As a social media practitioner, I see lots of WRONGNESS online. A LOT. EVERY DAY. And it peeves me.
I can always tell when a company has jumped head first into marketing on Facebook or Twitter because they all have similar social media mistakes: wrong message, wrong channel, no rhyme or reason to how often they’re posting.This article outlines social media mistakes that cost your business time, money and reputation so that you don’t fall into this trap.
1. Launching a Facebook page because everyone else has one: Just because another business has a Facebook fan page with 10,000 likes does not mean you should have one too. Every social media channel is not for every business. Sure, Facebook is extremely popular and is now being used to market products and services, but is your audience on Facebook? Do you know how to reach them there? Once they have liked your page, then what? Launching a Facebook page because everyone else did it goes back to the old “if everyone jumps off a bridge would you do it too” adage. Don’t just do something because it’s popular. THINK before you leap!
2. Hiring your teenage kids to manage your social media: I get it. You have a teenager who is always on the computer or their smart phones, Tweeting, texting and Instagraming. You figure “I’m going to make Jimmy work for his pizza money. He knows what he’s doing better than I do.” WRONG. While Jimmy may understand the site and how to post, he doesn’t understand business, strategy or marketing. And sometimes he can’t even form a proper sentence. Your business’ reputation is being slaughtered online because of your desire to have a Facebook account (because everyone else has one) and not being willing to invest in what it takes to manage it properly to get the results you’re seeking.
3. Abandoning your profiles because they aren’t bringing the results you wished for: When you start a profile, you need to have an end goal and a strategy to get there in mind. Here’s what I see OFTEN. ABC Corp launches a Twitter account in June. All summer they’re busy and active on Twitter, growing to 5,000 followers in 3 months (because Jimmy who is out of school for the summer is forced to man the account). September rolls around and ABC has lots of followers but not a lot of business traction. Jimmy goes back to school; Twitter goes dead. Now you have 5,000 new people who know about your business but they’re in a holding cell waiting on you to call them to action. And if you don’t start talking to them soon they will begin to unfollow you. Now you’re losing potential customers before you even had a chance to sell them your product.
Now that ABC Corp has made some social media mistakes, let’s hear their excuses:
- “We got busy with more important priorities.” – What is more important than engaging with prospective customers to ensure the longevity of your business? If you’re not cultivating new relationships your business is in decline. Social media is an important priority and should be treated as such.
- “It didn’t work fast enough so we quit.” – What you’re really saying is “we don’t understand why it didn’t work.” You never set out with a strong strategy in the beginning so no, it didn’t work. OR perhaps it did work in some capacities, but since you didn’t have a goal, strategy or measurement set, your win went unnoticed.
- “It doesn’t work in this industry.” – While this may be true in some cases, had you formulated a strategy based on solid research in the beginning you wouldn’t have wasted time experimenting.
- “We don’t have the time to manage it.” – Many small businesses don’t have the time to manage social media. They see it as one more task on top of the 1,001 things they already do to stay afloat. But marketing is a key element of any business. How will new clients find you and old clients remain loyal if you are not communicating with them?
All of the above are reasons why it is important to hire an expert to either manage your social media or coach you on how to effectively manage it yourself!