Social media is a boon for business owners, allowing companies to have instant access to fans and their social circle. This access provides a platform for free marketing and customer interaction, which can help boost a company’s reputation and increase sales. Sadly, some business owners aren’t properly utilizing this important business tool, resulting in a decrease of followers and business. Before logging on to Facebook or Twitter, make sure you aren’t making these social media mistakes.
1. You Spam Your Fans
Whether it is your favorite business or your grandmother, no one wants to see the same name plastered all over the front page of their account. Businesses that abuse their social media site by posting multiple updates over a short period of time lose fans and business. Don’t spam your own social media account. Ideally, sites like Twitter should be updated between two and four times a day. Sites that are more static should be updated daily.
2. You Post Inconsistently
For social media sites like Twitter, where the feed of information is constantly being updated, you will only yield a large following by posting consistently. By ignoring your social media accounts for days or weeks, followers and fans forget your name and don’t see your message. Ultimately, this will result in losing followers and you’ll end up wasting time on social media sites. The best way to ensure you are posting appropriately is to establish a posting schedule and abide by it religiously. Use services like Gremln, which allow users to schedule posts ahead of time, to ensure your schedule is upheld.
3. You Don’t Participate
Some businesses send out regular updates, but forget about the ‘social’ part of social media. Just like you would avoid the person giving a monologue of their life at a party, no one wants to be friends with the business or person who talks solely about themselves without participating in a dialogue with their fans and followers. Look at your social media history. If the last 10 updates refer exclusively to your business and you have limited or no fan interaction, you are not properly participating on social media sites.
To maintain a successful social media account, start a dialogue with your friends and followers. Establish relationships by reposting interesting updates, replying to posts and engaging in discussions. Creating a strong relationship with your fans not only builds trust and loyalty, it also allows you to access your fans for ways to improve your business.
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4. You Aren’t Networking
Social media sites allow businesses a unique opportunity to access their fan’s friends and family. Unfortunately, many business owners treat social media sites like a sales platform instead, neglecting the intent of these sites. The biggest benefit of participating on social media is to spread your company message and gain new followers.
To use this to your advantage, engage followers and reach out to their social circle. Encourage fans to share your updates or plan giveaways where fans can register to win by commenting on your status or encouraging their social circle to like your pages. As in real life, networking online is a way to increase your fan base and drive business to your website.
5. You Aren’t Interesting
Social media sites are not just about self-promotion. If you are not providing quality posts and vital information, you are not going to retain a following. Social media sites shouldn’t be viewed as a way to drive sales. Instead, work on cultivating a loyal customer base that looks to you for information as well as products and services. Take a cue from your favorite social media user. Do they constantly post mass marketing or are they providing interesting information? Create an engaging social media site that provides quality information and gives fans a reason to interact.
6. You Don’t Monitor Your Results
While your personal accounts may be for fun, a business-driven account should yield results for the business in terms of website views, fans or actual business. Establish goals for your social media sites and closely monitor those results. Whether you’re interested in increasing your social circle or driving website views, you should monitor your progress and focus on sites that yield the best results for your business.
7. You Expect Sales
Social media sites are about establishing a relationship with users and providing information. Despite your best efforts, a successful social media site may not result in a direct increase in sales. Don’t focus on sales numbers when deciding whether social media is right for your business. Instead, focus on the connections you’re making and how that’s translating to website views or increasing your fan base.
Social media is a powerful tool that’s sometimes misused by businesses, and you should avoid these common missteps when establishing a social media site. Creating a quality account that interacts with fans and provides usable information is a key step to gaining customers and improving your business.
Now tell us, do you engage your social circles the ideal way? How often do you post updates to your social media followers? Have you ever engaged in any form of spamming when it comes to using Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Please share your experience with us; we would love to hear from you.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.