Social media has been with us for a while now and it moves at an incredible rate every day.
However, many of the conventions that have established around social media are often still cast out the virtual window.
While the reasons for this vary, they probably come down to a mix of the following factors:
- the desire for quick fixes or short term results
- an entrenched traditional view of marketing centered on broadcasting promotional messages, and
- time, or lack thereof.
Here are some key mistakes I see small businesses making on social media — and some tips to overcome them.
1. They don’t think strategically enough
Small businesses are jumping on platforms without thinking too much beforehand. They have the attitude of “everyone’s on Facebook, so we should be on it too.”
A better strategy would put targets and goals in place — a purpose for doing what you’re doing. Always ask yourself “why are we doing what we are doing, and what do we hope to achieve?” This helps stop you from defaulting to tactical execution straight away.
2. They don’t think enough about their audience
Many small businesses bang on too much about their products and services — it’s all about them.
When you don’t have a content strategy or plan, your default position will be to talk too much about yourself. Don’t do this!
Think about who you’re trying to reach on social media, and tailor your content so that it addresses their needs. Your mantra should be that it’s about them, your customers — not about you (sorry!).
3. They aren’t active enough
Many small businesses never gain momentum because social media isn’t given priority.
You might think tweeting once a day is an effort, but if you want to start making inroads, you’re going to have tweet at least five, if not 15 to 20 times a day. Add value along the way, engage in conversation with others and you will see results over the journey.
If you’re going to blog, one post a month is not going to cut it. In fact, it sends the wrong message: “What, haven’t you got anything to say?” The goal should be to embrace fewer social platforms and participate on them properly, with passion, purpose and consistency.
4. They don’t know the nuances of each platform
I see too much posting of the same content across multiple channels using automated tools, without thinking about the audience of each platform.
Again, use fewer platforms. Get to know how each platform ticks, and how people use them and interact with each other. For example, Twitter is a really different beast to Facebook — understand the differences and map out your approach accordingly.
5. They don’t humanise their business
Many businesses tend to hide behind logos, yet people do business with people, not logos! Take people behind the velvet rope of your business. Get into the habit of posting photos of things that are taking place at your office or show off your staff. For example, feature your people in your Twitter banner image.
Some strategic changes to your social media efforts will be worth it in the long run! Good luck!