Social media has become an integral part of marketing plans for all sorts of companies. When you’re a small business, social media can be an incredibly valuable tool to help you increase your brand awareness, reach new customers, and build an image for your brand. But if you don’t use it properly, social media can easily backfire and become a complete nightmare. Learn from the mistakes of other companies and avoid these common social media blunders!
Not Having a Plan
Before venturing into the world of social media for businesses, you have to ask yourself exactly what you’re hoping to achieve with it. Do you want to increase awareness of your brand? Offer special deals to social media followers? Do you have sufficient small business financing to achieve these endeavors? When you have a specific goal in mind, you will have an easier time measuring how effectively you’re using social media. Although social media accounts are free, they do require a big time investment (or a social media marketing company to partner with) and you don’t want to waste your time on techniques or platforms that aren’t working out as well as you’d hoped they would.
Also consider which social media outlets would best suit your company and the products or services you offer. Since social media accounts are generally free to create, many companies
get overeager and create profiles on every social media platform they can think of. But some platforms might work better for some businesses better than others. Facebook and Twitter are pretty versatile and can work well for many different types of businesses. But Pinterest users, for example, are predominantly women who use it for things like finding recipes, getting home design ideas, planning weddings, and finding fashion inspiration. If you own a hair salon or offer wedding planning services, then Pinterest would be a perfect platform for your company. A mechanic, however, might not have as much success on Pinterest.
Not Reading the Terms of Service
When people sign up for a social media account, they’re presented with a list of rules they have to agree to abide by in order to create the account. Most people give this list a cursory once-over and just hit the box marked “I Agree,” and move on. While this typically won’t cause too many problems for the ordinary user, it can be a different story if you’re a business and plan on running contests or giveaways on social media. Facebook, for example, has specific rules regarding contests and giveaways.
Only Posting About Yourself
Of course, most businesses sign up for social media accounts because they want to promote their businesses in one way or another. But social media is also a great opportunity to build a direct connection to your customers. While it’s perfectly fine to post about new products, special sales, and things of that sort, your customers will stop caring if you only post promotional things. Why not also share other content that would be of interest to your customer base? And, of course, interact with your customers if they have any questions or comments about your product or service.
Worrying About Quantity of Followers, Not Quality
So you have your social media accounts all set up, now you need to get people to “like” or follow you on them. Of course, having a large number of followers will sound very impressive
and you might be tempted to boost your numbers by using a service to buy followers. But when you buy followers, these aren’t going to be good, quality followers. In many cases, purchased followers will be inactive accounts who aren’t going to interact with you or be interested in your brand or product. Plus, it’s remarkably easy for people to tell whether or not your followers are real or not. A high follower number is not worth risking looking bad over.
Deleting or Ignoring Negative Reviews
Although no business owner wants to find negative reviews on social media, these do at least offer an opportunity to publicly show that you care about making your customers happy. If you respond to a negative review in a calm, respectful manner, it reflects very well on your business. But if you delete a negative comment, try to ignore it all together, or worse, respond in a snarky way, other customers will notice and will be more likely to side with the customer who made the complaint.