Brand appeal is a term you should be familiar with. At its core, it encompasses the positive emotions associated with a brand. Think of brand appeal as the way you attract, stimulate, please, and trigger interest for potential clients and customers.

The way you interact on social media has a direct impact on that impression. Your social media interaction should be an extension of your brand. Think about authors, businesses, and actors you may have followed on social media. Did you find their social media interaction completely at odds with the personality they portray through their brand? If so, did it detract from their image or enhance it some way? I’ve personally stopped following several brands because of their social media management. It also caused me to stop doing business with them altogether.

Here are some social media pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Don’t push sales every post. It’s the 5-2-1 ratio. Share other’s messages and posts five times. This can include followers’ messages, kind words, or great memes, just make sure it aligns with your brand’s identity. Spend two posts offering help and tips in some way. It can be a video on how to operate an item you sell, or a printable checklist to prepare for tax season. Whatever you share needs to be generated by you to help seal brand trust in the minds of your customers and clients. The final post can be a sale post, but it needs to offer an incentive of some type. A discount, a free printable for signing up to a newsletter, but it needs to be worth their time. Remember, this is social media, not hard selling. You can mix and match your teaching posts with your shared content, but the sales post needs to always be at the end of your list. The only exception is when you have a last minute countdown post for a sale, event, etc.
  2. Decide whether or not you will publicly respond to customer complaints. You may not wish to get into a discussion right there about their problem, but you can offer up a response. Thank them for bringing the problem to your attention and offer a link to a feedback form so they can send the information directly to your customer complaint department. Facebook pages now allow you to interact with them on messenger. Important note here: you should respond in some fashion to complaints. Ignoring them completely will trigger a snowball effect that can lead to a reputation crisis.
  3. Don’t ignore brand mentions. Your customers and clients may not even follow your social media accounts. As a matter of fact, most people expect those accounts to be full of pushy ads. Emails, applications, and forums are the perfect places for people to talk about your brand. Since those are “dark social” places, analytics tools can’t be used here. Google alerts and manual searches are key to brand mention tracking.
  4. Don’t ignore messages! Prompt, informative, and sincere responses from brands can strengthen your brand reputation exponentially. Some social profiles will tell a person how long it takes to respond to messages.

Social media should complement your branding and follow your vision. Spelling, grammar, and common sense are imperative to your reputation. Make sure your social media manager has your best interests in mind. To save time and effort, make sure you set up a response matrix for your social media accounts. There is a fantastic example in this SlideShare. A response matrix, also known as a social media reply protocol, shows your and your social media managers all response time requirements, answers, links to places you should offer in each type of comment or complaint, and more.

Take your social media in hand and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.