In honor of one of my favorite rom-com's I thought I'd make a list of 10 things that are sure to lower your social media follower count. Or, at the very least, make you look as though you don't really know what you're doing.
While there are no set of rules for social media that one business should strictly abide by, there are certainly some things that will surely make you look like an amateur if you do them.
While the purposely playing crazy kind of worked for Andie Anderson in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," in the end, I don't suggest following these steps.
But if you ARE trying to lose a social media follower in 10 days, do these things:
- Send automatic Twitter DMs. It amazes me how many automatic Twitter direct messages I still get from people. You know, those messages you automatically get on Twitter after you follow someone that say something like, "Hey thanks for following! Find me on Facebook too: www.facebook.com/unique address." They aren't personal, they aren't effective and if you're like me, they really make you want to UNfollow that person right away.
- Only talk about yourself. Being 100% promotional on social media all the time is like taking the old fashioned way of advertising and applying it to modern tactics. The two just don't mesh. People are on social to have personalized, unique and custom conversations. Try to remember that when you're putting your brand's messages out into the social world.
- Never respond to comments. When people engage with you on social channels, you should try to respond in a timely fashion. I'm not saying you have to reply to a tweet ASAP, though there's an argument to be made for the effectiveness of that strategy, especially if you're a bigger brand. But as a small business, I know you probably don't have as much time for social media as you wish. If you're keeping your social media in house a good rule of thumb is to immediately respond to any fires that need to be put out and then respond within at least 24 hours to any other types of engagement.
- In fact, never engage with anyone in real time. Ever. Only use automated messages. While I'm all about using social media automation the right way to get your messages out there, make sure you are taking time to engage on social media in real time as well.
- Have your social accounts automatically post your content. While I do see this less and less, there are still some people out there who will have their Facebook photos automatically posted on Twitter or their blog content automatically pushed out into the world on all their social accounts. This is one way to do it but it probably won't spark much engagement, the whole purpose, you know, of social media.
- Be on every social media channel. While this may not be a way to LOSE social media followers you already have, it is certainly a way to spread yourself thin and not GAIN any new social media followers. If you have the man power and the time to make sure you have a valuable presence on every social media channel out there, go for it. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you don't. Social media takes time to do it right and make it a valuable marketing tactic for your company. Start out with two to three platforms, measure your results and go from there. (For more information on how to start a good social media strategy, read this.)
- Post boring text updates without photos on Facebook. Facebook has it's own algorithm which determines where your posts show up in your followers news feed. By posting boring text updates that don't spark engagement or interaction, you're posts are sure to get buried in users' news feeds. Make your Facebook posts engaging.
- Post the same content everyone else is posting. You want your social media presence to stand out, right? You want to be a "must-follow" for your target audience? Then don't do what everyone else is doing. Create your own unique content. Be your own person!
- Post the same content with the same caption on every social media platform you're on. Every social media platform is different. Similar to tip number 5, don't just post a blog post with the same title across multiple platforms. This tends to make you appear as robotic and generally doesn't spark good engagement.
- Stop learning. Let's say you're on social media and you're getting the results you are looking to achieve. You should totally ignore any industry related blogs and updates about social media in general. Wrong. Things are changing on social media platforms all the time. All. The. Time. I mean just look at how often Facebook changes its algorithm. Don't get caught off guard with these updates. Make sure you're paying attention, at the very least, to updates about the platforms you are most active on and adjust your strategy accordingly.
While these are some pretty generic social media faux pas, they are big ones that I highly recommend you avoid.