8 common mistakes brands are making when they trying to #GetSocial

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You visit the dentist as your teeth are aching and the unbearable nights have even caused even the cockroaches to relocate. That said, you lie on the deep reclining chair and await relief. In steps the dentist and after a barrage of questions he then moves to his desk and pulls out a soldering iron, test meter and a screw driver. He calmly states that you are not to worry as he has it all under control, after all he is a qualified electrical engineer. In fact, you saw his degrees on the wall in the waiting room and they were for electrical engineering!

The right man doing the wrong job

The advent of social media in Zimbabwe has created an opportunity for social media management personal to take charge of their brand’s digital presence. People who are highly skilled in Information Technology (I.T.) or Public Relations (P.R.) or marketing are being roped in to steer the social media ship, a case of electrical engineer working on your teeth.

We have noticed there have been a number of brands that have jumped onto the digital bandwagon albeit being a leap of faith as both the administrators and brands don’t know what they want out of -it, but it being a matter of “keeping up with the Jones’”.

My stance has always been if you are going to do something, do it properly or don’t do it at all. This being said, we don’t want to see a mass exodus of brands from Facebook and Twitter, however, here are some pointers and guidelines as to how to combat the 8 most common mistakes that are being made on social media.

1.  Know before you go

You’re about to embark on a journey on unchartered ground. You need to have a plan ( a social media strategy) in place in order to help you get to where you want to go. Take a couple of minutes to sit with the relevant departments and assess what it is that they would want to get out of your online presence. Formulate a strategy of how you are going to get there (content, promotions and campaigns) and over what span of time.

2.  Occupy

Yes, putting Facebook and Twitter badges on your adverts makes you look like the coolest dude on the block, but just setting up a profile and not populating it will do your brand more harm than good. Be sure to put as much information as possible about your brand from the -get go. Be sure to consistently check your brand’s profiles and respond to people who will be interacting with it.

Make sure you establish your presence and let people know this is where they can find you online.

3.  You’re not a person, you’re a brand

Another top mistake amateur social media managers make is opening a Facebook PROFILE for their company instead of a Facebook PAGE. Not only does this violate the terms and conditions of the social network, but Facebook accounts are setup differently thus giving a brand limitations when trying to interact with their followers.

4.  Have an address

A lot of brands don’t take up the opportunity to secure their vanity URL. This is when the social network allows you to set what your profile address on their network will be: e.g. —www.facebook.com/YourBrandsName. The default option is not the best as it gives a string of letters and characters that are very difficult to memorise and even worse to put down on paper. In my last post I mentioned such websites like NameChk and Knowem that allow you to check the availability of your brand’s username on a host of social networks.

5.  This is not your house

Social networks have a code of conduct that they instruct their users to abide by, failing which they will evict you. Remember that. Let it sink in.

Right, be sure to familiarise yourself with the dos and don’ts so as to make your use of the network long and comfortable.

6.  Not all balls need to be kicked

Just because it is a ball it doesn’t meant that it must be kicked. Each network has its own language, features and audience hence it is paramount that you know how people communicate and consume content on them. Many brands sync their social networks, taking short cuts and post the same content across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn thus running the risks of appearing as being a robot (a ’bot’), fake and spam-like.

You should take the time to learn the dynamics of each social network that you employ and customise content and communications to be social network specific.

7.  This is a highway

On a highway there is traffic, lots of traffic and more importantly two-way traffic. Realise that people are following your brand not just to receive your adverts and sales pitches. They have a t.v. and radio for that. Social media creates a platform for you to engage with them and have dialogue.

It provides you an opportunity to address any misconceptions that they may have about your products and/or services as well as a chance for you to receive some very valuable data for research and development.

Be sure to allow time to respond and engage with your follows to create a human face to your online activities.

8.  Sorry, this is not your bank account

Your bank account is Just about the only place where numbers matter. Out here, it is more about quality rather than quantity. Being the ‘most liked’ Facebook page is not giving any prizes in Zimbabwe right now, but having the right eye balls viewing your content and taking an action after that is even better.

This being said be very weary of the competitions and promotions that you will be running as they can bring you a lot of unqualified leads/likes that in the long run will equate to more of a burden than anything else.

So there you have it. It is wonderful to be online and have your brand on an over 1 billion user medium, but be sure to stay within your lane.

What challenges have you faced in getting your brand online? Are you from another country besides Zimbabwe and have had similar challenges? How did you combat them? Let’s discuss in the comments.


  1. Econet Hater

    Everything written here, TechZim is doing wrong with its approach to social media.

    I think they need to start doing what they preach.

    1. Tendai Mupaso

      Hi, thank you for your comment. Please may you be specific on the areas we getting it wrong. It’s something we would like to look into.

      1. Econet Hater

        6. Not all balls need to be kicked

      2. Econet Hater

        3. You’re not a person, you’re a brand

        Soul Kabweza …

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