What are the most common mistakes businesses make on social media? Web specialist CHLOE WILSON (via Barnett and Turner Accountants) explores the pitfalls that can hold you back when promoting your company on LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms. Although more and more businesses have embraced social media as a way of communicating with customers and promoting their products, it’s possible to fall into a number of traps. Here are five of the most common errors that you can potentially make:
YOU SPREAD YOUR EFFORT TOO THINLY
It’s a mistake to take on too many social media platforms at once, as it can quickly feel overwhelming to post content regularly and interact with followers every day. Instead focus your time and efforts on just one platform at a time. Build up your presence on Twitter, for instance, over a six-month period. Really get the hang of it. Discover what works and then you can add another platform and repeat.
YOU TRY TO MANAGE EVERYTHING IN REAL TIME
Clearly social media operates 24 hours a day, but it may be that you can’t be monitoring it around the clock. Set aside 5-10 minutes a couple of times in the day to review and respond to other people’s posts. And when it comes to your own content, you might consider using a free tool such Buffer.com to schedule and pre-plan your posts in advance. You could, for instance, spend an hour every Monday morning setting up all your posts for the week ahead, to take the pressure off each day.
Many people end up posting on an ad-hoc basis. Five times in one day, perhaps, and then nothing for a whole week. The best advice is to spread your posts out. If you only have time for one post a day that’s fine, but do it consistently and when your target audience is most likely to be online. If it’s mums, for instance, you could send them a message that coincides with their wait outside the school gates every afternoon.
YOU GO FOR HARD SELL
Try to avoid selling constantly, as people tend to switch off. They use social media to connect with their friends and find out information they value. Aim to post useful or topical articles that add value or share ‘behind-the-scenes’ insights into your business in between your promotional posts. And consider using social media as a vehicle for market research. Share two pictures of a product in development, for instance. Which does your target audience prefer?
YOU OBSESS OVER THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOLLOWING YOU
Don’t become too fixated by your numbers of followers or friends. It’s more important for a small business to have 100 interested supporters who like and share your content than to have 1,000 followers who don’t engage or buy from you at all. Aim for quality, not quantity.
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