Social media is frequently spoken about as if it were a bit of a ‘golden nugget’ for ambitious entrepreneurs; a place where brands can establish themselves and immediately unlock success. And with recent statistics indicating that some 4.55 billion people – more than half the global population – now use social media, that might be an understandable perception.

Data like that suggests a brand simply setting up a social media profile or two is sufficient to get a lot of people’s eyeballs upon it. Alas, cultivating a strong audience of social followers for your brand isn’t quite as straightforward as that. Even once you have signed up your organisation to Facebook, Twitter or a similar platform, much depends on how you then make use of it.

Below are just three social media mistakes many brands frequently make that can damage their reputation and cost them sales and revenue, and that you need to avoid.

Not having any real social media strategy

You will have formulated and implemented a definite plan to get your organisation to where it is in the present day. So, why would the situation be any different when it comes to coordinating the success of your brand’s social media activity?

Sure, there are plenty of brands that post on social media on a somewhat random basis, when they can find the time. But that’s not a great formula for projecting any real professionalism, or achieving whatever goals you may have had for your brand’s social media involvement (if, indeed, you have even bothered to set any specific goals).   

What you will need, then, is a social media strategy, and not just any strategy, but one that is well-aligned with your broader business ambitions. That will include contemplating such things as which audiences you wish to target, and what content you will be posting on your social channels – and when.

Forgetting to proofread and check your social media posts

If you are already active on social media in a personal capacity, it might not seem overly problematic if you make the occasional spelling error, or even say something slightly embarrassing. But these things are absolute no-nos when you are posting on social media in the name of your company.

Every social media update that you make under your brand’s name is a representation of your organisation’s professionalism and values. So, be sure – before hitting that ‘tweet’ or ‘publish’ button – to look over what you are about to put out there into the world.

In the process, ask yourself: is this something I should be making public on the company social media account? And if not, how can I change, edit or replace this content to make it suitable?

Ignoring the people commenting on your social media profiles

Given that much of the whole point of setting up a brand presence on social networks is to cultivate follower engagement with your organisation – which, for a lot of brands, includes as a potential customer service channel – it doesn’t make much sense to ignore the comment sections on your profiles.

Not every comment you receive from a customer or follower on your company’s social media pages will necessarily be positive. However, you should still keep track of what is being said about your brand on your social channels, and respond – professionally and empathetically – to show that you care about their concerns. This will aid you in building a real community around your brand’s social media profiles – which in turn, can be great for business.

While social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can provide brands with a powerful means of reaching out to their audiences, they can also present a lot of scope for potentially damaging errors. You might therefore seek out experts like those at Jumping Spider Media, to help ensure you make all the right moves with your organisation’s social media presence.