Social Media mistakes in business
Unless you have been holidaying in a Peruvian cave for the last five years you may read somewhere that utilising social media can help grow your business. This is true. To many people that’s not news; there’s a lot of talk about it. Unfortunately, talk is all it is. Few people can really nail social media and there are countless social media mistakes in business.
Who REALLY knows how to use social media to grow a business? Do you? Well, actually you probably know more than you think but in reality there are very few people who can claim to successfully exploit the riches that social media marketing can deliver to businesses of all sizes. I say you know more than you think because undoubtedly you already understand what irritates YOU about businesses using social media. If it irritates you it will irritate others, maybe more, maybe less, but irritating all the same.
So you see you do have knowledge of social media marketing! You know it’s easy to get it wrong and you know what makes it wrong.
Congratulations! You are 50% there in the understanding of what makes an effective social media campaign.
The Perfect Social Media Marketer – Please step forward!
The perfect ‘Social Media Marketer’ requires a set of diverse skills and attributes that are beyond 99% of us. You have to be a ‘Giver’, a Psychologist, a Sociologist, a tactician. You need patience, humour, creativity and resilience. You need consistency, vision and faith. The list goes on and on. You need to understand the technology and keep up to date with the developments of each social media platform.
Oh! And yes, you need TIME.
It’s right that some of the processes can be automated but the expression ‘You only get out what you put in’ has never been as true as when it is applied to social media marketing.
Getting it wrong is a step closer to getting in right!
Let me introduce you to TEN of the most common social media mistakes in business. Putting these mistakes right is no guarantee of success but you will be treading the right path very soon.
1. Only Focusing on Facebook: This is a big mistake. Sure, it is the largest social media network in the world at around 1.2 billion users, but is it right for your business? Are your customers here? THINK where are your customers? Twitter? LinkedIn? Google+? Pinterest? Facebook? YouTube? Alternatively, too many social media accounts will spread your efforts too thin. The result is that you will not be able to focus on any account with great effect. Stick to two or three platforms.
2. Not Marketing Enough on Your Own Website: It is VITAL that you have social media buttons on your website. This includes links to your social media profiles AND links to allow people to share your content.
3. No SEO: One of the benefits of social media is that the account can rank highly in the organic search results for selected search terms. Surprisingly very few people actually ensure that their social media pages are SEO’d. If you do not know how to go about this then DO consult a social media expert.
4. You Do Not Post Enough: This is perhaps the BIGGEST failing of most businesses that utilise social media for business. If you do not post enough then you will not create user engagement or brand recognition. You should make sure that you post frequently. How frequent is enough? As a guide once a day or every other day is OK. Don’t force yourself to post though if what you have to say is poor quality.
No, potential customers are probably not interested in what you ate for dinner or the time you decide to go to bed. You should also make sure that you answer questions quickly and participate in your page discussions.
5. You Post Too Much: Again, a common problem for many businesses. If you post too much then you run the risk of becoming annoying. Nobody wants to see the same company pop up time and time again in their news feed; it’s that simple.
There are exceptions though. If you are giving away high value, popular and redeemable vouchers every day your posts will be very popular and your business short-lived.
6. Too Much Promotion: If there is one thing guaranteed to harm your reputation it is over promotion via social media. Businesses that regard social media as a simple promotional tool are unfortunately misguided. Nobody is saying that you can’t send out a special offer from time to time; that’s the norm. However, do it too often and people WILL find you annoying and they will stop reading what you have to say.
If more than ONE out of every TEN posts you make is promotional then you really do not understand social media and need to quickly address your thinking and expectations. You must build TRUST with your audience. They are not there for your convenience. Your posts must HELP your followers and in time they will reciprocate. Social Media is a RELATIONSHIP not a one-way street.
7. Buying Followers and Likes: This is actually a mistake that many businesses make. Even the largest companies in the world have been caught doing this from time to time. Buying followers and likes may make your company seem more popular but will do nothing for the business potential of the account. Those bought likes will soon disappear and you will certainly see no engagement. In addition to this, shady tactics of this nature could actually cause your social media account to be banned.
8. You Do Not Engage Your Users: If somebody asks a question or comments on your status then make sure you talk back to them. People love a business with a face!
9. Incomplete Profiles: Fill out EVERY box on your profile. The more you fill out, the harder it will work for you.
10. Sharing Text Content: Studies have shown time and time again that posts with an image attached get viewed many times more. If you are just posting text updates then people will skip over them. Video share is also preferable.
So there you are.
TEN common mistakes when using social media to increase the profile of your business. Avoid these simple mistakes and you are well on the way to seeing a change in your online fortunes.
By Neil Willis