The Worst Mistakes Businesses Make On Social Media And How To Prevent Them
Your company or small business has decided to set up its digital footprint and share your brand with the world.
You’ve created a Facebook Page, Twitter account, Pinterest account and a LinkedIn business listing. All great starts, but what can go right very quickly can also go very wrong, very fast.
Too many small businesses have joined social media sites to market their products or services and expand, only to experience the downside of a social media presence. Outrage, hate trending, angry reviews by people who have never been near your business.
It’s important to remember that though social media can, and most likely will, help your business expand, it can also push you to shudder your doors. All it takes in this modern age of instant outrage tweeting and anger sharing is one misstep – a single faux pas, and you may well be done.
Social Media Is A Community, Not A Podium and Loud Speaker
All of those potential customers and buyers you want to reach on social media are real people with real lives and real opinions. And those people react real quickly to almost everything. One thing all people on social media have in common is the same thing you’ve probably experienced yourself.
That guy who won’t shut up about himself or his business. No one asked him. No one wants to hear him scream and yell his promotions as a response to any comment. He doesn’t let anyone else speak. If you used his ability to transfer any conversation back to himself as a drinking game you’d be drunk in 15 minutes.
You don’t want to be that guy at a trade show or expo. He’s the one everyone actively avoids. Don’t be that guy online. Don’t use caps, don’t use everything as an excuse to plug your product or business.
Take part in the social media community. Share and educate and respond without advertising your company. Let people get to know you, learn to trust you and have confidence in your expertise. Engage by answering posts and questions thoroughly without plugging your business.
Be a real person and not a bullhorn for your product or service, and buyers will come to you.
Have A Social Media Plan and Follow It; Don’t Get Carried Away
So you know not to make the mistake above, and you’ve read through my other articles on this subject (or elsewhere) so you know the following:
- You share relevant, helpful and actionable information.
- You answer questions, comments and even complaints quickly.
- You work hard not to talk about your business and your services all the time.
- You sound like a real human being in every comment, response and post.
Clearly you’re killing it on social media, right?
Not necessarily. I’ve watched many of our clients get carried away, focus too much on gaining social media followers, and find themselves spending hours a day on the platforms. It’s okay though right, after all, it’s for business?
It’s important to develop a firm social media strategy and stick to it. If you are spending more than 40 minutes a day engaging, interacting and responding to people on social media, you’ve gone off track. Getting swept up in Facebook posts and comment exchanges is easy to do. But remember, you created your social media presence to enhance your brand, build your digital reputation and respond to customers.
A business owner who responds almost immediately to every comment or opinion isn’t going to build a lot of confidence. People need to know you’re busy running your business, putting your customers first and handling any issues that may come up – not spending all day long on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
If your social media pages take off, consider hiring someone to step in for you a few hours a day.
If you’re a ServerWise client, please open a ticket and one of our experts will help you find a virtual assistant.
Keep Your Social Media Expectations Realistic
Many business owners have seen the success stories on CNBC or Instagram. The small business that started marketing on Facebook and grew 1,000% overnight.
Those stories leave out the years of struggle, lean marketing and the two years that the brand spent building up their Instagram following. And those stories never include the many mistakes the business owners made along the way.
But yes, it is possible to release a marketing campaign or promotion on social media and see massive overnight results. It is not possible for that to happen simply by creating your business social media accounts.
A runaway marketing campaign that gets discussed on TV or in news articles takes time, resources and expertise.
If you just established your brand online by setting up profiles and accounts on several social media platforms and networks, you’re taken the first step.
Now focus on growing your following organically (never buy followers – those scams will only create problems). Share, listen, answer, engage with your current and potential customers. Let your following build and make sure you have some decently shared posts before spending money on an ad campaign.
If you are a ServerWise client, our ad experts will analyze and help you optimize your Facebook or Google Ads campaign before you go live.
Social Media Is Difficult, So Don’t Give Up
Social media is hard work. It’s no different from the real world. You’re building a relationship and that takes time, commitment and consistency.
Don’t give up just because you don’t see immediate results. Stick to it and allow your brand to grow organically over time. A year later and you’ll be glad you stuck to it.
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