The Business Insider posted their list of the top 16 terrible social media mistakes you’re making and while all 16 points are valid, I bet there is more than one small business owner who has no previous experience with reputation management and could not/would not be able to solve all 16 mistakes on their first try. And while it is still important that you work towards fixing them all, I’ve decided to alert Small Business owners of the top 4 problems they should be fixing right now.
- Start strong, but end very weak – Many small business owners get excited when they first enter the world of social media and they have these amazing plans as to what to do with Facebook and Twitter. They set up fancy Facebook pages and announce to anyone who will hear that they are now on Twitter too. Time goes by, a strategy is never set, and these online profiles are left deserted and unmonitored.
In order to prevent this, it’s a good idea to set up a scheduling calendar and plan ahead of time. You can always schedule posts to go out later on the week and set up Google Alerts on industry specific subjects to always have shareable content handy. Whatever you do, do not give up too soon; there are plenty of reasons why your business should be in social media.
- It’s all about me! Buy my product! Share my content! – Another great mistake many businesses (not just small/medium sized ones) make is that of becoming overly egotistical. While social media does provide you with a wide audience with whom you can connect and communicate, this doesn’t give you the right to take over that conversation and put the online spotlight permanently on you. Fan pages who are constantly sharing content about their products or services and nothing else will get un-liked fairly quickly, the trick is mixing these sales-y updates between pieces of other content that your fan base will find useful and want to share.
- Engaging in ‘online fights’ – if you’re doing a great job at exposing your brand and creating engagement, chances are you will be receiving negative commentary. While there are civilized ways in which you should be dealing with these negative reviews, you should never attempt to go one-on-one with an unsatisfied customer because it can easily get out of control. The best way to approach this would be to take the conversation offline and find out how you can help them make it better.
- We’ll make millions in a week! – If you’re one of those people who think that because social media is free it will be easy as pie to attract customers and make millions without spending a penny, then let me burst your bubble because you are very wrong. Social Media takes time, and time, and more time, along with a complete set of tools (monitoring, reputation management guides, social media policies) to make it profitable. Without getting into ROI, it is important for small business owners to know that you will be expanding your brand awareness level and how you take advantage of that new audience depends on you and your online strategy.
What other topics do you think small business owners should be looking at before diving head first into social media? Share with us!