Most entrepreneurs know that social media is an important element for the growth of their business. They just don’t know how to use it properly and often end up making mistakes that can be harmful to their brand reputation, not to mention costly. Let’s look at 10 of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make using social media marketing.
This first mistake is dismissing social media as unimportant or irrelevant to your business. Building a social media presence for your business will provide a way for you to connect with more people in your target market and build a relationship with them. And in the end people buy from those they know, like and trust. Consider this: People trust brand advocates and referrals 92% of the time compared to ads. [Source]
The second mistake is failing to set clear goals for your social media presence. You need to have a plan. For example, let’s say your goal is to increase how many people you follow on Twitter (which will in turn increase how many followers you have) by 500 in 30 days. Break that goal down into smaller, easier-to-achieve daily goals. To help you create a plan, Hubspot has a free social media strategy kit available for download.
The next mistake is inconsistent communication. Embrace the importance of consistent posting. You need to keep your name in front of your target market – otherwise they’re likely to forget about you. Also keep in mind that if a potential customer finds your Facebook Business Page, for example, but sees that you haven’t been active in a few months they may very well believe you’ve gone out of business, and move on to your competitor’s page instead.
Mistake four is posting irrelevant or unnecessary content. One of the nice things about social media is that it lets you be a little more personal. However, while you want to be personal, you don’t want to be too personal. You need to keep things as relevant as possible. Someone who happens upon your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media profile should be able to figure out what you’re about right away.
Don’t make the error of posting at the wrong time. Social media posting at the ‘right times’ is going to boil down to when your audience is most active. In order to find this out pay attention to your stats and see when you get the most interaction from your audience.
Failing to promote your social media profiles is mistake number six. One of the best things you can do is provide multiple ways for people to find and follow you and this means using all the communication channels you have available to promote your social media presence. Promote in your newsletter, email signature and on your website.
Another mistake many entrepreneurs make is poor usage of social media channels. Each and every social media platform is unique and should be used for different things. Keep in mind that there will be different rules for every social media site as well. Basic ‘rules’ you should follow:
· Don’t be boring
· Don’t be offensive
· Don’t be too negative
· Don’t over promote your product
· Never badmouth your clients or competitors
If your posts sound like “Buy my stuff! Buy my stuff!” you will not be successful with your social media. Social media is not meant to be used as just another way to advertise your stuff. It’s about building relationships and getting to know people on a more personal level. It’s about conversation and engaging with others. A good question to ask is: am I speaking to my connections or with them? You want to be talking with them not at them.
Don’t make the mistake of failing to brand your social media channels. You want to build your brand all across your network including the social media networks you’re utilizing. If possible, you should always use the same name on each and every site. Similarly, you should also try to use the same image on every site.
The tenth and final mistake for this article is failing to measure your ROI (return on investment). Do you know if social media works for you? Do you know whether Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn produces more sales? Have you tested and tracked your efforts verses your results? Four easy ways that you can measure your social media marketing ROI are traffic, sales, unique links and social media only specials. To implement the specials set up different landing pages on your website for each of the social media sites your running a special on. Learn more about measuring social media ROI here.
If you’ve been active in social media for a while, now is the time to look at your strategies and take steps to eliminate what’s not working, and to start improving your efforts. With these top 10 mistakes in mind, you’re in a good position to greatly increase your social media effectiveness – and have some fun doing it!