By now, you probably know how important social media is to any company. Businesses both large and small have the opportunity to engage with customers in news ways, making social media a vital element of any business strategy. Enacting an effective social media strategy is a whole different matter. While simply being on Facebook or Twitter is a starting point, all too often businesses are making some major mistakes when it comes to social media. Here’s a look at some of the most common ones.
1. No Social Media Policy
As helpful as it can be, social media can also be a disaster for an unprepared company. One way to avoid these potential problems is to have a clearly worded social media policy, but all too often, businesses pass up this important step. A good social media policy should provide a detailed guideline for how employees are supposed to act online, establishing expectations that will educate staff. Without a social media policy, businesses are more likely to make a blunder that’s difficult to recover from.
2. Posting Too Much
People like to get updates on Facebook or Twitter, but they don’t like seeing their timelines fill up with posts from the same person or business. Overloading people’s social media pages is a surefire way to get them to stop following you. Many businesses use automation for posting on multiple social media sites, but that can easily lead to overload. Spread out your updates so you don’t overwhelm your followers. For example, the generally accepted rule for Facebook is to post 1 to 5 updates every day.
3. Using Too Many Sites
When some businesses hear how effective social media is, they respond by joining as many networks as possible. This inevitably spreads resources way too thin for a social media strategy to be useful. It’s a waste of time and effort to focus on sites that won’t help your company out. To know what social network sites will be the best for your business, find out where your customers and potential customers are first. Then you can target 1 to 3 sites to focus on and see much better results.
4. No 2-Way Communication
Social media is not just a new avenue for advertising. There’s a reason it can be so effective, and it all has to do with engaging customers. If a business is only using it to send messages, they’re ignoring half the battle. Social media is a chance for businesses to put a human face to their brands and humanize their employees. That means that comments from customers and visitors should get responses, questions should be answered, and complaints should be addressed. If a social media page doesn’t engage the customers, they’ll be less likely to make comments, and soon the page will be lifeless. For a good example of a business that interacts with customers, check out Nu Skin’s Facebook page.
5. Quantity Over Quality
Many companies think the main aim of social media is to get as many followers as possible, but just because you have a lot of people following you, that doesn’t mean that will translate to sales. In social media, it’s not so much about quantity as it is about having quality followers. Businesses that focus on numbers likely won’t get very far. It’s the companies that want to build up a loyal, dedicated group of interactive followers that will see the biggest results.
It’s important to understand that social media will always be a learning experience. You can see a lot of success from a well thought out strategy, but there are plenty of pitfalls along the way. Take care to avoid some of the mistakes listed here, and you’ll be well on your way to having an influential social media presence.
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