17 Cardinal Sins to Avoid in a Social Response Strategy

Do you have a strategy for a negative customer social response? It just is logical that you occasionally deal with negative customers, no matter how good you are. How well you deal with these customers will determine whether you are dealing with a crisis or a non-issue. So it is essential that you avoid cardinal sins in a social media response strategy, in this regard.

It is pardonable to be defeated, but never to be surprised.

-Frederick the Great


Related:  10 Social Media and Business Marketing Killers


Social media has been around for a decade now, so it should be easy to figure out how to leverage it, right? Not so fast. New ideas? Definitely not that new, but good refresher. There are recommendations on how to beef up social media marketing everywhere you turn. But which ones will make the grass growth the best?


Before we continue, let me ask you a question. 

What works best for social media design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? It would be greatly appreciated by us and our readers.


The ultimate goal of all the points I list below is this: eliminate the fluff from your marketing strategy, and focus only on the things that work.


Social response … keep this in mind

How many times have you seen companies requesting people to friend them on Facebook? Like farming followers was the name of the game. Sad but true. The truth is that social media marketing tactics are really about cultivating relationships with potential customers. Fan ‘skins’, by themselves, are of very little value.


In part it is true, but things get complicated by all the misinformation circulating about social media. From leveraging tactics to tracking issues, you are bombarded with conflicting messages, including whether social media marketing is worth using at all.


Here is the bottom line:

These are 17 cardinal sins we use most often for training our clients. We believe they are the ones most critical to the success of your social media marketing and community engagement. They will destroy much of your social media marketing gains if they occur:


Limited to no brand personality

Always create a personality through laughter and having fun in the workplace. Be able to laugh at yourself. Wear your enthusiasm and your passion at all times.


 Being a poor listener

 Avoid censoring at all costs. Listen carefully and try to understand your customers’ viewpoints.


 Not responding quickly and directly

 Respond directly and early response time matters. Time is critical and you have very little.


social response … offering excuses 

Always explain without offering excuses. Remain calm under fire at all costs.


the solution
Ignoring the solution?


Ignoring the solution

 Fix problems if they exist. Acknowledge the issues and communicate your solutions.


Not keeping staff informed

 Provide all information to your staff. Keep everyone in the loop and up to speed.


Not utilizing your community

Build followers of passionate defenders. Let them defend you with their views.


Ignoring the opportunity

Try to turn the problem into an opportunity.  Don’t neglect spending time finding the opportunity from your adversity … it often will not jump out at you, will it?


 Forgetting the walk away option

If it is a lose-lose situation and you see you are not making headway, be prepared to walk away. When is the issue over? Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not … but monitor closely for a while.

Social media response strategy … not being yourself

Readers can easily see through marketing speak. Be passionate about what you do and let that show through your personality. Ensure people see you as a real person and not a mouthpiece.


When you are communicating in the world of social media, say who you are and who you work for. Don’t be sneaky with your comments. Avoid ghost writing. Be genuine and real.


value add
Are you paying attention to value add?


Limited value add

Try to add value with everything you post. Be useful or entertaining or you will be ignored. Share tips, tricks, and insights. People’s time is very valuable and they are looking to learn and enjoy new things from you. Make listening to you worth their time.


Light on engagement             

Answer questions readers ask, ask questions of others, and thank people even if it is just a few words. Communications is a two way activity, isn’t it?


No preparation

If you are going to participate in social media, be prepared and know generally what to expect. Be engaged with people. That really is the only way to understand the online culture, tone, best practices, and protocol. And remember, things are constantly changing, so be prepare to learn consistently as you go.


Weak on consistency

Social media is a time consuming effort. You must spend time in a consistent way. You cannot post and then depart for a week or more. And, oh by the way, it takes persistence to achieve success. Readers expect responses quickly and new content regularly and if they don’t see it, they won’t be back.


Not listening carefully

Pay attention to feedback from your audience. Appreciate suggestions; it will make what you do even better. Always acknowledge inputs.


Learn from experiences

Be real and honest. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes or change your opinion on things. Be quick to make changes when you do.

Related post: 17 Cardinal Sins to Avoid in a Social Response Strategy

Showing you are not having fun

People are easy to read, aren’t they? If you are not enjoying what you are doing, others will notice and won’t interact. So why participate in that losing mode?


The bottom line

There are a lot of misconceptions about social media marketing. Just because you read something in a blog post or hear something from a credible source doesn’t mean it is true or true for you and your business.


Always do your research, and continually try to improve. Social media marketing is here to stay, and it can drive a lot of business for you, assuming you are leveraging it correctly.


There is more opportunity to fail in social media than to succeed if we treat it like any other marketing vehicle. Social media requires us to get away from being promotional and sensational and instead treat our customers with special attention. Special attention to being social, building relationships, and creating trust.





Need some help in capturing more customers from your social media marketing or advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?



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Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.


When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.


Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.


Do you have a lesson about making your advertising better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?



Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  


Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.



More reading on social media mistakes from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

KPI Metrics … The Website Performance Indicators You Must Avoid

Content Development Strategy … SEO Mistakes that Will Kill You

13 Social Media Marketing Trends Sure to Reduce Business



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17 Cardinal Sins to Avoid in a Social Response Strategy