Though social media got a slow start in the business world, an increasing number of companies are now jumping on board the bandwagon, marketing their brand on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and closing sales, too.
However, beware, just because you have a presence on these sites doesn’t mean that you’re using this type of marketing correctly. There are many mistakes that small business owners make time and time again, thinking that they’re effectively marketing their companies, when in fact, they’re either being completely ineffective or, worse, harming their image.
Here are some of the most common social media mistakes to avoid.
1. Branding Inconsistently
If you’re active on a lot of different sites, then you could become a perpetrator of inconsistent branding. Presenting a consistent brand across all of your profiles and messaging is critical. People should make no mistake that your Twitter profile, your Facebook profile, and your website are all connected entities. You shouldn’t be easy going and casual on one site and strict and professional in your content on another. You shouldn’t use vastly different images, logos, or backgrounds. You shouldn’t use different keywords or core descriptions either. And your information shouldn’t vary. Consistency is key to building awareness and credibility.
2. Being All Over the Board
Is your company active on half a dozen sites? Do you jump on every new platform that comes out on the market? If so, you’re making a mistake. You shouldn’t be spreading yourself thin among several different sites. You won’t be able to keep up with activity and your efforts will fall short.
3. Being Where Your Audience Isn’t
What’s the point in marketing your brand, products, or services on platforms that your audience doesn’t use? Your messaging will fall on deaf ears. It’ll be a waste of resources, time, and effort. Before you jump into social media, do some research to find out where your audience hangs out online. Focus on the platforms that your buyer personas would use, and ignore the rest.
4. Not Having a Strategy
Small business owners are the most common offenders of this mistake. They go in head first, without first taking a step back to develop a strategy. They start following random people, sharing irrelevant content, and liking comments for no reason. This won’t get you anywhere. Each account you create should have its own unique strategy. Figure out what your purpose is of being on these sites. Creating a strategy will help guide your efforts so you see success.
5. Being Active Inconsistently
If you start using social media marketing, you have to stick to it. You have to be consistent if you want to see results. Social media is about being social, and it takes time to establish and build relationships. If you’re not engaging on these platforms frequently or consistently, your efforts will fall short.
6. Not Responding to Comments
If you’re too busy for social media marketing, don’t do it. Because the last thing you want to do is ignore your profiles for weeks or months at a time—because as a result, you’ll be ignoring your prospects and customers. If someone comments on your post, asks you a question, writes a review, or otherwise engages with you, you must respond quickly and thoughtfully. You never want to create the perception that you’re too good to engage with your audience.
7. Excessively Self-Promoting
We cannot stress this enough: social media is about being social. It’s about communicating, building relationships, and humanizing your brand. It is not about excessive self-promotion. There are do’s and don’ts to follow for self-promotion. If you only use your profiles to aggressively try to sell products or services, your followers will quickly disappear. Always remember that social media is not your advertising platform. This is the biggest mistake you can make.