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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 07, 2015

Can you identify with these six social media faux-pas?

Social media can be a godsend and a curse for small businesses. While it is inexpensive, it is also a skill and a commitment. Here are six of the biggest mistakes small businesses make when trying to make use of social media.

by Helen Leggatt

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or a simple blog - these are just some of the ways in which small businesses can reach out to their existing and potential customers. However, many small businesses are more concerned with the 'me too' aspect of social media than they are with having a social media strategy that fits in with, and complements, their overall marketing strategy.

How many of these social media faux-pas are your company guilty of?

1. The wrong person is handling your social media activity

Have you handed the responsibility of social media marketing to your coolest, youngest or most tech-savvy employee? Just because someone knows what a Tweet is, or is personally active on Instagram, does not mean they are the best fit for the job. Social media marketing is so much more than shouting out to your audience online.

2. You have no social media marketing strategy

Are you sending out Tweets in a vacuum? Keeping an irregular and unfocused blog? Talking at, but not with, your audience? Social media is about so much more than impulsive Tweets and random network posting. It is knowing, and managing, who the company wants to reach, what is needed to reach them, and where are they most active. Social media marketing takes planning, communication and time and is core to marketing, sales and customer service. Without a social media strategy, mistakes will be made.

3. You have no idea of the impact of your social media activity.

Are your social media updates reaching the right people? Has there been an uptick in traffic? What is the ROI? Without setting goals and regularly monitoring social media activity you will not be able to ascertain its effectiveness.

4. You are not engaging in conversations

Social media is not a one-way street. You don't get to post your content and walk away. To connect with prospects or existing clients you must engage with them and not spend all your time talking about yourself. Respond to questions and comments, don't ignore negative comments, and don't be afraid to jump in on other conversations.

5. Your focus is on quantity, not quality

So you've set up a Facebook Page and celebrate when membership reaches 5,000. Or your Twitter Follower count hits 10,000 and you email the entire firm to let them know how popular and successful you are. But of those Members and Followers, how many are of good enough quality that their presence is of benefit? How many are engaging with your social media content?

6. You are just in it for the sell

Sure, social media is a great channel for building brand and product awareness. However, the key to social media success is building relationships. By regularly producing unique content, conversing with and listening to your audience, and not being too self-centered, you can build a rapport that will make those 'sell' messages easier to digest.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: communication, marketing, social media

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