Top 5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make
These days, there's no overstating the power of social media—especially when it comes to spreading brand awareness and potentially gaining new customers and clients. Despite the fact that organic reach through social media has decreased, there's still a lot to be said for engaging with followers and prospective customers on social platforms—especially when it comes to brand reputation. Unfortunately for small businesses that don't tend to have the budgets for full-time social media professionals, there are many common social media usage mistakes that can have a negative impact.
Buying "Likes" or Followers
In the past, the number of "likes" or followers your business social media page had a much bigger impact than it does today. During this time, the practice of purchasing "likes" and followers was quite popular and effective. Today, however, this is one of the biggest social media mistakes your business can make! Not only are these followers unlikely to be part of your target audience, but they're probably not even real accounts. Plus, if others find out that your followers are fake, this could seriously damage your company's reputation. It's just not worth it.
Lack of Regular Updates
As a small business owner, the thought of posting updates on your social media platforms every day might seem a bit overwhelming and time-consuming. However, it's important to realize that weekly updates simply aren't enough if you truly want to engage your followers and gain new ones. To make your life easier, consider creating a social media calendar each month so you have your posts planned out ahead of time. From there, you can even use free publishing software to auto-publish your new posts and save you time!
Over-Promotion of Business
It's also important to understand that your social media page isn't the place to spam your followers with ads for your company's services or products. While it's fine to mention special sales or new products from time to time, you want to avoid turning your followers off with overly promotional content. Instead, focus on posting content that your followers will actually find useful, such as blog posts and news stories relevant to your industry.
Failing to Engage With Users
Social media is all about interacting with your followers and helping them see that you're more than just a brand. With that in mind, make sure you're taking the time to engage followers. This means responding to their comments, reacting to their feedback, sharing (or re-tweeting) their posts, and the like. Keep in mind that social media platforms such as Facebook may even rate you on your responsiveness. For example, on business pages, Facebook often includes an "average response time" that lets users know how long it typically takes your page to respond to messages.
Not Understanding Platforms
Finally, realize that while there are literally dozens of social media platforms in use today, your business pages won't be successful if you don't actually understand how each unique platform is used. Take the time to research platforms, know your audience, and focus on the ones that your target customers are most likely using. Then, get to know best practices and "unspoken rules" of these platforms so you can use them like a pro rather than making a fool of your brand.
Learning how to harness the power of social media for your small business will take some careful research, planning, and even a little trial and error. By avoiding these common mistakes, however, you'll increase your chances of success while gaining followers and boosting your brand's reputation and recognition in the process.