Social media is becoming more and more of an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. But unfortunately, due to the newness of the medium and a lot of accompanying misleading hype, many businesses are led astray. Either due to their own misguided social media attempts or using bad advice from inexperienced “social media experts”, businesses are making mistakes left and right.
If you’re confused by how to use social media to grow your business or are worried about your social media usage, make sure to avoid these three common mistakes:
Mistake #1 – Putting too much value in social media.
Putting all of your business eggs in the social media basket is never a good idea. Social media can definitely have an positive impact on your bottom line – but it’s a tool to be used in one part of your overall marketing plan. Don’t invest time in social media to the downfall of the rest of your plan. You need to incorporate social media into your overall inbound marketing strategy and make sure that it coordinates with the rest of your efforts. This means having high quality, relevant content to promote, an informative, easy to navigate website to send your contacts to and a plan for following up with leads. Many businesses make the mistake of growing their Twitter followers or pumping up their Facebook presence and ignoring their other marketing responsibilities. Social media is important, but a small part of the overall picture – be sure to create balance in your business for best results.
Mistake #2 – Using social media haphazardly.
Social media is easy to start – spend just a few minutes signing up and you can have an account ready to go. But just because it’s easy to get started doesn’t mean that you should use it just as nonchalantly. Many business owners get a cold splash of reality when they realize that their midnight updates or inconsistent posting schedule aren’t getting them the results that they want. Don’t jump into social media without having specific goals in mind. Focusing on specific strategies to achieve your goals will keep you from getting distracted, avoiding precious time or wasting valuable financial resources. If the tool of social media is used without strategy, it won’t be very effective at all.
Mistake #3 – Focusing too much on the sale.
Consumers *choose* to be on social media networks – they don’t have to be. And they won’t follow you or look forward to your updates if you’re too focused on selling to them. Selling on social media should be a side benefit to the real goal – building a relationship with your target market. If you do nothing but pitch your products and ask people to buy your product or service, you are going to repel the very people you’re trying to attract. Balance your sales pitches with helpful information, and you’ll have a winning combination for social media.
Avoiding these social media mistakes will help to position you as a resource that your audience can trust. This will allow you to develop strong relationships that will support your revenue goals for years to come.