The solution: "Focus on quality over quantity. It's more valuable for a company to have 100,000 highly engaged advocates than 1,000,000 followers or fans," many of whom have zero interest in your brand or may not even be real, Hawley says. "A quick [or fake] fan isn't going to translate into more sales, which is why brands should focus on building loyal, lifelong fans and followers who will become brand advocates."
6. Over-posting and posting inappropriate content."Although it's important to get your message across on social media, too many posts can lead to 'unlikes' and 'unfollows,'" reports Nicolle Hiddleston, social media manager, Saatva Luxury Mattress. So take the time to find out when your fans and followers are most likely to be online and post judiciously, say several times a day as opposed to several times an hour every hour.
Moreover, "instead of posting for the sake of it, companies should actively listen to what their audience is interested in and post relevant content that is up to date and that sparks meaningful interaction," Hiddleston says. Similarly, while "a cute meme or gif is funny every now and then, [each] should be used sparingly."
7. Newsjacking. "Newsjacking is a sexy term that means stealing mindshare from trending news or an event," explains Stacey Miller, social media manager at cloud marketing provider Vocus. So "exercise caution before inserting yourself into the conversation. Without evaluating the implications, your company risks looking insensitive or ignorant, which can [harm] your reputation."
8. Not monitoring social media for suggestions, complaints or questions regarding your business or products."Customers are talking about you online, whether you like it or not," says Adi Bittan, the cofounder & CEO of OwnerListens.com, which helps businesses avoid negative repercussions of social media. If you have a Facebook page and/or Twitter handle, "customers assume and expect you to be monitoring [them]," she says. "If no one is listening or acknowledging customer posts, customers assume you don't care."
9. Deleting or ignoring negative comments -- or responding in kind. "Any company that uses social media for marketing purposes today cannot afford to delete or ignore negative comments," states Gloria Rand, an SEO copywriter and social media consultant. "It only makes matters worse," she says. "Best to apologize (even if you haven't done anything wrong) and offer to contact the person by email to work out the problem. A simple acknowledgement of a problem can prevent a potential PR nightmare -- and often makes the customer so happy, the company gets a PR boost instead!"
"It's important to keep your cool and stay professional, even in response to an unfounded and highly personal attack," agrees Aaron Hollobaugh, vice president of sales and marketing, Hostway Corporation, a managed hosting, Web hosting and cloud hosting provider. "The worst thing to do is to respond in kind to [a negative] attack, which will only attract more attention to the problem customer and escalate the situation -- and [could] end up harming your brand and alienating customers."
10. Not responding quickly, especially to complaints. "When you create a brand presence on social media, especially on Facebook or Twitter, your customers are going to come to you there for customer service, whether you offer it or not," says Miller.