Whether you’ve just taken the plunge and set up your own small business or you’re expanding your marketing efforts into the digital world, you cannot afford to be without a presence on social media or make mistakes as soon as you get set-up.
Social media is the marketing world’s bread and butter for all small and growing businesses. It gives you an opportunity to speak directly to your customer, gain feedback and develop a lifetime relationship.
But one thing is for certain – it takes effort to get it right.
Depending on your business, you need to have a clear vision and a social media strategy before you jump into it and start Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming.
Before you hit ‘send’ on that first post, have a read of the top five mistakes you are making on social media today:
1) Over-promotional posts that lack depth
Yes, social media is a platform to help you sell products online but that doesn’t mean you should treat your timeline as a constant advert.
Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn, it is highly unlikely that you will be the only brand your customer follows and, just like TV adverts, if they don’t like what you’re saying, they’ll switch off.
In order for your posts to be interesting, you need to find out what your audience talks about online, what do they interact with? Then align your content strategy and brand messaging across all channels to that.
You can weave in promotional messages and support with a paid media strategy but on the whole, your social channels should be a representation of your brand values not your sales targets.
2) Posting irrelevant content to your brand
Similarly, you need your audience to recognise that the post they are reading is from the brand they followed in the first place.
Memes might be hilarious and get likes across other channels but are they relevant to your company? And is a laugh your ultimate business objective?
The best way to ensure your channels stay relevant is to establish your brand’s social media ground rules before you start posting.
Then, don’t budge from those no matter how tempting. You’ll thank us later.
3) Avoiding the conversation
Now you’ve stopped wallpapering your adverts and you’ve agreed your brand content pillars, you need to take a real look at how you engage with your audience.
Outreach is integral if you want to achieve that ultimate social media goal – engagement.
If you’re not getting replies or retweets with your current content alone, you need to initiate a conversation with others. Start speaking to them about what they’re posting and if you get it right, they’ll return the favour.
4) Ignoring your customer
Getting bad reviews on Facebook? Persistent and negative comments on your Instagram posts?
Many companies think that ignoring negative posts online or simply hiding them will make them go away. Unfortunately, there are so many places for people to vent online that ignoring one complaint may spark a barrage of abuse on other websites where you may not have any influence or control over the conversation.
Customer service is an integral part of social media management and handling negativity with the appropriate support and a prompt follow up will be appreciated from even the most disgruntled keyboard warrior.
The best way to handle negative interactions on social media is to have a prepared policy in place so everyone in the business knows how to handle it.
Respond to your customer every time, control the situation and remember, don’t take it personally.
5) Giving up
Social media can sometimes feel like a necessary evil for a lot of small and growing businesses. Even big businesses can find it a chore, even when they have a full team of people behind them!
The biggest mistake most companies make is to try their hand at a social media strategy then give up because it takes too much time or effort.
Your social channels are a direct link to your customer and should be as optimised as your website or as stylised as your shop window if you want to get it right.
Instead of giving up, speak to the team at Loaded Hype today. We offer free social media consultations to all brands and understand the value social media has for your brand.