The uptake of social media by startups and businesses in Zimbabwe so far is commendable. Now it is possible to search for products and services on social media platforms and find them. This is also creating much-needed competition which leads to better services and competitive pricing. Great as that all is there are still lots of issues of concern. Only a handful of businesses or startups are using social media properly. Most are just there as formal and poor at running their platforms. In this article, I want to discuss 7 deadly social media sins for business.

Fighting With, Dragging Or Shaming Customers

With what I have seen on social media I would not be ashamed to call out many Zimbabwean enterprises. There are a number of them who exhibit narcissistic behaviour online i.e. they are too full of themselves. Such an attitude usually ends in them fighting with, dragging, or shaming customers. I have seen first-hand things like that happening. This is something you should never do as a brand. It will hurt your image and will do you no good in your efforts to win people over. I wish I could give examples but I will not; stay away from being abrasive with customers. It does not matter if they are wrong, be mindful of how you interact with customers online. In most cases, I have seen customers being treated as guilty as a diversion to mask a brand’s wrong-doing.

Ignoring Comments And Direct Messages

So many Zimbabwean businesses or startups are guilty of this.  I can say this with authority because I regularly experience it. The thing is regularly reach out to them when I want to profile them. I have had numerous cases where they do not respond to their DMs. Some even dare to ignore even when you try to get their attention by commenting on a post. I am not alone on this though, many of you will attest to requesting prices when some brands post goods or services.

First of all, it does not make sense why you would post stuff you are selling and leave out the prices. Then when people ask for the prices you do not bother to respond. I keep seeing this on social media and it leaves me wondering. I can tell you that when people cannot immediately find prices on your stuff they will explore other options. Many of you are losing potential customers by doing an avoidable thing. Whenever anyone engages with your brand respond – there is nothing special about ignoring people.

Not Regularly Attending To Your Social Media Platform

This is also another thing I come across a lot on social media. Have you ever looked up a brand on say, Facebook or Twitter, for example? Then you find that the last post they made was in 2018 or 2020. When you are looking for information on that brand, this can be annoying. Personally, when I see that, a brand seizes to be authentic or serious in my eyes. This is most likely how anyone will view your brand so do not abandon your platform. If you no longer want to be on say, Facebook, it is best to delete the page. Leaving it there with your last post being from several years back will not look good on your brand.

Content Devoid Of Creativity And Does Not Inspire Engagement

Being on social media is more than just being there for the sake of being there. You must regularly and consistently post content. You want to post the type of content that is creative and inspires people to engage. One good example of a brand that does that is Old Mutual Zimbabwe. I always like their Facebook posts because their posts are not boring or the same. They always make their posts unique and creative. Infinix Mobile Zimbabwe is another good example. They always inspire engagement in their posts. A third example I can give here is Lulu Tissues. Creativity and making people engage in a smart way is the hallmark of their posts. Never just post uninteresting and one-way posts, it will do you no good.

Being Controversial Or Using Controversial Approaches

This is a gamble as in some cases it might work to your advantage as a brand. However, it is mostly something you should stay away from. Being controversial comes in various ways. For example, you can sign on a controversial personality as a social media influencer for your brand. It can also be in the form of using controversial remarks or slurs in your content. Most of you might be familiar with Mambo’s Chicken’s content. There are times it has used sexual slurs or political slurs. It seems they are thriving on that strategy but it is not a standard to emulate. Many other brands who tried using this strategy the world over went into oblivion. Sure it can work but it is a risky gamble which often results in disaster so do not do it.

These are the 5 sins you should be wary of in rolling out your social media strategy as a brand. As they say, the internet never forgets. Anything you do online will always have bearing on your future. Remember also that we live in a global village. Just a simple act can be propagated globally and hurt your brand irreversibly. Be a brand that behaves comely. Not just as a formality; but because you truly value your customers’ satisfaction.