Social media is now a necessity for every business. However, it’s essential to have a plan about how you want to use social media rather than just a ‘because it’s there’ approach and hope for the best. What many small companies and brands don’t think about are the mistakes that they are making on a day-today basis which ultimately could be costing them business and money.
Having a personal image for your Twitter profile or Facebook page is important to increase engagement with your target audience. Social media is about relationships and people are attracted to having that with other people, not just some logo or brand image. You are not Starbucks or Ford yet and generally people don’t like to connect with companies because they aren’t human. People need to see that there is a face and personality behind your brand or business. There are plenty of places where you can incorporate your brand logo if you optimise your profiles correctly. Optimise your profile.
You don’t separate your business and personal accounts.
It goes without saying that personal views should not be aired on your business social media pages and conversely if you have personal profiles, no one wants to hear about everything you do in your office during business hours. It just makes you look dull and your clients may see that you really do have no life. If you are at home or on holiday, then don’t be ‘at work,’ And, please don’t use the words ‘expert’ or ‘guru’ in your profile bio – Ghandi was a guru and David Attenborough is an expert.
You are inconsistent.
Social media is a fantastic marketing tool if used correctly, but one of the biggest mistakes is how many small businesses ignore their social media accounts for days on end then suddenly flood their feeds with many posts. There are several tools that you can use to schedule content and monitor mentions if you are away from your accounts.
Consistency should also apply to the content that you post. None of us mind the occasional funny picture or quote, but always provide relevant content to your audience. Posting content or ‘other links of interest’ which are off subject is a great way to drive people away if you offer no value to your fans or followers.
You post the same content to every social media platform.
Many people post the same content across multiple platforms. If you have fans that engage with you on these platforms, then they may start to get overwhelmed with the same information. It’s lazy to link accounts and looks uncreative and spammy so people notice. Facebook is different to Google+ & LinkedIn is different to Twitter. Content needs to be targeted to the specific platform.
You look like a ‘newbie.’
Twitter has ‘followers’ & Facebook has ‘likes.’ The amount of times I see the line ‘Please follow us on Facebook’ is now getting really annoying, as is the use of hashtags on Facebook. Hashtags are valuable ways to find content and specific content and are handy for organising events, but don’t just hashtag randomly in your posts. Save it for when it’s needed.
You look desperate.
Having many fans, likes and followers is a good thing, but what use are such people that you don’t have a connection with? Social media is not about the numbers and it’s not a popularity contest. Forget about trying to control the people that follow you and focus on whom you chose to follow. And, please resist the temptation to ‘like’ posts that you have made on Facebook. It just makes you look desperate.
You have been buying ‘likes’ or ‘followers.’
Quality is always better than quantity. I have seen many a small business or individual purchase superficial fans or followers. You should be focusing on the real clients or customers you have, rather than artificially inflating the numbers of followers on Twitter or ‘likes’ for your Facebook page. It isn’t going to get you actual business. Just people who have clicked a button. The only people who are getting business out of this are Facebook or third party client offering this service on Twitter. Once again … Social media is not a popularity contest and people notice.
You don’t proof your content for spelling and grammar errors.
Poor spelling and grammatical errors in your content reflects badly on your business. Nothing looks more unprofessional than spelling mistakes. If a client sees that you can’t spell correctly in a social media post, then why would they have the confidence to deal with you? The fix for this is to always proof-read your content before hitting the send button.
Your on-line and social media reputation is part of your overall brand image. What goes on the web stays on the web and once you have damaged this image it’s hard to correct your past mistakes.