For small businesses, social media is extremely valuable as it allows you to connect with clients, generate new leads, and build an online community. However, many small business owners find social media to be a challenge.
Learning how each of the major platforms work and understanding things like hashtags, business usage of Facebook, Twitter, and the like can be quite complex.
In addition, creating and maintaining an effective social media account for your business is not only hard work, but can also be hampered by very public mistakes.
Both large and small businesses have made blunders when it comes to social media, so here are some common social media mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1 Being All Over the Place
Especially when starting out, many business owners are too enthusiastic and jump onto every major social media platform out there. Namely, they make a business account for Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and on and on and on.
However, it takes time to successfully cultivate a presence on each of these platforms and these businesses often find that they have bitten off more than they can chew.
They end up delivering subpar stuff every once in a while over numerous different networks rather than quality content on the few sites that their target audience frequents most.
Fortunately, this mistake is easy to avoid. All it takes is some research and planning ahead of time to decide which social media sites would benefit your niche the most. Don’t be afraid to initially focus on just one platform. You can always branch out later.
#2 Not Identifying Your Ideal Target Market
This is closely related to being all over the place and is commonly the reason for it. Before jumping into even one social media site you should do some research to see if it’s the right place to find your ideal target market.
For many local small businesses, Facebook seems to be the best place to start. It is still one of the most active social media sites today and it’s very likely that a good portion of your target market spends at least a few minutes on this platform every single day.
Take some time to look around every major social media site and take a look at what your competitors and others in your industry are doing and how they are communicating with their audience. When you find one that has a very active page and a lot of engagement, watch what they are doing and see if you can emulate them in some way to attract your own group of engaged fans.
#3 Having Incomplete Profiles
Leaving your business profiles incomplete is a bad idea. This is a mistake that often comes with tackling too many social networks at once (or simply not being focused during the process).
Visitors usually scope out your social media profiles to find out more about your business and to decide if they are interested in working with you. If your profiles are lacking the essentials, like your company logo, description, photos, contact info, and a link to your website, that doesn’t make a very positive first impression.
In addition, having incomplete social media profiles only makes it harder for potential customers to learn about, much less do business with, your company. This is clearly an undesirable roadblock, so make sure to complete your profiles thoroughly.
Rather than just a virtual cover page, treat your social media profiles as a branding opportunity. In an ideal situation, they should not only provide basic information but also introduce your business in a way that is both clear and appealing to your target audience.
#4 Lacking a Clear Strategy
While social media may be something casual for individuals, using social media as a business tool requires a bit more strategy. Your business accounts should always have a plan and measurable goals guiding all of your social media efforts.
If you just start posting to social networks without knowing what you’re trying to do or who you’re trying to interact with, you are unlikely to get your desired results.
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