Getting started with social media marketing can be pretty overwhelming. There are a few things you can do to help make it easier; however, I've seen a lot of businesses making the same mistakes over and over so I wanted to focus on things to avoid as well.
The first mistake is not being active on social media at all, but if you're reading this article I'm going to assume you're getting started or already have some sort of presence. No matter which social media platform you're using there are some universal things you need to stay away from:
1. Don't Skip The Strategy
So many business owners feel obligated to use social media so they just dive into it without a strategy. Just like any marketing or advertising activity, it's important to take the time to plan ahead and set actionable goals for what you're doing.
2. Don't Stretch the Truth
It is really easy to create fake profiles to like your business page, or to post content that isn't 100% accurate to seem like you're on top of your game. Don't! The whole point of social media for business is to be transparent and give people the opportunity to get to know you and your business so be honest.
3. Don't Ignore Everyone
You have clients, you have competitors, and you have employees. Acknowledge them. Interact with them. Acting like you are the only brand out there is a quick way to isolate close you off to online exposure. Inject personality into your posts and comment on or share posts from others as well.
4. Don't Be Vulgar, Obnoxious and Confrontational
While it's important to let your personality show through in your posts, there is a fine line. It's important to keep things appropriate. For example, if someone is saying something negative on one of your posts, you should address it but make sure to do so in a polite way. If a staff member is handling your social media make sure they are given guidelines about what should or should not be discussed on social media.
5. Don't Overwhelm Your Followers
Just because people have liked, followed, etc. you on social media does not mean they want to be bombarded with your updates. Never post the same updates over and over again, and definitely don't send people private messages thanking them for following you.
6. Don't Make It All About The Sales Pitch
Self promotion is one of the main reasons businesses use social media to begin with, however only using social for self promotion is a mistake. For one, people are not logging onto social media sites to conduct business or make purchases. Use the social media platforms for what they were intended and share updates on your expertise, your products and services, and by promoting some of the products and services you use in your own business. This will help make your friends and followers much more receptive to your promotional posts when you share them.
Because social media is always evolving there is technically no right or wrong way to do things. However, these are some of the many best practices to keep in mind in order to best engage with your following. Have you experienced some of these pitfalls or are there any more you'd add to the list? Leave me a comment below to let me know.