Welcome to our latest post in the Burlingame Business Tips series. This time we’re talking about how small and medium size businesses can use Facebook, Twitter and the like to their advantage by avoiding these common social media mistakes.
So, your business is now on social media (if it isn’t, where have you been?) and you’re getting to grips with posting updates across different platforms. Whether you’re a big brand or a small local business, the goal is the same: to get noticed and hopefully turn some of that brand presence into sales.
It sounds simple, but in practice social media can be a hard nut to crack. Even large corporations with lots of resources to commit to dedicated campaigns can struggle. Get a step ahead and learn from these common mistakes small businesses sometimes make with their social media; it could make all the difference.
- Not Having A Long-Term Plan. When you first decide to get involved on social media, it’s easy to get carried away and put a lot of effort into your launch. After a while though, the likes stop rolling in and you haven’t been retweeted for weeks. What to do you do? Without a considered plan you’ll struggle to keep your audience engaged. Map out what you want to achieve before you start and you’re much more likely to take the right steps to reach those goals. Consider how much time and money you want to put into your campaign and be realistic with your predicted results.
- Joining ALL Social Platforms. Are your clients using Instagram? If not, it’s likely you might not actually need to use Instagram for your business either. Maintaining your profile to a good standard on one social platform is time-consuming, so don’t waste your time on ones that aren’t relevant to your business. Focus on an engaging presence across one or two key platforms instead.
- Ignoring Your Audience. Social media is two-way street so don’t make the mistake of thinking all your followers want to do is listen to your sales pitches! With every tweet or Facebook post you make, ask yourself how it helps you develop a meaningful relationship with your customers. Equally as important is taking the time to respond to the messages you receive, whether it be a complaint, a good review, or a simple customer service question, people expect quick, efficient service online.
- Going For The Hard Sell. Social media users are smart; they know you want to sell to them and that’s ok. The fact that they follow you means they’re already interested in learning more. However being too pushy is a big turn off. Instead, seize the sales opportunity by offering great content, expert advice or promoting your brand as aspirational. A short how-to video or a blog post interview with a leading industry figure will do much more than yet another link to your online shop.
- Inconsistent Posting. Rapidly posting a bunch of updates, links to articles or industry news is information overload to a social media user. It could all be great content but if you’re not consistent with timing, your followers will feel like they’re being spammed and will switch off. Instead, post content throughout the day and experiment with what times work best. That same content will reach more people and have a much greater impact. Use a scheduling tool to help you fill in the week’s posting calendar, but don’t forget to make time to respond to comments as they happen.