Last Updated on October 7, 2021
If you’re not really sure what you’re doing, social media can be difficult. Gaining followers is something of a delicate art – retaining them even more so. There are plenty of mistakes you can make; plenty of areas in which you can misstep and send your social efforts down the drain.
Thankfully, they’re actually pretty easy to avoid – provided you’re aware of them.
That’s where we come in. We’re going to go over some tactics, blunders, and foibles that are pretty much guaranteed to get you on your community’s bad side. Avoid running into any of the pitfalls mentioned in this piece, and you’re one step closer to mastering your social marketing campaign.
Begging For Followers (And Everything Else)
Everyone knows that organically-generated followers are better than those gained through begging or coercion. In that same vein, the best way to lose followers is to not do anything organically in the first place. The best way to get people to follow you is by providing them with something valuable – great content and positive, memorable interactions. The worst way to make long-lasting connections is by begging for them or buying them.
Treating People Like Dirt
People don’t like it when you put yourself above them. For that reason, toxic behavior is probably one of the worst things you can do if you want to retain followers. If you behave like an arrogant ponce, put yourself above people, and demean everyone you converse with, people aren’t going to want to interact with you.
“As human beings, we cannot escape bad days. Venting is ok, as long as it is done sensibly,” writes professional social media blogger Cendrine Marrouat. “Never tell your followers that they desperately need your help because they suck. You should be in business because you care about the world around you. Not because you need to toot your own horn.”
Be careful of what brands or companies you complain about as well, this could come back to bite you. For example, if you had bad service at a recent visit to a restaurant, is it worth burning a bridge by complaining about it on social media?
Social media isn’t about your brand. It’s about the conversations between you and your followers; it’s about connecting with and communicating with people. It may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but you’re going to want to avoid putting your brand front and center in your social marketing efforts.
“Nobody likes someone who is constantly self-promoting, and the same goes for brands on social media networks,” reads a guest post on Adweek. “24% of consumers unfollowed a brand on Facebook because its posts were ‘too promotional,’ and 21% said the same of Twitter. Brands that promote others more than they promote themselves tend to fare best.”
Spam, Spam, And More Spam
Even if the content you’re sharing is genuinely high quality, you’re going to end up with quite a few frustrated followers if you’re overloading them with endless torrents of spam. You need to keep your posts to a reasonable level. What constitutes reasonable depends entirely on your industry, but as a general rule, you should avoid posting more than a few things a day.
Oh, and avoid low-quality, spammy content. It’ll get you nowhere.
Ignoring The People Who Follow You
Like I’ve already said, websites such as Facebook and Twitter are all about conversation. If you don’t bother communicating with your followers, there’s a good chance you’re going to lose them. They’re going to get bored and leave. Social media is a two way conversation, not just you spouting information or your opinions.
Offering Nothing Original
Are you posting witty, original content relevant to your brand? Do you have a content creation and marketing team working overtime to create awesome posts you can share with the people who follow you? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re in the clear – you’re doing a great job.
If you answered no, you should probably take a look at the content you’re sharing online. Your posts can’t just be a rehash of something your followers can find elsewhere. You need to show them that you’ve got some original stuff to share.
After all, why should they pay attention to you when they can just go straight to the source of your best content?
Acting Like A Debbie Downer
Another thing people hate almost as much as outright hostility is overwhelming negativity. I’m talking about constant complaining, undue hostility, angry rants; you get the idea. Maybe the barista messed up your coffee order, maybe traffic is bad, maybe your co-workers are incompetent, or maybe your marriage is on the rocks. Whatever it is, if there’s a constant torrent of bile coming from your end, people are eventually going to tune you out.
A big part of losing followers on social networks is by failing to communicate effectively. While ignoring people outright can certainly lose people, so too can a lack of competence. Liberal amounts of profanity, misspellings, needless abbreviations; these are all surefire ways to lose followers. Don’t treat the English language like it’s a punching bag.
Lacking a Solid Personality
If there’s one thing people like, it is consistency. They like dealing with brands that have a solid, reputable, and trustworthy personality to them. You need to give your followers that.
Don’t switch your brand voice up on a rapid, regular basis, and don’t randomly shift between different personas. People won’t know what to make of your attitude, and they’ll be less comfortable dealing with you as a result.
Just Vanish Entirely
This one’s sort of self-explanatory. If you abandon your social marketing campaign and dissociate yourself from social media altogether, you’re naturally going to lose followers. While a few stragglers might stick around, your feed’s eventually going to transform into a ghost town.
After all, people aren’t going to follow someone who never does anything, right?
So, there you have it. With this guide, you’re aware of some of the most common missteps in social marketing. Avoid all of these pitfalls, and you’ll be well on your way to building a strong presence on whatever social network you choose; one with plenty of loyal fans, devout followers, and happy customers.
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