Social media is one of the best marketing opportunities for small businesses with small budgets. It costs nothing to wage a social media marketing campaign, and it can be incredibly effective when done right. Unfortunately, many small businesses squander their chances with social media success by making some very grave mistakes. Small businesses must be very careful not to make these six campaign-killing errors.
Not Having a Plan
Your social media marketing campaign is just that: a marketing campaign. You wouldn’t absentmindedly start printing out fliers with a design, or send direct mail to every single household in the country. Marketing campaigns take planning, and they require strategy. Don’t just begin creating social network profiles or engaging with customers online without coming up with a clear, strategic plan first.
Too Much Self-Promotion
Yes, the goal of your social media campaign is to promote your business and get customers, and everyone knows this. The trick is not to do it so much and so overtly that it turns people off. People don’t mind a little self-promotion. But if you only promote yourself, you’re missing the important opportunity to engage with your customers and become a part of the larger social networking community, which is more beneficial in the long run.
Too Much Spam
When using Facebook and Twitter, it’s quality over quantity that matters. You could send out a tweet or update your status every half hour, but you probably don’t have quite so many important or interesting things to say. If you clog up people’s feeds with messages that are irrelevant, boring, or have little value to them, they’ll very quickly un-friend or un-follow you. Concentrate on quality, valuable messages.
One of the great things about social networking for your business is that it allows your customers to get to know you on a more personal level. Being relatable and personable will gain you loyal customers and followers. It’s good to be transparent as a business and share a little “inside” information or introduce your employees. But some businesses unintentionally over-share. Be careful that everything you post is something you wouldn’t mind every single person knowing or reading about your business.
Being Offensive or Rude
Lots of businesses attempt to use humor in their social media campaigns. This is an excellent way to appeal to people; humor is always appreciated. However, you must be careful to never use humor in a way that could possibly offend any groups or types of people. If you cross a line, you’ll lose the respect of many. It’s also important to watch how you respond to every comment, especially complaints. Never be confrontational, rude, or anything but polite or apologetic.
Not Being Consistent
Another common mistake small businesses make is creating a social networking profile or blog and not properly maintaining it. With social media, you have to be consistent. You can’t stop and start randomly or disappear completely, or your business will seem irrelevant, flaky, or defunct. With social media, you must update at least twice per week and on a consistent basis.
Charlie Adams is a tech guru and electronics entrepreneur who loves to write about social media and give advice to others on how best to utilize the phenomenon.