Social Media is a great tool for small business’s to get the word out about their business and its services however, many small businesses do not understand the advantages or disadvantages that come with it. The following 10 mistakes are taken from the Forbes article called, “10 Social Media Mistakes That Small Business Owners Make” by Brad Shorr.
- Spreading Yourself Too Thin: Building a Social Media presence is a time-consuming process and many small business owners have a hard time understanding the process and dedicating adequate support to the project. For the best value for your money, focus on the goal of what you want your social media campaign to do and build one platform at a time. For example, if your a Real Estate Agent, use Instagram for quick postings and buying and selling tips.
- Having an Undifferentiated Strategy: One of the most common mistakes that small business owners make is sharing the same content on all their platforms. This doesn’t create interest and followers but on the long-term actually decreases them. For every platform under your brand’s banner, their should be different forms of content. Use Twitter to announce sales promotions and Facebook to share action shots of your products in use. This gives users a clear reason to follow you on the applicable platform(s).
- Not responding to Comments: Many brands of small.medium and large companies tend to forget that social media is first and foremost “social”. This means you need to have conversation and interact with your followers on a minimum twice a week depending on platform. If someone posts a question or comment on a post on your page, you or your Social Media Specialist must respond swiftly and and in a timely manner. If you do not then your brand can take a hit in the reputation department by being labeled as a Self-promotion company which is a sin in the social media community.
- Controlling the Message: Many companies agree to social media marketing as an advertising medium which in a sense it is but isn’t. Online, people can lie, cheat and trick readers into thinking what they are saying is the truth. These days many clients look and support those companies that are honest and authentic. It’s OK to admit a mistake, ask for help, and respond frankly to criticism. However, many companies don’t do this on a regular basis and then wonder why their social media campaign didn’t work the way they wanted it too. If you refuse to respond and create a dialogue with clients online, then the social media medium is not right for you.
- Not Giving to Get: “Giving to get” is the path to success in social media. This strategy requires a generous spirit. Small companies succeed in social media when they go out of their way to help people by providing useful content, sharing other people’s content, jumping into conversations where they can lend a hand, and making it easy for people to try their products and services.
- Selling Too Much: Social Media users do not like companies who use Social Media to push their products and services in people’s faces. They look for deals and information first and foremost. Te best way for potential clients to buy your product or service is to first build a relationship with that client and then try to sell them your product.
- Selling Too Little: The flip side of No. 6 is also a big mistake—not attempting to sell through your social media campaign. This amounts to not having a strategy at all. If you view social media as a way to build credibility and brand awareness, that’s fine, but at some point you have to turn that credibility and brand awareness into sales. Smart small businesses gradually ramp up lead and revenue generation activities on their social media accounts; not doing it prematurely, but when the time is right to convert the “soft” asset of brand affinity into hard dollars.
- 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 potential customers. When assigning the social media platforms to an employee, consider your senior employees first as they will know your products and services better than a new hire. This way any questions or comments asked online will be answered in a professional manner and by someone who knows the product well.
- Failing to Establish Metrics: Many small businesses that have been on social media for a few years have absolutely no idea how well their campaign is working. Obviously, not having a way to evaluate a social media campaign leads to wasted investment and an inability to improve campaign effectiveness. Popular and useful metrics include tracking brand mentions; social shares of your company’s content; referred traffic from social media sites to your company website; and the number of engaged community members as measured by comments, direct messages. and other measurable actions.
- Putting Too Many Eggs in The Social Basket: Social media marketing is really, really tempting for small companies because the financial barriers to entry are basically zero—signing up is free and the main investment is time. However, for revenue generation, brand awareness, and credibility building, other Internet marketing options may produce far better and quicker results—pay-per-click advertising and email marketing, to name two of the more obvious. Companies are smart to test various options. Social media could be the path of most resistance, but you won’t know unless you test.
Below is a link to a video on common mistakes that small business owners make on Social Media. It outlines the differences between Active and Passive marketing and how it can affect your business.
For more information on the 10 common mistakes small businesses make on Social Media check out the Forbes article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/01/21/10-dumb-social-media-mistakes-that-small-business-owners-make/#308a680642b1.
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