Social media marketing can seem too good to be true for a small business. It costs no money to set up an account, and the returns can be huge.
Because of this, a lot of brands jump onto the social media bandwagon without looking, rushing into setting up their profiles, and making a few fatal mistakes while they’re at it. Here are five of the most common mistakes – so you can avoid doing the same thing:
1. They don’t brand their pages
This bit is so important – and should be your first priority. You need to ensure all your social media accounts have the same corporate branding and the same profile photograph. This lets people recognize your profiles and your brand when searching for them.
2. They spread themselves too thin
A lot of small businesses jump into the deep end with social media and assume they need to sign up to every social network. This isn’t the case. Different networks will work better for different brands.
There is no point in joining lots of networks if only two thirds are going to actually help your brand. Stick to the ones that will work best for you and perfect your presence on them first. A good way of seeing which networks work best for you is to check out your competitors and where their larger followings are.
3. They ignore negative feedback
When you’ve gathered a following, there is always the chance you may encounter negative feedback, since more and more people are using social networks as a means for communicating with and about brands.
Never ignore feedback as it reflects badly on you. Trust me, it’s the bad and negative comments that customers will read first when they visit you Facebook page, so make sure you’ve addressed them and tried to solve the issue. It’s not only professional but courteous.
4. They Oversell
Incessant promotion is a huge annoyance to your followers and you need avoid doing this at all costs.
Social networks are not merely another sales technique. Rather than using a network to sell stuff, get on board with the social side of networking; focus on engaging and communicating with your followers. They’ll appreciate it, and they’ll be more likely to stick around. There’s no harm in occasionally promoting a new product though; just be subtle and don’t over-push it.
5. They update at the wrong time
The time of day you update is hugely important. Think about who your demographic is: their age, their nationality, their interests… and then think about when they’re likely to be using social media.
For example, if your demographic is a business man with a 9-5 job, your best time to post is either going to be during his lunch break, on his commute (for mobile browsing) or in the evenings when he’s settled at home. These things matter – because if your demographic never sees your updates – you might as well not be posting them.
Question for Discussion:
What’s the biggest social media marketing mistake you see yourself or others making?
Elle Williams is a social media manager and content editor.