In the right hands, social media is a powerful marketing tool. But it’s not a marketing platform, and making mistakes while using it for business is easy. If you are a small business owner looking for some good advice on how to properly use social media platforms, try to avoid the following mistakes.
1. Focusing your efforts only on getting more Facebook likes
The fact is that few Facebook users ever return to a brand page after they’ve liked it. Likes bring reputation and traffic, but they don’t usually bring sales, at least not without ads.
2. Using social media just because your competitors do
Today, when everyone and their grandmother is using Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to do social media marketing. But without a plan and clear goals, you won’t achieve enough to justify the time you have to invest in it.
3. Writing too much content about others in your industry
One of the most popular social media marketing rules says that you shouldn’t speak too much about yourself. Some SMBs interpret this rule radically and write nothing about themselves — only curate content from third parties. With this approach, nobody will reproach you for being a braggart. But nobody will buy your unknown product either.
4. Demanding too much engagement
Urging your fans or followers to like or share every update you post gives the impression that you’re asking for favors all the time. It could even become annoying. Instead, drive engagement by choosing enticing pictures and writing compelling headlines.
5. Replying too slowly to questions from customers
Most SMBs using social media know that it’s good to try to provide customer support directly through Facebook or their corporate blog. But few do it fast enough. Social media users expect replies within minutes. There’s no good replying days later. For this reason, it may be necessary to have someone from customer support monitor and answer questions as soon as they appear.
6. Focusing on the wrong network
While Facebook and Twitter tend to work for all kinds of businesses, sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, Pinterest, or Instagram suit some businesses better. For example, because it’s so visual, Pinterest is a more effective marketing tool for a women’s hair salon or fashion shop than it is for a computer repair service.
7. Ignoring review sites
Websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor feature customer reviews and can be easily accessed on mobile. They can help a growing local business more than Facebook or Twitter, where the competition is tough, and where the focus is on engagement and brand culture, rather than on description, location, and contact.