The key to mastering social media is researching the different channels and planning how to best utilise them. However, this process can take time, so we’ve outlined a few of the most common mistakes to help you make sure you avoid them.
Not tailoring your content for specific media
Not every social media platform is the same. Businesses can utilise each one, just as long as they do it in the right way. When your business has something to shout about, think about how each media platform requires its own spin.
Equally, don’t just use the platforms to shout about your business. Listening and reacting in the right way is more important.
Over-reacting to negative feedback
One of the worst things businesses can do is become defensive in this arena. These platforms are designed for opinion, collaboration and discussion, so if someone says something negative about your business, don’t automatically go on the attack. Instead, think about how you can fix their problem as effectively as possible, knowing that you’re being watched by others.
Using social media simply as a sales tool
Companies that don’t properly plan their social media strategy often automatically think of social media simply as another sales tool. This is exactly what social media is not. Instead, think about advice and discussions than can show how knowledgeable you are in your market, as well as promotions and experiences that will help boost your brand.
Mixing business with pleasure
Use the biography or description facilities available on most social media channels to define exactly what the purpose of the account is. Also, tell your staff how you do and don’t expect them to behave on social media, especially if they refer to your company. Prevention is often better than cure.
Not conversing on Twitter
The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to Twitter is simply putting out statements about themselves without engaging with others. Twitter is a conversation. Use it to comment on other people’s tweets by retweeting them with a reaction or start discussions with other tweeters by referencing them with an @ before their user name.
Targeting corporate prospects on Facebook
Facebook has had a recent revamp aimed at improving the way businesses use it but fundamentally the site is about interacting with friends. Your large corporate targets won’t be buying your product or services because of your Facebook page but they might be more aware of your brand if it enables them to share quality content with their friends.
Having no YouTube presence
YouTube can require a bit more skill than other channels to produce quality content. However, that doesn’t mean it’s totally different to other social media. Be educational on YouTube by uploading relevant presentations and slideshows. Also, bulk out your YouTube presence by splitting complex topics into short snappy videos.
Have you learnt from any social media mistakes you can share with other small businesses?
[Image: Flickr:CC – Webtreats]