Mistake #1: Set up a bunch of profiles and pray
Social Media is not the Yellow Pages. Anybody can set up profiles or start a blog. But it’s what you do with those tools that matters. You have to carve out the time to plan and consistently execute your social media strategy or you are just wasting your time. Keep your ambitions in check and remember that, with social media, quantity does not equal quality. Choose only the number of sites that you will be able to keep up with—even if it’s just one.
Mistake #2: Delegate without a policy
We’ve all heard the stories. The relief worker who meant to post her prior evening’s drinking escapades to her personal Twitter account – oops! The angry employee with the keys to Facebook bringing shame to the brand and the unemployment line for himself.
Without guidelines, checks and balances, you are taking a huge risk. Business social media is best kept strictly professional. It’s great to have a personality, but make sure that all posts are directly related to your business and building your brand image.
Mistake #3: Treating social media as a forum for selling
To some companies it is irresistible. You’ve got a bunch of followers – a captive audience – so pound ‘em with marketing messages that are all about the business, product or service and not at all helpful to the buyer. When done right, social media can lead to increased traffic and sales, but the route is not direct. Consider that you are at a professional dinner party. If you use each conversation as a means to sell, you will find yourself alone even before the appetizer is served. Instead, be interesting and interested. Your fans will grow.
Mistake #4: Post content that lacks value
Another way to undermine your business social media efforts is to post content that is not valuable to your buyers. If you’re worried that your Facebook and Twitter will be dominated by people seeking free advice, stop worrying. Instead, embrace Facebook and Twitter as a forum for you to generously deliver free advice and information to help buyers do anything better that relates to your product or service. When it comes time to buy, will they go with the company they’ve never interacted with? Or with you, who has taken the time to provide the information and help they need?
Mistake #5: Jumping in without a plan
You’ve heard it before, but it’s true – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Social media in itself is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to plan everything. Who’s responsible? What will they post? When will they post? What is the message you want to send? The list goes on.
Successful social media strategies require regular posting of informative content that your buyers, fans and friends care about. It means someone should be in charge and coordinating so all of the pieces add up to building your brand, growing your business and increasing your online visibility.