Almost every business, regardless of size, has a social media presence these days. It might just be a Facebook or Pinterest page, but chances are that if you’re a small business owner, especially a retailer, you have an account on one of the major media platforms. social. And while having a Facebook and Pinterest (as well as Twitter and Instagram) page can be beneficial, it can negatively impact your business if you make one (or more) of these nine social media mistakes for small businesses.
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1. Create a page and don’t post anything on it.
“The biggest social media mistake I see that small business owners make is creating a Facebook or Twitter [or Pinterest or Instagram] page and then [fail to update it] for months,” says Stacy Erickson Edwards, owner, Home Key: Organized Social Media. “Not only does this send a message to potential customers that you don’t care, but sometimes people see it and think you’re out of business.”
2. Not having a posting strategy/schedule.
“The biggest mistake a business can make on social media is inconsistent posting,” says Vincent Scatena, CMO, IMP Corporation. “If the company [doesn’t have a sound] publication strategy… potential subscribers [be] less likely to engage. A simple solution to inconsistency is planning [posts]. This can be done through scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social. These tools allow you to schedule your posts in advance while providing the flexibility to update your posts when urgent news arises. And when you post regularly, on a regular schedule, it’s easier for your audience to find and follow you.
3. Post User Generated Content (UGC) without user permission.
“Reposting user-generated content is one of the most influential ways to engage with your fans,” notes Tom Kuhr, senior vice president, marketing, MomentFeed. “And while the content [may be] submitted voluntarily, you should always ask permission before [post it]. This prevents any breach of trust and will help spread the word. [as] the user [will] tell their friends.
“Engaging with your followers and customers on social media is essential if you want them to know you care about them,” says Ry Colman, social media manager, United Veterans Home Loans. “Answer their questions, respond to comments (even if it’s just to thank them for sharing their thoughts), and address their concerns. Do not delete negative posts. Instead, do your best to recognize the problem. Remember that customers who express their dissatisfaction are your friends [or potential friends]. Learn from them and show [them you are] dedicated to service [them] and solve their problems.
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5. Publish sales and promotions only.
“Many businesses post sales-related content most of the time, but this approach can actually hurt them,” says RJ Licata, Inbound Marketing Coordinator, Terakeet.
In effect, “57.5% of people are turned off by promotional material on social mediasays Rachael Samuels, social media specialist, Social Sprout. Yet, “brands often bombard their followers with repetitive promotions, copycats, and the same stock footage.”
To avoid turning off potential customers, “social profiles should focus on building relationships and trust,” says Licata. “Limit hard-selling content to 10-30% of the time, depending on how often you post. The rest of the time should be used to inform, educate and build relationships with fans. If you do this, the sales will come.
6. Treat your business pages like your personal pages.
“Social media has long been touted as a place to communicate your point of view,” says Erin Green, senior director of media services, GoLocal. “However, for businesses, it’s not the ideal way to express your personal or political views,” unless you’re a political consultant.
“Your business social media page should educate customers about your business [or industry], promote promotions or offers, and engage your audience online in a non-threatening way,” she says. “Taking a political stance on your social media pages only alienates customers who may not agree with your views and invites arguments and conflict onto your page.”
Likewise, don’t post pictures of your kids, pets, or personal life unless they’re directly related to your business (for example, you sell children’s clothing or pet products). of company).
7. Buy followers (especially fake ones).
“Many business owners assume that having lots of Facebook likes or Twitter followers will help improve their social media presence,” says digital marketer Alexa Rees, seoplus+. “Some will even go so far as to buy followers. This is a mistake because buying followers ultimately diminishes the value of the business and harms the authenticity of your social presence.
“One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of social media is post-post engagement,” she points out. “Even if the followers you paid for were real people (and many are fake accounts), if they have no genuine interest in your business, they won’t engage with your posts. you pay won’t buy what you sell. So save your money! Focus on creating a consistent schedule of interesting posts to drive engagement with your audience and boost your followers organically.
8. Using too many and/or irrelevant hashtags.
“In many ways, using too many hashtags on social media has the same effect on people as using too many keywords in SEO,” says Matt Gibbons, digital marketing manager, inSegment. “Hashtag overload will make the post hard to read and spammy, so use your hashtags wisely to reap the benefits.
According to most social media marketers, when using Twitter, limit yourself to one or two hashtags. However, when using Instagram, the opposite is true. The more hashtags — 11 and counting, with a minimum of eight — the more your posts will be found.
Also avoid using irrelevant hashtags. Only use hashtags that are perfectly relevant to your posts and your business,” says Gibbons. “For example, it wouldn’t make sense to share an article about B2B marketing and use hashtags related to the latest Kardashian news. “
9. Automatic direct messaging of Twitter followers.
“Don’t self-DM users when they follow you on Twitter,” says social media manager Josh Hayes. 18Birdies. “It sounds spammy and robotic and it’s the wrong message to send to new subscribers. You want your brand to feel authentic. [Also] most automated DMs don’t generate a lot of responses or engagement. Prioritize authenticity over automation. If you want to thank someone for following you, send them a personal note, or better yet, dismiss the follow.