4 Brands that have been Banned from my Social Networks


We often speak about the strategies that brands use to increase their visibility. Many of them have managed to create a very loyal client base, generate much buzz, and sometimes even strategically transform bad buzz into something positive.

However, today I don't want to talk about the social network success stories of these brands. Rather, I want to speak to you from the perspective of a social network user about the behaviors of certain brands that drive me crazy, ultimately leading me to unsubscribe from their updates. When these behaviors are constantly recurring, they can create a negative feeling towards the brand amongst customers, even outside of social networks. 

This happens to me often, and I think it occurs with a lot of you as well, so I believe it is very important to understand the magnitude and effects that certain behaviors may have on your customers' perception of your brand. 

Therefore, I thought making a list of social network behaviors that agitate me the most could be useful for giving you an idea of exactly what not to do in your own business' social networking strategy. 


The Apathetic Brand

For me, this is the most unacceptable thing a brand could do on their social networks. 
If you are interested in being present on social networks, there is obviously some desire to create a link with the consumer, right?

When I decide to follow a brand on a social network, it's usually because I am fond of this brand, and am looking for at least a little bit of social network interaction. Nothing annoys me more than dealing with a completely non present team of representatives that cannot even respond to the comments I leave on their publications.

One of the most valuable aspects of a brand being present on social networks is having the chance to create relationships with customers: finding out their opinions and taking their comments into future consideration. But this is a two way street—you can't always expect the customer to make the first move, and if you are lucky enough to get some interaction out of them, it is imperative that you get back to them and let them know that their voice has been heard and appreciated. Otherwise, it will remain a one-way relationship, which will bore the customer and cause them to quickly move on. 
Fan interaction is something that you should pay a great deal of attention to, so don't forget about it! Not only because you don't want to come off as rude, but also because this aspect is a large component of your brand's image and of your future user engagement. Therefore, remember your manners and be nice—this doesn't take a lot of effort and can be more beneficial in the long run than you ever imagined. 

The Boring Brand

Interactivity is not only achieved through direct dialogue.
You may think that it's impossible to please me, but keep in mind that your users are probably even more demanding. What I want out of a social network is to, above all, learn things about the brand that I'm following, take a look behind the scenes, laugh, and even feel special, like the brand really made an effort to give me a positive experience.
How many times have you been disappointed by a brand that offers irrelevant, outdated content? While it's great to provide promotions and deals on social networks, it's not enough. Of course it's practical, but in the end, does it really add value to the business? 
I don't follow a brand on social networks just to find out the same information that I can easily see on their website.
In order for content to be interesting and appealing, it has to be exclusive. Everyone enjoys when a brand gives us a glimpse into the behind the scenes action and everyday lives of its team—it brings a sense of realness, and even privilege, that allows us to identify with them. These kind of publications blend perfectly in our newsfeeds with the posts of our friends and other familiar faces. 

I love interactivity and I find it great when a brand encourages me to be involved, such as through games and contests, especially when it includes my own content. Virtual "goodies" are also a good way to make me a loyal and appreciative client; they can post gifs, animations, illustrations, ecards...I love it all!

Another fundamental point is maintaining coherence between content and brand. For example, if someone is following a cosmetic brand, it's because he or she is interested in this sector and expects to be provided with relevant content, not information on the evolution of the stock market (you get the idea!). 
The opportunity offered by social networks to humanize a brand is crucial for improving customer relations and creating loyalty. There are tons of ways to offer original and compelling content for social network users...contests, prizes, behind the scenes photos of the business, it is all good as long as the content is pertinent and exclusive. So, be original and surprise your users! 

The Lazy Brand

Another extremely irritating social network action is copying and pasting content. Social networks are bountiful, and often times brands are present on several; so far so good. The problem occurs when brands don't process the fact that the goal is not to automatically publish the same content on every account where they are present, and trust me, this happens more than once in a blue moon...
Social networks all have their own special features, which means they do not all target the same type of consumer or have the same purposes.
I have several different social network accounts; I don't use them all for the same reason, and I definitely don't expect to see the same type of content on all of them. If this was the case, what would be the point of having so many? 

The number of social networks is getting bigger and bigger; if you do not have something to say that is specific to each, there is no point in being present on all of them. 
Would you enjoy seeing three friends throughout the day, each one of them telling you exactly the same story in the exact same way? Same idea. 

I often start following a brand on a social network, see a lot of potential, and rush to find and follow it on other social networks, only to immediately classify the brand as a member of the "Boring" category. What a shame to waste all of the great opportunities that could be taken advantage of throughout the wide range of social networks available at our disposal! Once again, if you are present on multiple social networks but are just repeating the same thing over and over again, there is no point in wasting your time on all of these platforms; it will just annoy the user, provide no added value, and worst of all, decrease the brand's credibility. 
Before going all out with your social network master plan, make sure you know exactly what you want to communicate and how. Take the time to understand the differences between all of the social networks, evaluate the impact of your content on the users, and most importantly, diversify your content and make sure it corresponds properly to each network you are using. Don't forget that the way you choose to support your message can be just as important as the message itself. For example, the impact and objectives of a video can range widely according to many determinants: it's length, playback, etc. Keep in mind that the users following you on Facebook will probably follow you on Instagram or Twitter as well, and in order to satisfy them, you always have to be providing them with diverse content. 

The Invasive Brand

You get it: social network activity by a brand must be well-planned, strategic, and above all, coherent.
So, I will end this assessment of annoying behaviors with the worst one that we have all experienced at least once: the brands that publish anything at anytime, anywhere. I'm talking about the brands that literally pollute our news feeds with dozens of publications per day (most of the time irrelevant, but this goes without saying).
There are certain unspoken rules that you must respect to achieve any sense of credibility amongst social network users. The goal is not to make a post every hour to remind everyone that you exist. One day, I got sick and tired of being invaded by all of these publications that I had absolutely no interest in, and that weren't even published at times when I was available to read them, so I decided to put a stop to this. I therefore sacrificed a few minutes of my life and deleted these annoying brands from my news feed, and to be honest, I don't miss them at all! Why? Because even though they initially interested me, prompting me to follow them, they ended up bringing zero value to me and really got on my nerves. 
Incessant publishing is not what will make your fans interested in you, want to visit your site, or even buy your products. The only real result of this type of behavior is that the credibility of your brand will start to diminish, your fans will discontinue reading your publications (especially if they are not pertinent), and ultimately unfollow you. 
There you have it, the non exhaustive list of aggravating brand behaviors has come to an end for now, but I expect to come back and update it from time to time! Don't forget that there is always something that can be learned from a mistake, so be smart, learn from others, and don't let these missteps repeat themselves ;)
There are also certain brands that I love, who have a great social network strategy, but I will leave this for next time...