There are plenty of articles out there that highlight what small businesses should do on social media, but what’s equally important is understanding what not to do. Many well-intentioned, savvy entrepreneurs and business owners are making serious and sometimes even costly mistakes without even realizing it. If your social media efforts haven’t been netting you the results you’re after or you just want to be sure you’re doing things right, here are several small business social media ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind.
Don’t do it “just because.” Yes, you’ve heard about how important SMM is for small businesses, but if you don’t really understand why, or more importantly, how it can be leveraged for your own company, what’s the point? Creating accounts just for the sake of it won’t accomplish your marketing goals, so take some time to learn about the benefits and how you can strategically take advantage of them.
Don’t forget that it’s supposed to be ‘social.’ People connect with brands on social media because they want to interact. They’re not looking to be bombarded by ads or be on the receiving end of radio silence when they become a fan or follower. Remember that the purpose of SMM is to engage in two-way communication with your customers and prospects.
Don’t focus so much on the numbers. Sure, it’s nice to see that number of fans or followers going up, but if that’s all you’re concentrating on, it might be for naught. When it comes to social media, the truth is, quality is much more important than quantity. Instead of trying to get 10,000 likes or follows by people who probably won’t convert, focus on attracting and nurturing a smaller number of valuable leads.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. There are several social networks, and each has its own user-base. Being present on every single one isn’t necessary, nor is it wise. Ever hear the expression, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” The same can be applied here. Figure out where your target audience is likely to spend most of their time and then focus on mastering only those platforms.
Don’t be afraid of negative comments. One area where business owners often make a serious error on social media is that they ignore – or worse, delete – any comment that doesn’t paint their company in the best light. In reality, by responding quickly, professionally and apologetically, you can actually turn a negative situation into a positive one. Say you’re sorry, offer to fix it and make good on your promise. Not only will it likely resolve the issue, but it will also show future prospects how awesome you are.
Social media is no longer an option for small businesses, but rather an essential tool for reaching, connecting with and winning over more satisfied customers. If you’re guilty of any of the above ‘don’ts’, it’s not too late to turn things around. Once you correct these issues, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a social media success story.