How To Start & Grow Your Business

Avoid these Common Mistakes of Social Media Rookies

From the Editor's Desk
Sep 30th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Social media has both risks and rewards. 2It can either satisfy your customers or alienate them. 3Either get both feet in or nothing at all.
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Social Media

Social Media Keys on Keyboard Photo Credit: bloomua

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re just getting started on social media because the rules for appropriate behavior online are a little different from those that apply when conducting business in person.

Sure, some aspects are the same, such as being customer-centric, personal and consistent. The trouble is that pulling off excellent customer service online takes a lot of effort.

In her article on Fox Business News, Natalie Angulo shares tips from attorney and small business expert Susan Solovic. Solovic highlights several areas where rookies get it wrong online and how you can learn from their mistakes.

1. Go all in.

It’s important to put yourself completely into social media if you’re going to participate at all. You can’t just check in when you feel like it, or save it for Sunday afternoon when you have time.

Maintain a regular daily routine—time blocking an hour in the morning and perhaps a shorter burst in the early evening to cover your bases.

2. Respond promptly.

When customer complaints are made online, they’re usually more scathing than in person, and when they’re done publicly, the pressure is on to respond impeccably. Even though comments come in at odd hours, it is crucial to acknowledge concerns in a timely fashion before frustration builds.

Even if you feel attacked by a public complaint, take a deep breath before you craft your response. Responding defensively will send the wrong message to all the other people following the interaction, in addition to alienating the original customer.

3. Be proactive not reactive.

The best customer service is proactive. For example, Solovic suggests you could anticipate a client’s upcoming appointment and take the opportunity to build excitement by offering some kind of perk or value-added favor. This makes customers feel special and builds good will.

4. Create a social media policy.

Anyone who is representing the voice of your company online should be given clear boundaries on what is expected. Solovic recommends putting the guidelines in writing and enforcing the consequences of violating them.

5. Don’t sacrifice authenticity.

While it is important to maintain a high level of discretion online, people want to get to know your brand, so you have to show your human side as well. Nobody goes on social media to be talked at by a robot or get a stale, generic response that is obviously not well thought out.

This goes back to the first point about being committed and invested in the process of engaging in social media.

6. Legal missteps.

Don’t encourage or participate in the critiquing of your competitors. This can be considered defamatory and libelous. Likewise, take a cue from dinner party etiquette and stay away from making statements on heated topics such as religion, gender and race.

To read the original article in its entirety, please visit Fox Small Business Center.

About the Author

From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: