10 Common Social Media Mistakes Small Businesses Make
When you have a small or home business, you are likely promoting online using social media. This is for good reason; you have endless people you can reach, social networks are free, and statistics are showing that social media is playing a HUGE part in the consumers purchasing decisions.
According to Social Media times: (link http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-business-trends-2014/498129)
Well over half of consumers are depending on social media to influence their decisions.
Is your social media presence representing your brand adequately and the way you’d like to be seen?
If you are new to the scene, and are dabbling in social media posting for your business, then you may not be leveraging social media as good as you could be.
Lets go on to the 10 Common Mistakes Made On Social Media
Prefer to listen to the podcast? Here you go:
Not Defining Your Target Audience
First and foremost you need to know who your target customer is. Before you dive into promotion on any social media channel, you need to know who that target customer is. How old is your target customer? Are they male or female? Where are they hanging out offline and online? Then, you need to go to that online location, and create a bio there and begin communicating.
An Incomplete Bio
On most social media channels, your bio will be the first thing that people see. Do you have your URL prominently listed in your bio? What about a professional photo; or do you even have a photo? If you are a solopreneur, you will want to have a nice picture of yourself. (no pets please!) If you are a shop or brand that adopts out cats or sells cat food, then a cat would be appropriate. Be creative in your bio by showing what you do. People will be more likely to follow you if they know what you have to offer.
Thinking it is easy
Social media marketing needs strategy just like traditional marketing needs. This is your business and brand you are trying to portray. You need to get the right message out there in order to attract the right target customer. Going out and throwing up some random posts and product pictures will not catch the attention of the right buyer, or any buyers at all for that matter.
Assuming all social media channels are the same
Twitter is a fast moving feed where a tweet lasts less than a minute before it’s gone into nowhere-land. Some even argue that a tweet lasts 8 seconds. 8 seconds! That’s a short time to get your message by your followers. Not only does it last 8 seconds, give or take, it has a 140 character limit. What can you say on a tweet where the proper brand message is portrayed? Due to that short half life of a Tweet, you are allowed to post several times a day. Facebook posts, on the other hand will likely last at least a few hours, or up to a full day. You post every 30 minutes on Facebook and you’ll find yourself in Facebook jail so fast your head will spin! Facebook also has a lesser tolerance for brand messaging so a delicate balance between promotion and relationship building has to be nurtured.
You talk about yourself too much
How many accounts out on any given social media channel: Facebook, Instagram, etc. are posting product picture after product picture, saying Buy me! Buy Me!? People want and need to be educated and/or entertained, and they don’t want to be constantly sold. Consumers in this age are becoming savvier in their following. It used to be a time where brands told consumers what to buy, through commercial push marketing. The tables have entirely turned around, and consumers hold the upper hand. They are telling the brands what they are going to buy! It is your job to attract them to your brand, and first and foremost establish that relationship. If you don’t, you’ll hurt that trust.
Judging followers in terms of quantity instead of quality
You can go out on fiverr.com any day and buy 10,000 followers. But are these high quality, targeted followers, who actually might be interested in your product or service? Do they even care what you have to say? The answer is most likely not – the followers are just a number. This is otherwise known as the “spray and pray” method, where you’re shooting out your message to the entire 10,000, hoping that 1 or 2% of them will come back and buy your products. The better way is to go where your targeted customers are hanging out, offer value, and draw them to you and your brand.
Social media marketing does not offer the golden ticket to making sales in your business. See point #3. It does take strategy, it does take thought, and it takes TIME. It takes time to build a targeted following, to attract a percentage of that following, to build a relationship and trust, and eventually convert them into customers. If you opened a brick & mortar business, you would expect to become profitable in 3-5 years. Well, the same goes for your online business. It takes investment of the time for sure, and the monetary investment in tools and training is up to you in your scaling efforts.
Posting inappropriate or unrelated content to your brand
You should be mindful in what you are posting. A piggy-back here and there of a funny cat or Kim Kardashian West meme can be funny every once in a while. You’ll only cheapen your brand if you continue to ride the coattails of those types of posts. Over-posting can be as bad as inappropriate content….even though you are excited to get your message out there, it can lead to unfollows and dislikes.
Not paying attention to your various accounts
As mentioned multiple times, social media marketing is a conversation and you need to treat it like a REAL LIVE conversation! So, if you see that one of your followers has sent you a message or made a comment on one of your posts, you better believe you should respond to it! This is establishing the trust factor with your following, and showing that you genuinely care about them and what they want.
Not responding to or deleting negative comments
I recently had this happen to me on my Instagram account. She told me she was sick of seeing my posts and that she was un-following me because I was bugging the **** out of her.
Which has never happened to us up until that day! While my bad self thought about firing back, I took a step back and thought about how I could responsibly handle her comments.
I responded back with an apology if I offended her in any way, and just let her know that I was only sharing strategies and tips that I have found to be successful in my business. After a question about why my URL asked for an email address, I kindly answered that the link in my bio asks for an email address, and is only there for those who are interested in their free checklists and toolkits.
The blog address listed in bio is there for anyone to visit, with no email required. I absolutely admit that it took some restraint and maturity but I have no doubt that in order to run a successful business, you have to take the good with the bad. And, the comments on my picture are for me to keep or delete. .Keeping them out there shows other followers the answers to her questions; questions that other followers very well may have had.
The above mistakes made in social media marketing are no doubt common. This is a fairly new landscape when it comes to advertising and promoting your brand. The good thing about social media is it has a short term memory. You can easily revise your strategy and the old stuff that was not yielding any results will long be forgotten and you can start converting those followers into sales.