Social media has become a great channel for entrepreneurs to market their small businesses. However there are some very common mistakes that happen over and over again that can easily be avoided. Remember when someone sees your business in social media, it may be their first encounter with your brand so you want to make a professional impression. Here are some rookie mistakes to avoid.
1. Make a Facebook “Page” not a personal account
Far too often you see a small business Facebook account that is set up as a personal account rather than a business page. Making a business page gives you an enormous amount of benefit over a personal one, after all Facebook is a marketing platform. With a business page you will have access to ‘Facebook Insights’ which gives you data about your audience and content, access to running advertising, Facebook Offers, FacebookPlaces, Tabs and much more.
2. You don’t need to be on every platform available
Another very common mistake small business owners make is jumping in on every social platform they can find without making a plan. Pinterest isn’t going to work for all businesses and you might not have time to stay active on Twitter. Make sure you research the platforms and take a look at what the competition is doing before you launch. Leaving a social account dormant shortly after starting it will come off poorly to potential customers.
3. Don’t just talk about yourself
Nobody likes the guy who only talks about themselves and how great they think they are. The same is true about brands. You want to make sure that you vary your content and avoid only talking about your products. On the contrary, people love when you talk about them and things they’re interested in. Show your customers that you understand them by talking about your common interests in a meaningful way. Odds are if you are selling handmade baby clothes, your audience would enjoy content related to parenting as well. Build engagement with your audience by talking about them and when you do talk about your product, show them how it can enhance their life.
4. Automation sounds like a robot
Social media is all about building relationships with your customers. You aren’t going to build meaningful relationships by setting up automatic responses to your customers. People aren’t stupid, they can tell if a response is personal, or if it’s just an automated message, which is a big turn off. This also applies to using one of those tools that publishes the same message to all your different channels after you post to one. A Tweet and a Facebook post are very different, so make sure you use each platform effectively to connect with each audience.
5. Measure what you’re doing
When you set out in social media it’s very important to make a plan, set goals and measure against them. Are you using Facebook to engage your audience? Are you using Twitter to drive traffic to your blog or website? Decide what it is you want out of each social platform and track it! Check in daily or weekly on your key metrics and adjust your content plan accordingly.