While many self-starting individuals and businesses have excelled using social media to promote their enterprise, others have witnessed little or no success with interactive media and are left puzzled as to why.
What most people don’t realize is that their lack of success with social media might be attributed to their own actions. Below you’ll find six common social media mistakes, courtesy of SocialMediaExaminer.com, along with simple solutions to get back on the road to success.
Mistake: Making the Wrong Connections
Many new business owners are misguided by their elementary entrepreneurial intuition, which tells them that the larger the spectrum of consumers the better the chance of sales. While reaching out to the masses is important, the key to establishing connections with potential customers is to focus on your target consumer – i.e. the demographic that your product/service was intended for.
Don’t become blinded by premature excitement; so what if you have thousands of friends and followers through social media platforms? These high numbers don’t guarantee sales, so don’t waste time promoting your business to people who just aren’t interested.
• Search for followers using member directories in Twitter (aka Twellow) to target the right kind of consumer
• Locate blogs on similar topics, post feedback and link back to your own site
• Study the followers of another business within your industry and search for people who might also be interested in your brand
Mistake: Masking Your Social Media Presence
Chances are you’re not intentionally hiding your involvement in social media, but you could be hindering its reach by not publicizing it. These social networks are simply a platform for you to showcase your business; the rest is up to you.
• Link your social media networks to your website
• Add your social media links to the signature of your e-mail account
• List your social media links on your business cards
Mistake: Sending the Wrong Message
While individuals who set up personal accounts on Twitter and Facebook often post about their every day lives, including errands they ran, events they attended and thoughts about life – the good, the bad and the ugly – as a business owner, you should restrict your posts to content relevant to your business.
People who choose to follow you through social media are looking to learn more about your presence in the industry as well as your product, not what kind of latte you prefer or how your best friend stood you up for drinks last night.
To establish a clear example of how to keep your social media posts business relevant, let’s pretend that you’re a freelance web designer. Below you’ll find several examples of relevant topics.
• Purchasing a new computer or software to enhance your creative expression
• Answering questions or providing tips on web layout and design
• Linking to a comical article or graphic that relates to your industry
• Uploading pictures of your workspace, your collection of web design books and your latest business card
Mistake: Using Social Media Profiles for Link Building
Although creating backlinks to your website can be beneficial, you must pick and choose relevant websites to link to. Creating profiles on every social media site you visit only to establish backlinks is a waste of time; not to mention, there are better and more effective ways of link building.
• Connect only to the websites you intend to use and interact with followers; here are the Top 100 link building resources
Mistake: Focusing Only on Tasks that can be Measured in Return on Investment
The debate about whether social media marketing can be measured is ongoing; however, its direct impact on your sales shouldn’t be your primary focus. The bottom line: Even the best things you can do to enhance your visibility with social media won’t guarantee sales; so just focus on putting yourself out there being, well, social.
• Establish and maintain a positive reputation via social media, even in terms of crisis management
• Engage new and loyal followers with captivating discussion to create a consistent enthusiasm of your brand
Mistake: Following too Many ‘Rules’ of Social Media
Some experts insist there are specific guidelines to follow when applying social media to your business; however, some tactics simply should not be used in your niche or industry.
• Follow others in your industry who have become successful with social media marketing and analyze their tactics; remember, success is not measured by how many fans you have but by the amount of interactivity you have with them