Sometimes social media can bolster your business, and sometimes it can be a one-way ticket to disaster. In the world of online posts, blogs, and tweets, understanding what could be a useful move and what could potentially be a bad move is difficult. Running a pet business is about connecting with both pets and people, and social media can be a great tool if used in a way that is genuine, honest, and real. We’ve asked marketing experts and business savants what the biggest social media sins are, and what they would recommend avoiding to keep your social media content clean and genuine. These tips about what not to do when managing your pet business’s social media accounts can help to ensure that you always have the greatest content!
EAT A SLICE OF HUMBLE PIE
When producing online posts or content for your business, try to take a humble approach. Attempting to sell your services or products in every tweet or blog post that you produce can actually have a negative effect on your potential and current clients. If your social media is strictly aimed at marketing and sales, as opposed to providing genuinely interesting content for your consumers to enjoy, your pet business may be perceived as only sales driven and not focused on connecting with your clients. While it is generally fine to do some business promotion through your online presence, try to remember that social media is a great tool to build relationships between businesses and clients, and that building relationships will result in long term customer retention.
DON’T BE A TWITTER TWIT
Twitter is a great tool for your pet business because you can connect with clients in multiple manners through direct messages, tweets, retweets, likes, and comments. However, it is helpful to remember that Twitter can negatively affect your pet business if the focus is not on building relationships with your consumers. An easy way to keep open communication between your business and your customers is to make sure that your Twitter account stays set to “public.” While keeping your account private has its merits, a public account is an inviting way to encourage new clients to check out your business! A couple of helpful tips concerning Twitter:
TRUE TWIT CAN BE TRICKY
True Twit is a service that enables you to send direct messages to any new followers, asking them to confirm that they are a human being, and not a robot, by typing in a validation code. While this service can be useful to some, you may want to avoid it for the fear that it can inhibit potential customers by making it appear that you do not manage your own Twitter handle. Clients looking for a hands-on pet service may not immediately see how great your business is if the first interaction that they have with your company is filtered through a third-party service.
DON’T THANK THEM IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW BACK
Please, please do not send a direct message thanking someone for following you if you don’t follow them back. Unless you are Beyoncé and too famous to function, at least attempt to keep up with your followers! You absolutely do NOT have to follow every person back, but you certainly do not want to rub salt in the wound if you choose not to return the follow. Your customers want to know that they can reach out to your business through your social media and that you will be involved. When you reach out to thank a customer for following your Twitter page, but don’t bother to follow them back, it implies that your business only cares about followers and not about the likes, interests, and opinions of its consumers.
SHARING IS NOT ALWAYS CARING
Sharing between social media networks is totally acceptable, pending that you change the post to fit each forum. Posting a picture on Instagram is a great way to connect with people through the use of photos, and relies heavily on hashtags to reflect content. However, sharing this Instagram post directly to Twitter without modifying it could result in all 140 characters being consumed by hashtags, with no room left for a descriptive, witty description of your content. Be mindful of the social media forum that you are using, and take the time to modify each post to best fit each network. Changing your posts to match each respective forum shows that your business is mindful of the fact that some clients may follow multiple social media pages and that you are trying to create varied and interesting content.
IF YOU LAUGH AT FUNERALS…DON’T SHOW IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Inappropriate reactions to tragic events happen to the best of us, but it’s very important to monitor your social media accordingly in the face of tragedy. Absolutely horrible media snafus can occur when an ill-timed or shocking social media post goes out to the public without being mindful of the public grieving process that occurs in the wake of a local, national, or global tragedy. This tip is fairly obvious, but try to cancel your scheduled posts if a tragedy occurs, or at least modify them to a respectful post about the tragedy-show that your business is run by a human who is grieving like everyone else. While a funny animal picture or joke might be intended to lighten the mood, your customer may see your company as uninvolved in world affairs or insensitive. Do not try to sell your product or services to customers by using the tragedy as a platform-this will never result in positive reviews.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
Try to be transparent and consistent with your content so that your clients understand where your business is coming from. For example, try to make sure that your titles and subtitles match the body of your text, and that all links are relevant and appropriate. It looks great if your pet business is clear and straightforward with your content, so that your clients never have to guess what you mean when you post something.
INTERACT BUT DON’T REACT
Make sure that you interact with your followers by answering direct messages, retweeting, and liking content. Feel free to respond to comments and questions, but don’t react in an angry or negative manner to any posts. Try to remain calm and collected when the situation goes wrong, and address negative complaints from customers using more private pathways such as emails or telephone calls.
What’s your biggest social media don’t? Let us know in the comments below! Did you enjoy this post? Check out some of our other articles by visiting our blog!