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Top 10 Mistakes Small Businesses Make on Social Media

Mistakes Small Businesses Make on Social Media
Mistakes Small Businesses Make on Social Media

Posted on Tuesday, November 28, 2017
By: Media Fusion Technologies
Categories: Website Development  |  Social Media Marketing  |  Content Marketing

Unfortunately, far too many small businesses fail miserably when attempting to manage their own social media accounts on a weekly basis, and end up actually harming their business as a result.

Social Media is not just a marketing tool. It affects every single layer, department, and person within a modern organization including Customer Service, Recruitment and HR, Sales, CEO thought leadership, Innovation, Marketing and PR, Internal Communications, and Personal Lives.

An organization should never sit still with its online marketing efforts, because Social Media most certainly does not! Traditional outbound marketing is becoming less and less effective as Social Media users can choose what they want to see. Statistics show that 71% of people state they are more likely to purchase from a brand that they follow online. So how do you get them to follow you?

Unfortunately, far too many small businesses fail miserably when attempting to manage their own social media accounts on a weekly basis, and end up actually harming their business as a result. And here’s how:

• Choosing the Wrong Platform(s)

All social media platforms are not created alike… and having a presence on all may not be necessary. Understanding which platforms are best suited to promoting your business is paramount to your business’s success. Choosing the wrong ones and too many is a complete waste of time and resources which will adversely affect your business’s success. It's critical to know where your customers and potential customers are online, and how to most effectively engage them.

• Unprofessional Graphics

This one is often an absolute deal killer! You do not get a second chance to make a first impression. In this day and age of the smart phone, everyone is a photographer (or so they are lead to believe). The fact of the matter is, people scrolling through their time lines are quickly able to discern quality from… not so much. When you are a restaurant posting dark, gray, unfocused images of your food, it certainly does not entice people to dine there. Widely angled images that lack appropriate cropping, and overall poor judgement in content end up distracting people and making them quickly scroll past your post, never giving you a chance.

• Frequency of Posts

Each social media platform has a specific number of posts per day that are recommended for a business based on proven research and statistics. This number varies depending on the type of business, your goals, and your target demographic. Posting too often makes you lose followers quickly. Not posting often enough makes you lose potential business. In addition, posting on the wrong days or at the wrong time of day makes a difference. It all matters. The balance is intricate. The good news is, the internet is packed with statistics on what works and what does not.

• Lacking Planned and Strategic Content

Okay, so you may have figured out most of the posting protocol. But what are you really posting and when? Does it matter to your audience? Does it attract new followers and drive traffic to your website? Is it actually turning people away? Is your business presence on ‪‎social media - if any - worth seeing by your existing customers, and is it representative of your business to attract new customers? More people than ever before may get exposed to your content thanks to social media. Only a few of them will actually consume your content on your website first (if at all). A focused, effective, and comprehensive social media business marketing campaign will create brand awareness, increase traffic, and build your brand.

• Misuse of Hashtags

To hashtag or not to hashtag? Fact is, statistics for each social media platform have shown that having the proper number of hashtags per post can radically increase reach and engagement. Okay. So maybe you’ve done your research and mastered that aspect. But what hashtags have you chosen? Most often the wrong ones will never attract new followers and can drive current followers away. Using hashtags that are obvious and only 'preaching to the choir', doesn’t attract new followers. Using hashtags that are way too exclusive to your business is an enigmatic disaster. To be successful, you need to know your industry, follow your competitors and customers and suppliers, follow hashtag trends daily to see who is using what and to what degree, and constantly monitor your social media analytics and website traffic driven from social media referrals. 

• Over Promoting Your Brand

One of the most common mistakes of every small business is to over promote their brand at every opportunity on every post! Give it a break already! Think about it. Is that what you really want to see when you are in your sweatpants leisure time at home, scrolling through your timeline? Do you want to see a business that you follow spewing their greatness with every single post post, multiple times a day? I certainly do not. A successful and strategic marketing plan on social media includes a balanced consistency of content that includes things that followers want to see. Things that intrigue followers, draw them in, educate them, entertain them, inspire them, and – yes – then convince them to use your brand. Constantly pushing advertisements and sales copies no longer works on today's increasingly social-media-savvy consumers, which means businesses need to take on a more strategic, relationship-building approach.

• Unprofessional Posts

So you may think that what you have to say is funny, awesome, trendy, cool, or has massive swag. But is it appropriate? Posts need to contain, not only the proper content, but the acceptable number of characters based on the relative format. In addition, the content needs to be relevant, professional, and proper to your followers and desired followers. Posting content that is not only off color, but completely out of relevant context will drive people away from your brand.

• Lack of Graphics

Statics show that a vast percentage of followers will stop scrolling and engage a post that contains a quality graphic over a straight text post. Quality graphic being the operative term. It’s also referred to as Visual Content Marketing. The facts are that 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%). Additionally, 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%). 

• Not Utilizing Facebook Boosts / Advertising

The average cost per click on Google Adwords is between $1 and $2 and depending on the keyword targeted, you can end up paying $50 or more for a single click. Through targeted boosted posts, you can send traffic via Facebook and Pinterest for as little as $0.12 per click. Why pay ten or twenty times as much for each visit when social media ads make earning that traffic quick and easy? The fact is that Facebook boosts and advertisements are the least expensive and most effective method of advertising you business on social media.

• Being Social

Engage, interact, like their posts, leave comments, respond to your comments and messages immediately. Every day you need to be engaging your followers and potential followers! The fact is that people don’t buy diddly from people they don’t know, like, or trust!! Today, awareness, trust, and affinity are largely built online. On mobile devices and on social platforms long before they call you or set foot in your store. Despite that, social media accounts for less than 1 percent of average marketing budgets. Why? Social media marketing is an art form, and with the right social media marketing solution, business owners can master it.  Statistics show that 71% of people state they are more likely to purchase from a brand that they follow online. But why should they follow yours? The success of your social media efforts boils down to one thing: Likeability. People will follow your brand because they just plain like you and they like what you have to offer on social media, such as quality and entertaining content, discounts and special promotions, or customer service.


The Wrap Up

Of all of the things that social media encompasses, time consuming ranks among the top! The average American spends 40 minutes per day just checking their personal Facebook feed! That's more time than they spend with their pets or, arguably, their children. For a small business, a social-media presence can be a time-devouring bottomless pit. 

The bottom line is, concentrate on doing what you do best and hire others to do what they do best. At some point in every small business owner’s growth period, they reach a tipping point where they need to acknowledge the fact that, in order to continue to grow and flourish, it is time to outsource certain aspects of the business. Most often, marketing is one of the first. Be wise and follow the advice and paths of others before you who have faced the same challenges. Focus on doing what you do best… and flourish.

The trick with ‘engagement’ based, social media correlation data, is that you can’t point to a single discernible area where it has the greatest impact. Instead, it’s the entire funnel. Businesses need to personalize their social media… People are tired of the same old things. Remember, relationships start with a personal connection. And people do business with people!

Of course, you don't have to be a social-media expert to effectively market your business online... or do you? Do you really have the time to get involved, remain involved, and be entirely effective? If you are not social-media savvy enough and your time is most effectively spent being focused on your business, then it's best that you don't attempt to manage your company's social media presence. Hire an expert social media manager to handle your online presence, and concentrate on growing your business. 

Tagged:social media, social media marketing

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