Social media mistakes to avoid in your business

 

Some of my previous posts have been filled with positivity about using social media to benefit your business. This is quite simply because it can be a great marketing tool. BUT (and this is a big but) it is not a foolproof solution to improve your company’s marketing strategy. Often startups and existing companies make mistakes that can prove costly and in fact reduce the chances of success.

So, what should you avoid when setting up a social media strategy?

The most common (and probably worst) mistake you can make is failing to outline a plan for your social media strategy. So many startups just breeze past the planning stage without outlining any goals. You need to ascertain what you want to do, how you want to do it and what resources you will use. Without a detailed plan with clear business objectives you are setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even begun.

Within your plan you should be identifying when you are going to carry out the social media tasks that you’ve set. The second mistake a lot of companies make is going into social media overdrive straight away. This “too much, too soon” approach is likely to prove counter-productive. People don’t want to be overloaded with information every second of every day. It’s also important to recognize that you don’t have to be on every single social media site. Identifying which ones are relevant to your business (perhaps taking into account where your competitors are) will save you time and ultimately money.

I’m sure you are all aware of the phrase time is money, and it is important to spend time with social media to achieve worthwhile ROI. A lot of companies implement a social media strategy which can best be described as “if you build it people will come.” I’m afraid this is not the case. In the same way that building a shop and not putting a sign outside is unlikely to attract people, failure to promote yourself consistently online will not benefit you. Therefore the “set it and forget it” method should be avoided. Social media is all about relationships. It’s about networking and it is going to take time. However, if you are prepared to make the appropriate time investment to social media each day it will be worth it, if you spend your time correctly.

How you spend your time is key to your company’s success with social media. It must be understood that social media is not a one-way communication channel. You’re setting yourself up to fail if you think that you can just promote your company non-stop and not interact with customers and still succeed. We’ve come back to the importance of relationships and honestly it cannot be stressed enough. After all it is called social media. Failing to recognize this can result in complete failure; so don’t go out there and ignore your customers! Listening and responding can be the best way to lead your business to success.

It’s not only you’re customers you shouldn’t ignore though, it’s your competitors too. Keeping track of what your competitors are doing on social media and how they are doing it can be key to your survival in today’s market. Social media provides you with the gift of easily connecting with everyone around the world. This means it’s very easy to check up on your competitors. Visit their website, their Facebook and LinkedIn pages and most importantly check out their customer feedback. Knowing where your competitors are going wrong can prevent you making the same mistakes and help you achieve a competitive advantage.

Finally, it is essential that you are passionate in your social media marketing. Without passion you won’t succeed. If you feel that social media isn’t for you and you have the resources then hire someone who knows about social media so that they can help your company succeed. If you have someone running your social media operation that has genuine interest and passion for it then it will be well worth the money it takes to employ them.

The benefits of social media for business really can be incredible, but only if it is utilized in the proper way. If you implement a solid social media strategy and avoid the mistakes I’ve been talking about then I can promise that you won’t regret it.

Social media could revolutionize your company.

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