Are you making small business Social Media mistakes?
Getting started on Social Media for your business can be scary. But NOT being there is even scarier. There are resources that you can use and a few ground rules you should consider to ensure that you have a professional, well-managed community. Here are the 8 most common small business social media mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not Being on Social Media At All
It can be overwhelming. But if you’re smart enough and motivated enough to have started your own business, you have what it takes to do this well. Today’s consumer expects you to be on the digital highway, and if you’re not, it will hurt you, especially if you are selling to consumers directly. If you haven’t started, open Facebook and get going now. (Nervous? We’d be happy to help you at no charge. It’s that important.)
Underestimating Time, Effort and Resources
Building an effective social media presence takes time, effort, and some money. To be effective you must engage with people continually, and communicate highly informative, entertaining and thought-provoking messages to connect. Each social platform has its own “personality”, voice and constraints. Start with one platform and build from there.
Not Responding to Comments
Everyone who takes the time to Comment, Like, or Share deserves a fast and genuine response. Once the perception takes hold that your company is not interested in engaging with the audience, that’s the beginning of the end. You will be labeled as a company that is interested only in self-promotion, a cardinal sin of social media marketing. Oh, and if you delete negative comments rather than address them? The negative floodgates will open. Simply ask the person to inbox or direct message you with details so you can address it with them directly and take the conversation off line.
Selling Too Much
People aren’t necessarily on social media to be sold. They come for information, entertainment, and referrals. In fact, many use social media to escape commercialism. If you make your content all about you it is going to backfire. Think 80/20 – 80% engaging content geared toward their needs and interests, and 20% about your business, event, special offer, etc. The best way for your community to generate sales is to build relationships, trust, and authenticity… then introduce the idea of doing business together.
Not Selling Enough
The converse of No. 3 is also a mistake—not attempting to sell through your social media campaign. This amounts to not having a strategy. If you view social media as a way to build credibility and brand awareness, that’s great, but at some point it’s time to turn that credibility and brand awareness into sales. It’s a delicate balance. Your community will let you know if you’re doing a good job through their reviews, comments, Likes, Shares (and UNliking your page). If your community starts dwindling you’ll know the mix isn’t right.
Failing to Leverage Your Knowledge
Small companies know a lot about their products, services, markets and audiences. This knowledge, when communicated on social media, attracts the interest of both current and potential customers. This is not the time to turn the job over to your high schooler or to someone with limited business knowledge. They won’t have the experience or know-how to determine what resonates – from a business perspective – with your prospects and your customers. By over-delegating, such companies can turn their biggest potential advantage into a crippling disadvantage.
Expecting Instant Growth, Response and Accolades
Social media community building is comprised of a couple key things: relevant curated content and nurturing engagement. If you’re lucky, 5-6% of your community will actually see what you post organically! It’s a slow build to success.
Promoting your page and your posts will help accelerate growth and ensure that your posts are seen by more of your community. It will also expose your content and brand outside of your community When you promote, make sure you take advantage of all the targeting options available to you. That way, you will attract the best and most relevant prospects.
Responding to conversations will build a growing and engaged community.
Failing to Establish Metrics
Many small businesses, when asked how their campaign efforts are going, have no idea how to answer that question.
Is it Likes? Engagements? Reach? Cost per Click?
Useful metrics include: social shares of your company’s content; referred traffic to your company website, the number of engaged community members, Likes, direct messages and other actions. These metrics are not perfect, but provide a reliable sense of whether your campaign is stagnant, improving, or worsening.
Social media can be an amazingly effective arrow in your marketing quiver as long as it’s done strategically.
Have something to add? Please comment below with any suggestions. If you’d like to continue the discussion please click HERE. Our social media consultants love to connect with both customers and prospects.