Social media brand presence for companies doesn’t need to be complex. But brands searching for quick wins can fall into a trap of happy Fridays, happy hump days, Ryan Gosling memes and cat photos.
So how do you know if your brand is annoying? Are your fans disappearing into thin air? Do you have a healthy supply of complaints about your page? Have your posts landed you on Condescending Brand Pages?
Whether social media management is done in-house or by an outside agency, there are signs executives and business owners can look for all the effort isn’t doing the brand much good – and in fact, might be just losing you customers. Here’s are the signs you might already be the most annoying brand on Facebook:
1. You post illogical statements that add zero value for followers
“YAY, it’s Friday! Who’s ready for the weekend?! Please engage with this post if you are excited for the weekend!”
This is the most annoying thing brands do: fishing for engagement or using guilt to try get people to like or share the post. “If you don’t share this you hate animals.”
They usually involve Fridays, Mondays, or the ever-annoying Wednesday “hump-day” posts. Even some the best brands on social media have been guilty of this. It might be tempting, but don’t do it.
2. You think you’re a philosopher
Brands love using Facebook and Instagram to post banal quotes that have absolutely nothing to do with their brand message. Think cliché photos of sunsets, oceans or unicorns (for some of the more serious offenders).
Then caption these with phrases like “now or never”, “DREAM BIG” or any statement containing the word hustle, and you have yourself one incredibly annoying brand page.
Some brands even take this to the next level by throwing their logo over allegedly deep and insightful quotes they’ve borrowed from the internet. Before posting any quote, always ask, does this align with my brand’s core message and will my community actually be interested in this?
3. You abuse the hashtag
Brands that clog up feeds with hashtags are the online equivalent of people who block the supermarket aisle with their trolley. Have you ever seen someone post to Instagram with 20 hashtags in an effort to gain more followers and engagement? Annoying, wasn’t it?
Also, keep each hashtag as simple and as short as possible, because hashtags containing more than 5 words really grind peoples gears.
4. You’re desperate
“Who is looking forward to eating chocolate eggs for Easter this week? What’s your funniest Easter Egg story? Can you just write something in the comments anyway? Click ‘Like’ if you like Easter Eggs!”
Sadly you might spot one of these horrifying posts on your Facebook feed daily.
Unfortunately for brands, desperation is evident on social media. It’s actually better to not say anything at all than to say something that is the equivalent of begging your community to engage.
And remember, people will engage with you if you add value to them and feature good quality, interesting content. Don’t plead with them. Give them something of substance that they will genuinely want to interact with.
5. You’re trying too hard to be hip
Every brand wants to feel that they are the game-changer that the cool influencers of the world will jump all over. This is rarely the case.
With 23 million people in Australia and an overload of brands in every category, for most brands the happy consumer base is actually pretty mainstream. This group of people wants you to communicate with them about the things they are interested in, not create hip content that they find confusing, foreign or scary. Being too cool is as bad as not being cool enough.
6. You sound like a phony
Social media is ultimately about authenticity.
7. You rely on scheduling and automation
Facebook and Twitter are not the same thing. Too often you see the same message going out to all of a brand’s social networks. This does not work for many reasons, the first one being that different kinds of content work for each social network.
You can keep the messaging the same, but make sure that you change the format. If your Facebook post automatically gets uploaded to Twitter, not only will you not get engagement but you’ll annoy the hell out of your followers.
If you’re using a scheduling tool, make sure to pay attention to when the content is due to be updated. Social media is a two-way conversation and if all you are doing is publishing, you are treating your social media marketing the way you treat traditional advertising.
8. You post stock photos
Have you ever seen a friend share a brand’s stock photo on their own Facebook page? Didn’t think so.
As shiny and happy as the people in stock photos look, nobody likes them. They look phony and they simply don’t work.
Social media is about showing off personality and capturing real moments, so we recommend taking your own photos. We can guarantee that these will always perform better and be more engaging than the best stock photo ever created.
9. You talk down to people
Your community is your business lifeline, they are to be respected and valued. Too often brands respond to fan comments in condescending or self-protecting ways.
This is the quickest way to enrage someone who has taken the time to reach out to you. They want a friendly and helpful response.
10. You serve everything with cheese
A bit of cheese is OK every now and then, but serving it with every meal is a health hazard.
Gina Lednyak is the founder and managing director of L&A Social Media, based in Sydney and NYC. She has been in the social media space since Facebook was launched and formed part of the original test group for Facebook in Boston. Gina launched some of the first social media campaigns in Australia and has worked with brands such as Samsung, and nudie juice, as well as working with Australian small businesses to launch their social media campaigns.