Beware: Social media can help or hurt your business. But that’s for you to decide. Here, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common mistakes businesses commit when dealing with social media. Commit these mistakes at your own risk.
1. Not staying consistent: If you’re not going to be consistent then don’t even start using social media. It’ll be a waste of time for you. I’d say being inconsistent with social media is the number 1 reason why most businesses fail at it.
2. Random posts: When you drive a car do you just randomly steer the wheel or do you follow the road? I hope you follow the road. Social media should be viewed as a tool in part of an overall strategy. Do things with a purpose. Know what your goal is with social media and devise a plan to achieve it.
3. Inappropriate content: Do not post things that are inappropriate. It seems like everyday we see politicians, celebrities and business people getting in trouble for posting things they shouldn’t have. If it goes on the internet, just remember it might be there forever.
4. Irrelevant information: Sure, I like dogs. I like cats too. But constantly talking about them and posting pictures of them on a page about fitness is completely irrelevant. Some people might think they are cute, but it’s not going to help develop your online community.
5. Gossip: Human beings are pretty much hardwired to gossip, but that doesn’t mean you should do it online. Don’t talk trash about people because it makes you look completely unprofessional and untrustworthy. Gossip on your own time. Be professional with your business.
6. Being obnoxious: People tend to avoid obnoxious people. If you post ridiculous photos or leave crazy comments, people may start to avoid you. This might work in some niches, but tread lightly. Being confident is one thing. But bragging all the time just makes you look insecure.
7. Getting into troll wars: Personally, I just avoid all internet trolls. I prefer to not give them any more attention than they deserve. It’s sad, but some people really don’t have anything better to do than go online and criticize other people’s efforts. Be above that.
8. Having bad photos: The pictures on your profile should be clear and at good angles. This isn’t 1995 anymore. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, but put a little thought and effort into the images you’re putting online. Those are the images of you and your business.
9. Promoting yourself without giving value: A lot of people on the internet don’t care about helping you. Many people are just looking for ways to make a quick buck. You should know better. Be in this for the long haul, because it takes time to build solid relationships. You should being trying to create as much value for your customers and potential customers as possible. A good principle is to make your free content better than most people’s premium content.
10. Linking to your awful website: You can generate all the traffic in the world, but if your website stinks, then what’s the point. It would be like hosting a car show, but when you get to the show, the only car for show is a 1990 Honda Civic with a bad paint job. Everyone will just leave.
11. Not responding or following up with people: You need to be active with people. That’s the whole point social media. Answer people’s questions. Try to be as helpful as possible. This means reaching out to people as well. Ask for their opinions on your business. Ask how you could be doing things better. People love to get asked for their opinion.
12. Complaining: Your business profile isn’t the place to vent. If you need to vent, call a friend or family member. You’re supposed to be solving other people’s problems. Not the other way around. Don’t be a source of negativity.
13. Not including a link to your site: Let’s say you do have a great website. You need to be linking to it if that’s your goal. I’ve seen many posts that don’t link back to anywhere. Include the links to where you want people to go. If you want them to go to a landing page then be sure to include that URL.
14. Not getting people to interact with each other: You interacting with people is great. But it can be even better when you get other people to interact with each other. That’s when you start creating a real community. Just be sure to monitor this behavior so people don’t start fighting with each other
15. Being completely selfish: I’ll be the first one to say that it’s okay to want to make money. That’s probably part of the reason you’re doing this. But you need to make sure that you’re being helpful yourself. If all you’re doing is trying to take from people, you’re basically scamming them. Those people with never work with you again and they will tell their other people. If you do this, your online marketing days will be short lived.
These are the 15 social media mistakes you may be making. If you are making some of them, be sure to fix it. Remember, think in terms of creating as much value as possible for people. This will help you become highly useful for everyone and develop a strong community. If you stop making these mistakes you’ll be well on your way to developing a professional image online.
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