Social media gives marketers an opportunity to interact directly with prospects, making it easier to build strong business relationships. Whether you tweet about your business or use Facebook to let people know about special promotions, social media is a must for any successful marketing strategy. Unfortunately, social media has some pitfalls that can ruin even the best of intentions. You must avoid these five critical social media mistakes, or you risk putting your entire marketing campaign in jeopardy.
Falling Into the “Friend” Trap
Many marketers fall into the social media “friend trap,” which means they focus on accumulating a large number of Facebook friends instead of making sure those friends have an interest in their products or services. Having 500 Facebook friends does nothing for your sales if most of those people have no interest in what you are selling. Instead of focusing on how many friends you have, focus on connecting with people in your target market. It is better to have 50 friends who are interested in your business than 500 friends who only “liked” your page because you were running a contest or giving away a freebie.
Becoming an Unintentional Spammer
Once you start a social media campaign, it is easy to send out too many tweets or crowd your fans’ Facebook feeds with posts about your business. Remember that social media, like electronic mail, has rules about spamming the people on your list. If you post something on one of your social media profiles, make sure it is relevant to your audience. Posting a personal photo occasionally is fine, but you must avoid making multiple posts that serve no real purpose. People will get annoyed and they will delete you from their lists.
Forgetting About the Needs of Your Audience
Always remember that your social media activities should serve your audience, whether you want to teach people a new skill or inspire your fans to get in shape. Make sure that every blog post you make is relevant to your audience. If you run a business related to weight loss, your fans likely want to learn more about diet, exercise, and healthy living. Don’t drive them away with constant updates about topics that have nothing to do with weight loss.
Starting Strong and Fizzling Out
Social media is just another tool in your marketing arsenal. For it to be effective, you must do it consistently. Many marketers make the mistake of starting out with a strong presence, making a few updates, and then fading into the sunset. If you do the work of attracting people to your social media profile, you must keep them there by offering new content on a regular basis. Think of your social media pages as mini blogs. You need to update a blog regularly to attract new traffic, and you must do the same with your social media accounts.
Sharing Content Before You Review It
Sharing content from other business owners is a good way to network, but be wary of sharing content that you have not reviewed yourself. A catchy headline can trick people into thinking that a piece of content is something it is not. Spammers use clever headlines and strong introductions to disguise their thinly-veiled marketing content. Some articles, no matter how well-written, are just plain inaccurate. Avoid sharing content unless you have reviewed it yourself and support the overall message. If you post content you have not reviewed, you risk losing precious relationships with your followers.
Social media can be a minefield, but with the right strategy, small business owners can use this marketing tactic to build positive relationships. Focus on attracting loyal customers who will buy from you again and again rather than trying to accumulate as many followers as possible. Once you have a sizable list of followers, keep your content relevant to their needs and make sure every piece of content you share is from a reputable source. If you are unsure of how to develop a successful social media strategy, a social media consultant can work with you to build a campaign that gets results.