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  • Writer's pictureJames Cullen

How Bad Social Media Can Ruin Your Brand

I’ve seen far too many brands lately jam some words into their Hootsuite accounts, attach a terrible picture, and send the tweet on its way with the money it costs to promote it. Most of these fall short and gain very little in the way of vanity metrics, and likely, very little in the way of achieving their set objectives. It seems that so many brands and companies think their mere presence on social media is enough of a strategy for using the platforms, each of which require a carefully formulated strategy. But, they could not be more wrong – and being bad at social media may be working detrimentally on their business.

As a freelance copywriter, I know words, and I know how to use them. I also have strong experience managing social media, and very quickly I learned the target audience, I learned what they wanted in terms of content, and I learned how we could use their clamouring for what we were saying to achieve objectives (sales targets, awareness for upcoming products or events, website clicks). I sussed out the strategy, provided informative and entertaining posts, and achieved goals – all while never sending out something for the sake of it.

It’s fair enough to use #MondayMotivation, for instance, but it has to say something relevant about the brand and be engaging. Sending out a tweet, for example, that hashtags #MondayMotivation, the brand’s product, and says something like ‘It’s always a good day for XYZ’ just isn’t going to cut it with the saturated social media. Once upon a time earned content ensured that brands with stronger social media were seen by a greater number of people. Being able to purchase social media views (in a way) only works when the content is something that people might want to see and engage with, be informed by, or actually and honestly achieve some business goal. It’s not enough to think ‘I want the audience to see we have tweeted’ and send anything into the ether. But why are brands doing this?

There could be two reasons. Firstly, they could be out of touch with the landscape of social media and their client base who might use it. They could be out of touch with how to use social media properly, and could feel fulfilled just by sending anything out there. Or, they could be hiring an agency that excels in digital marketing – just not in formulating social media posts that do much of anything. Either way there is a remedy for this: hire a good freelance copywriter who knows about social media. Who knows what might work well across all major platforms, and can adapt the brand’s messaging to speak to the savvier of the social media audiences with a tone and style that suits the audience and the brand.

But, I hear you ask, I said the bad use of social media could harm your business. Yes. It can. For anyone who might feel social media is second nature, to be bad at social media makes your entire brand come across as extremely sloppy and not well thought out. If your brand was successful in its heyday, but when digital advancements came along let the best practices fall by the wayside and just jumped on the bandwagon because it’s something that should be done, consumers can tell. It could be enough to put them off or create irreparable brand image issues. It’s particularly infuriating to see as a freelance copywriter and someone who can create a stellar social media strategy, back it up with relevant copy and imagery, and create an extension of the brand that really speaks to the intended consumer audience. Solid writing is the foundation of any marketing strategy and if the words and images fall flat, everything does. It’s like a builder watching someone attempt to churn cement to build their own house.

So, if you are a brand with a wayward or ineffective social media presence, or an agency that could benefit from the very best of the latest digital trends, including meme marketing and newsjacking, as well as creating wholesome and contented copy, look no further than your friendly neighbourhood freelance copywriter – me. The only thing that no social media presence, is a dull, lifeless, and untargeted one.

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