Microblogging No-No’s: How NOT to microblog for your business

By: | July 19th, 2012

We all know what a blog is by now, but what is a microblog? The name says it all: a microblog is like a tiny version of a blog, where people post little bits of information, like a sentence, a photo or a video. Look around you and you’ll see you already know some microblogs (like Twitter and Tumblr) or platforms for microblogging (did someone say Facebook?)

Since social networks have taken over the universe, or are very near to world domination, at the least, we should try to use them wisely. As business owners who twitter or update your status on Facebook, you should be aware of these two facts:

  1. Social networks can spread your services/products far and wide and gain you new clients.
  2. Misuse of social networks or not understanding their power can cost you your business.

Do not underestimate microblogging. The following list comprises the most common microblogging mistakes businesses can make. So the next time you update your status on Facebook, check the list to make sure you’re not committing a microblogging crime.

Over-advertising

Advertising a deal once in while is fine, but don’t use your Twitter or Facebook accounts to constantly shove your products at your clients’ faces. Microblogging is your chance to talk to your clients on the personal level, so keep your posts interesting and relevant to the users – post about new trends in your industry, share a funny story from the office. Make them feel involved, not stalked.

Threadless, the awesome online shop for T-shirts, does not only advertise cleverly (right) but also posts about cool concerts in their offices! That’s the way to go.

Facebook Threadless

Transparent Bribing

Prizes and freebies are great ways to gain more followers. But don’t fall into the habit of showering your followers with gifts on a daily basis. If all you do is give away gadgets and coupons, they’ll stop being interested in you as you soon as you try posting an actual piece of information that doesn’t come attached to a gift.

Becoming a Customer Services Center

Answering questions and comments from your followers is great, but try not to become an online hotline…If users address you with specific complaints or technical problems, direct them to your official customer service. Your goal is to maintain your microblog as a channel of news, updates and announcements, not an FAQ center. FAQ centers are useful – but boring, and you only visit them when it’s absolutely necessary. Keep that in mind.

Not Following Mentions of Your Brand

Are people tweeting about your brand or mentioning it in their Facebook posts? Did one of your clients take an Instagram photo of your store and tagged you? Try to find out about these things as soon as they happen, so you can react in time. Whether it’s good publicity or bad publicity, you want to get there first. To do that, make sure you don’t neglect checking your notifications shortly after they appear, and set up searches for your brand and keywords related to it on Twitter. Just use Twitter’s search tool to do that.

Not Interacting with your Followers

If one of your followers or fans took the time to comment on one of your posts, tweet or write on your Facebook wall, they’re most likely looking for a response. Neglecting to answer will send the message that you don’t care enough to do so. Instead, be sure to answer your followers’ comments or tweets in a timely manner and be as helpful and warm to them as you can. Other followers seeing your response might just follow through and contact you too.

Be involved. Respond fast. Follow Walmart’s example:

Twitter Walmart

Not Being Creative & Interesting in Your Posts

If you want to attract more followers, you have to put in a little effort. As your personal goal, try to make your posts the most interesting posts they’ve all day. This can be achieved by a cool photo, an enlightening instructional video, an interesting news story that relates to your field, etc. If you use content from another source, like a news website, make sure to include your opinion on the subject, to make it more personal. Also, encourage followers to put I their two cents, with sentences like: ‘so what do you think? ‘, ‘give a caption to this photo!’, or ‘got any tips you’d like to share with us?’

Take an example from Pepsi’s cool-sounding tweets:

Pepsi Twitter

If you would like to delve more deeply into the methods of effectively marketing your business on social networks, you’re welcome to read our posts about the Facebook Timeline, Pinterest and Instagram.

We hope this was useful! If you’ve got more microblogging mistakes to report, please feel free to comment.

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Dafna Ben-Yehoshua Google+

A biologist turned content writer who dances lindy hop for fun. Specializes in multi-tasking and never getting enough sleep. An expert on cats, dark chocolate, and how prevent cats from eating her chocolate.

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