Like it or not, marketing your Business on Social Media is fast becoming a necessity for any Small Business Owner who is serious about growing their audience and gaining traction online. Increasingly, consumers are turning to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as a way to engage with brands and discover new products and services.
But with Social Media moving at such a rapid pace, it can be tricky for any busy Small Business Owner to keep up with the pace. As such, it’s easy to see how Business great and small suffer from Social Media missteps and blunders from time to time. And while a Social Media fail doesn’t always spell disaster, it can have a profound impact on your bottom line and brand image in a world where everything goes viral the instant it’s posted online.
Tackling Social Media can be a somewhat daunting task already, let alone knowing the serious impact a bad post can have on your Business. For this reason, we’ve put together this list of the 6 most common Social Media blunders…but most importantly, we’ll tell you how to put them right and avoid minimum damage!
1. Separate Personal and Private Accounts
Now this one may seem obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to accidentally confuse your personal and Business Social Media accounts and the results, as many large corporations have discovered, can be devastating.
It seems impossible that multination Companies, such as KitchenAid, could perform such a Social Media fail. But fail they did, in 2012 when a KitchenAid employee inadvertently tweeted an offensive joke about President Obama’s late grandmother from the KitchenAid Twitter handle. Oops.
While the ramifications of this will likely be much less severe for your Small Business, it still pays to be extra cautious when juggling multiple Social accounts. Even if you quickly fix your mistake, chances are that at least a few of your followers will have seen your post. This will not only serve to make your Business appear unprofessional, but also damage your branding, which you’ve worked so hard to establish.
So remember: before you post ANYTHING, check your account settings. And then check them again.
2. Your Too Aggressive with Sales
Despite being a highly effective Digital Marketing Strategy, the main goal of Social Media isn’t typically to ‘sell’. Yes, you’re technically promoting your brand, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should be pushing your products and services down your followers’ throats with every single post. This will just frustrate them and, inevitably, lead to them unfollowing you.
If you find yourself going straight for the sale every time you interact with someone on Social Media, you may be missing the point. Social Media is all about engaging with your followers and sharing content that they’ll find interesting and entertaining. Though you can indeed use it to sell and make followers aware of offers and sales you may be having, Social Media is all about connection with your audience.
If you’re guilty of this Social Media blunder, then consider taking it down a notch. Instead of constantly sending followers a tirade of sales content, sit back, observe and participate in conversation with your followers and potential customers. Simply by paying attention to what they like and their needs, you’ll better understand the kind of content they’re wanting, and even be able to create new products that they’re asking for!
3. You Don’t Engage with Your Followers
Social Media is all about genuine interaction, so if you think that posting to your Facebook Page once a week and responding to followers on a monthly basis will suffice, think again.
Astoundingly, 36% of Small Business Owners don’t respond to customers comments on their Social Media. Not only does this make your Business appear unprofessional and out of touch, it’s also just plain rude and can really negatively impact how a customer views your Business.
For this reason, it’s absolutely vital that you check your Social accounts every single day and respond to any of your visitor’s comments, questions or complaints promptly. This will strengthen your followers’ trust in you and increase your likability as a Business.
4. You Lack Personality
One of the best parts of using Social Media as part of your Marketing Strategy, is that it allows you to present the personal character and ‘voice’ of your Business. If you fail to do this and simply post dry, corporate content that bores your followers, expect to get unfollowed.
In today’s Digital World, where people are used to having access to everything at any time, consumers are looking for a more personal experience when it comes to engaging with Businesses. This means they don’t want to get some fabricated, cookie-cutter view of your Business: they actually want to get to know you and your brand!
When you show your personality through your Social Media channels, you’re not only strengthening your branding, but also increasing your trustworthiness and adding the ‘human’ touch to your Business. People are more likely to engage with your Business and take an interest in your products if they feel they are speaking with a real person, as they can connect with you in a fun and entertaining way. Without this added touch of character, your followers will never get a taste of your brand or culture.
5. You Forget Who You’re Marketing Too
The fast-paced, often hasty nature of Social Media can make it all too easy to become ‘post happy’, meaning you simply fling posts out to followers without any actual consideration to your target audience.
The problem is,if you’re posting content that isn’t relevant or of interest to your target market, then you’ll never appeal to those you’re trying to sell to. While it can be tempting to try appealing to everyone on the Social Web, it’s absolutely vital to seek out your most likely potential customers and appeal to them. It’s these people, after all, who will be most likely to purchase from you!
If you find yourself struggling to engage with your potential customers, whether that be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, then it’s probably high-time you did some market research. You want to know exactly who your market is, where they hang out and what really interests and engages them. Once you’ve achieved this, you can create content that is tailored to their specific needs and interests, thus making your Business immediately appealing to them. More appeal means more interest, and more interest will lead to more sales.
6. You’re Not Measuring or Tracking Your Results
Tracking your results on Social Media can be tricky, we know. But if you have no idea about what is (or isn’t) working for your Business on Social Media, then you could be missing out on a huge Marketing opportunity. Or worse, posting content that has no impact at all.
Unfortunately, measuring your Social Media’s success based purely on likes and shares isn’t enough, though this is still better than nothing. Successful campaign tracking should see you taking into account factors such as impressions, profile visits, mentions, clicks… the list goes on. Luckily, there are an abundance of free and affordable tools out there to help you in this area.
By keeping these faux pas and their solutions in mind when approaching your own Social Media Strategy, you’ll likely avoid any major slip-ups or blunders. Armed with just these 6 pointers, your marketing efforts will become more focused, more productive and more effective!