Social media is the new playground for marketing your small business. This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard this being said, especially if you’re working on trying to grow your own small business social media presence. But it’s important to not just jump into social media marketing without knowing what to do and what not to do. In fact, there are a good number of mistakes that a small business can make if they’re not careful.
That’s why we’re here to help: to highlight the mistakes that you and your business could make if you’re not careful. Read on to learn about the five things your business may be doing wrong on social media so you can avoid making these mistakes in the future.
1- Assumption of a Trend
Assumptions, in general, are usually a bad idea unless you have concrete or at least compelling data to back it up, especially when it comes to popularity. Just because a hashtag did well yesterday doesn’t mean it’s going to do well tomorrow. In fact, it’s probably a bad idea to try to latch onto a hashtag at all, given the transient nature of most hashtags. And the ones that do last are usually political in nature and something you shouldn’t have associated with your brand.
This can also apply to new types of social media. Unless it’s an established platform, it’s probably too big of a risk to try using a new, unproven platform. If you’re trying to forecast a trend, it’s probably best that you look at the bigger picture and see what things started picking up steam the previous year and try to piggyback on that. However, it’s probably best that you stick to the strengths of your business and simply promote those.
This is crucial and could even be subtitled, “Annoying Your Customers”. Annoying your customers is tantamount to business suicide, and one of the best ways to annoy your customers with your social media presence is to flood their feeds and message inboxes with ads for your business. They’re already fans of yours on social media and you already have links on your profile leading to your site.
Any links you send to your followers should be to promote new products or services your business is rolling out. Think of it like a movie premiere; you get one time only to play up the pomp and circumstance of your brand new thing, but you don’t get more than one premiere. The movie’s theatrical run will continue on its own, and your business’ new product or service will find its customers if it’s good. And if it doesn’t land, you can always try again with something else.
3- Paying for Followers
We’ve all seen those profiles on Twitter or Instagram where somehow someone with very little content has over 100,000 followers. Social media platforms have made attempts to crack down on profiles with paid followers — Instagram did this recently and millions of accounts were deleted — but this kind of thing can still happen.
And at first blush, it may seem like having over a million followers is good, but people are smarter and savvier than you might think. All it takes is a quick search through the masses of fake followers a small business has purchased and they’ll see the multitudes of bots for what they are. In the end, all this accomplishes is harm to your business’ credibility. Instead of buying followers, try to cultivate them with your great products or services and your engagement with them.
4- No Communication with Customers
Speaking of engaging with followers, it’s incredibly important to always have the lines of communication open with your business’ followers. After all, social media isn’t just for promotion; it’s primarily a communication tool, after all.
If you’re a really small operation, you might be the one communicating with them, but you could also hire a person or a team to handle all of the feedback and frequently asked questions shot your way. In fact, a popular social media management company found that two-thirds of customers use business’ social media platforms for their customer service needs.
Thus, it’s really important that you always have an open line of communication open with your customer base so you can always be available to address their immediate concerns. Customers like to feel like they’re the center of your attention, and frankly, they should. In addition to that, having an open line of communication between you and your customers can really help you improve your product or service since they can give you immediate and helpful feedback.
Communication between business and customer hasn’t always been this easy, so there’s no reason to not capitalize on it. And what better platform to do that than one as user-friendly and easy as a social media platform or two?
5- Not Having an Active Social Media Presence
This might seem obvious at this point, but it’s not as obvious to a lot of small businesses as you might think. Think about how when you’re on a small business’ website and you click on the links to their Facebook or Twitter accounts and all you see is a barren wasteland of a tweet here and there and maybe a promotional Facebook ad.
Some business doesn’t even have a social media presence. This is a major mistake that some up and coming small businesses can find themselves making without even realizing the ramifications of their online absence. If your business isn’t out there on social media platforms making themselves known, it’s almost impossible for them to grow and remain competitive with the other businesses out there offering similar products or services.
It’s hard to overstress that social media presence is a necessity for any new small business. We’ve come to a point in our culture where it’s become a requirement for any business that wishes to grow to have an online presence. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to create that presence.
And hopefully, with this list of mistakes that many businesses sometimes make on social media, you’ll be able to cultivate your business’ social media presence into something that makes it grow in ways you never thought possible. Start cultivating!