We all have that one friend (or if we are particularly unlucky, group of friends) who feel the need to justify their existence with the most mind-numbingly tedious Facebook and Twitter posts. While this can be potentially damaging on a personal level, it can be particularly ‘kamikaze’ when a business decides to go down this route of ambiguous content and attention-seeking outbursts of emotion. Before social media took off, people actually had to think about what they were saying, and the end result was that more often than not people wouldn’t go out of their way to let the world know about a particularly bad cup of tea, or the fact that Coronation Street was starting three minutes late.
Mixing promotional messages and ‘banter’
By now, you have probably realised the sort of comment that is in question here. While it is already a ‘given’ that businesses need to try and mix up promotional messages with general chatter and banter, trying to be overly friendly and familiar will usually stick out like a sore thumb. Insights and analysis tools allow social media page owners to find out their exact audience characteristics, and content can be created to match. ‘What’s everyone up to today?’ may seem like a friendly attempt to engage with an audience, but the question is so wide-reaching that some followers may decide to post undesirable replies or even just rant about the company. When coming up with something highly-specific, the right sort of fans are more likely to react.
Hashtags are also becoming an annoyance for a lot of people, and the reason for this is that anyone can just come up with one – this means that the hashtag arena has now become over-saturated to the extent that it is often more desirable to just use old-fashioned words. If a hashtag is already trending, and it is relatively short, it can be used as an effective tool for increasing exposure. If a business ends their message with #itsrainingagainandihavenoideawhattodowiththekidstoday, it actually gives the impression that the poster has zero understanding about the power of hashtags.
All of this may seem a little bit cynical, but steering away from these basics could lead to the inevitable ‘get off my page!’ rant. If companies keep their updates brief, fresh and to the point, followers will take notice – it is best to leave the vague and ambiguous attention seeking to the ‘professionals,’ so to speak.