a topical wave; the customer uproar that ensued led the restaurant’s management to retract the post and issue an apology. Still, the offence resulted in people claiming a permanent boycott of the establishment.

The lesson? Be careful what you post – you don’t want to lose business over a social media misstep.

Promote, but don’t oversell

Have you ever walked through a retail store, browsing aimlessly through aisles, only to be constantly bombarded by a sales representative trying to push the latest products on you? Annoying, right?

Steadily hawking your products and services may be tempting, but you’ll easily lose followers.

Keep a good mix of content through your profiles whether it’s creative, educational, or inspirational and stick to 10 to 20 per cent of your content as Calls-To-Action.

The lesson? This combination will keep your followers engaged, understand what your brand is about and they’ll be likely to visit your profile in the future.

Lack of likes ≠ a lack of love

What matters more than likes is your reach and how many people your message has impacted. For example: Instagram engagement is down 33 per cent this year, yet with the Insights feature on their new Business Profiles, you’re able to see that your post had many more impressions than the number of likes you received.

People are likely to see your content, but may feel less inclined to engage through liking or commenting.

The lesson? It’s okay! The point is to communicate your message effectively and your target audience will respond accordingly.

Cooler heads prevail

Internet trolls are everywhere. Whether you encounter them on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook or other media, some users seek any opportunity to share their opinion.

Despite insulting comments about your personal content or attacks on your business online via comments, do not overreact. Don’t compound negative comments with more negativity. The best thing you can do is to ignore and delete

Remember, anything can be made into a screenshot! A split-second mistake on your part can be captured by someone else and spiral out of control before you know it.

The lesson? Don’t give others the power to use your words against you, for it may harm your personal or business reputation in the long run.

(aka why are you yelling?)

We get it. You want to grab the attention of your audience amongst the plethora of other content. However, expressing your captions in all capital letters appears aggressive and a little bit needy. Your content should also consist of proper grammar and punctuation.

The lesson? Some users are real sticklers for grammatically correct content. Before you post, PROOFREAD. (Yes, that was yelling. No, I’m not sorry).

(While I’m on the topic of social media, it’s time for a shameless plug! Outside the Box recently released a free e-book, The Power of Social Media, which outlines the benefits of social media platforms and how they can help grow your business. Check it out!)

Meira is a Project Manager & Managing Partner of Outsite the Box, Event Organizer at The Hip Haus, and Co-Founder/Consultant for her makeup company, Lash Bosses. A graduate of McMaster University, she started working at a prestigious financial institution downtown Toronto as a student before realizing her passion was in marketing and joined Outsite the Box/Hip Haus. She thoroughly enjoys eating (at least 6 times a day), going to the gym (to counteract the eating), and forcing her dog Bentley to hang out with her.

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  • 74Rickenbacker4001

    Great advice throughout. Reading between the lines, Meira is speaking volumes about the importance of editors. A real, trained, qualified and experienced editor is worth more (yes, in actual dollars) than a half dozen trendy bloggers combined. In the pre-Internet era, we in the media had a rule: no writer’s raw copy will EVER be seen by a reader. Now that unedited copy is everywhere, that value of that “old” policy is glaringly evident.

    • Interesting point! And as the editor of this post (and others), I tend to agree. 🙂