There are roughly 4.2 billion active social media users in the world. Social media is indeed a force to be reckoned with, and one you should be able to use responsibly.
You may have witnessed social media mishaps in the past year. They often stem from recklessness, miscommunication, or eagerness to gain attention. Whatever the reason may be, these mistakes can lead to significant consequences.
Here are five ways to avoid social media mishaps at your school:
1. Avoid relying on automated posts.
Many social media programs and apps allow you to create and schedule social media posts in advance. This might seem useful, but can backfire tremendously when used without careful consideration. Over-reliance on automated posts can turn your content into generic, dull, and predictable, driving prospects away. In short, something automated may not feel authentic. According to social media strategist and speaker Philip Calvert, one way to identify backfiring automated posts is by comparing the number of your followers to the number of your actual online customers. “If there is a big disparity, then it means that the value of their social media activity isn’t yet fully engaging their customers,” Calvert says. Try to avoid the “fire and forget” approach and try to build genuine relationships through meaningful conversations with your prospects.
2. Do not cross-post on different accounts.
Like automated scheduled posts, cross-posting can be a sensible, convenient tool for social media posts. However, if not used correctly, you may end up using the wrong format for other social media channels, especially when you try to cross-post your Facebook posts to Twitter. When you try to cross-post lengthy content to a medium that limits the amount of text, your followers will think that you are sending out spam, or that you are lazy in posting. Worst of all, you might end up posting your personal posts to your school profile on another social media channel. Instead of cross-posting, try to cross-promote your content on different channels – find ways to circulate your content across many channels without affecting your core message.
3. Be sensitive in times of tragedy.
Social media, especially Twitter, can often be the first port of call for any news item, including disasters and tragedies. When these news stories occur, everything else fades into the background and nothing else is as important. So, be aware of the news and be sensitive to it. When brands continue their scheduled content in the aftermath of a tragedy, they can be scolded by the public for being insensitive. Don’t rely too much on automated posts and always monitor your social media for news updates. You can avoid aggravating the situation by taking a 24-hour period of silence, marked by a simple tweet explaining why.
4. Avoid trying to be funny or hijacking trending topics.
Humour can be subjective and a difficult tool to wield. If used correctly, posts can go viral, if not, your posts will end up bland and corny, or even offensive. Humour is great, but the tone of voice should be authentic, consistent, and informative, especially as you have a school brand to maintain. Like humour, riding on trending topics can make your posts go viral if done correctly, but it is a very risky idea. As a marketer, you must make sure that your school brand has a relevant relationship with the trending topic. If not, your prospects might think that the execution is forced and inauthentic.
5. Don’t pick a fight with your critics.
The social media space is very peculiar, and you just can’t avoid encountering critics and trolls who can strike a nerve and irk you. In this situation, self-control is very important. You should always remember that you are speaking on behalf of your school, and it is the school brand you are projecting. Picking an online fight with critics may paint your school in a bad light and oftentimes is a losing battle. If you need to respond to online allegations, always answer in an informative and non-confrontational tone.
If used correctly, social media can become a formidable tool in building your school brand and converting your prospective parents to customers. Always be careful when handling your school brand on social media and make sure you generate the right impression in order to yield the best results.