Running social media for business purposes in Poland is like stepping on brittle ice. One wrong step and all your marketing work will be in vain and you will end up in icy water. Polish customers are rarely forgiving and it’s not that easy to get them interested enough to voluntarily observe a profile (and yet buying products is the natural next step). But if you don’t make these five mistakes, you can rest easy.  

Table of contents:

  • Mistake 1 – unfamiliarity with the tools
  • Mistake 2 – unclear brand message
  • Mistake 3 – neglect of customer service 
  • Mistake 4 – ill-considered crisis response
  • Mistake 5 – rash real time marketing

Mistake 1 – unfamiliarity with the tools

You may feel that knowing a few basic post types and the “promote” option is enough to reach your target audience and sip the nectar of success. Well… you’re wrong. Social media, and Facebook in particular, are platforms that Poles are slowly running out of. They have seen literally everything there. What’s more, they tend to avoid advertising content and are resistant to unnatural communication (which, unfortunately, many brands use). After all, social media offers so many different tools and options for reaching customers that you’re shooting yourself in the knee by not using them. 

An example? 

Facebook’s ad manager can be used to publish non-standard posts for free. And if you’re already opting for a paid campaign, you have a dozen different types of ads to choose from (with quite different advertising objectives, ways of charging expenses or display locations). Are you sure you know them all?

Mistake 2 – unclear brand message

Until a few years ago, there was a saying in Poland: “if you are not on Facebook, you do not exist”. This applied not only to ordinary Polish citizens, but also to companies (especially since business profiles started to gain popularity and Facebook enabled companies to advertise themselves). 

But that was… a good ten years ago.

Poles got over their enthusiasm for the possibility of communicating with brands a long time ago – in order to observe another profile, they need to see the sense in it (no, competitions like “observe our profile” don’t work anymore either). 

Your job is to figure out how to make that decision easier for them. If your posts, profile design, description, communication, photos and links don’t make it clear what your brand message is, don’t count on people figuring it out and joining your community. On the other hand, you can’t go overboard in the other direction either, making your profile into an ad column. 

So how do you communicate with taste? 

In between your sales content, weave in posts that give some knowledge, inspiration or entertainment to your customers. On Facebook, pin the best post with a pin, on Instagram highlight the most valuable relationships.

Mistake 3 – neglect of customer service 

Poles love to be right and point out others’ mistakes. Especially if their “enemy” is a big brand. Take biting remarks with humility. There is no better way to discourage Poles on the Internet than a brand arguing with its observers. You need to be aware that there will always be people who are unhappy with either your social media activities (e.g. they don’t like a post) or your services or products (regardless of whether they were actual customers). 

What to do about them?

Well… learn to live with them and… respond politely. There have been enough well-known companies in history that have suffered huge crises just by being negative to observers or deleting unflattering comments. This is the kind of thing Polish customers simply do not like in social media.

Mistake 4 – ill-considered crisis response

When doing social media marketing in Poland, you have to reckon with the fact that it is easy to hit a landmine here. Social media crises (small and big) are nothing new and unusual. Even the biggest players have been through this (just think of the famous case of Żytnia vodka, which used a photo of the miner Michał Adamowicz, shot dead by ZOMO, to promote itself on Facebook).

Branding blunder of the Żytnia vodka producer
Source: Żytnia Extra Facebook page

In order to avoid such slip-ups, always use a multi-step publication verification process (the post should be read by several people) and consult the content with a person who knows the Polish market (e.g. a Polish marketing agency). 

What to do when a crisis occurs? 

Apologise, admit your mistake, make amends, promise to improve, learn from it and… don’t make a similar mistake again. Poles forgive once, but twice is already beyond their patience.

Mistake 5 – rash real time marketing

Real time marketing is in Polish social media marketing something that can make your brand the king of viral or public enemy number one in a day. Here you have to be especially careful (so again, back to the multi-step verification and approval of posts), because when the situation changes dynamically, it is much easier to make a mistake. 

Before implementing a real time marketing campaign, always carefully check the context of the event, person, holiday or situation you are referring to. Analyse the news, and at the end ask at least two Poles how they would receive the message. Polish customers really love pointing out others’ mistakes. It’s better not to give them a reason to do so and to communicate transparently and thoughtfully. 

Mistakes and slip-ups in Polish social media can be listed endlessly. The above five are the main sins repeatedly committed by foreign brands that apply social media marketing to Poles. If you want to avoid not only these mistakes but also many others, it is worth putting your communication in the hands of a professional Polish advertising agency. Write to us and tell us about your expectations!

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