More and more businesses are using social media marketing to grow their sales and to engage with their customers. And no wonder! It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business and complement your other online marketing activity. Oh, and don’t forget search engine optimisation (SEO) – social media can really boost your rankings in internet searches. Your customers are out there now, talking to each other on Twitter, Facebook and the other social networks. You need to be part of it!
But (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you?), like any form of business activity, there are things you should do and things you shouldn’t do. So, here are some common mistakes to avoid at all costs:
1. Not having a plan
Lots of business owners decide to get into social media, so they join the social networks, set up their profiles, put some content up and sit back and wait for things to happen. And wait… and wait. Within weeks of the big launch, their profile has become a bit of a barren wasteland, with their followers wondering what they’re doing there.
You see, it won’t happen all by itself! Successful social media marketing requires a plan and it doesn’t just happen overnight. You need a simple plan with some goals and targets to follow. And don’t be put off if it’s slow going at first.
2. Not knowing your target audience
Depending on the nature of your business, it’s not just about growing the number of followers and fans. It’s more important to engage with relevant people and organisations. Know who you want to reach and have a plan to reach them.
3. Not enough interaction
This is a classic mistake. Lots of businesses update their profiles and merely push out messages (usually poorly disguised advertisements) to their followers. There’s no conversation going on. With social media, it’s all about engagement. The mantra is engagement, engagement, engagement. a lack of conversation with your followers decreases value of your social presence and you won’t be able to build those valuable relationships.
4. No real followers
This is another big mistake. It’s no good keeping an active page with lots of information and updates, but with no real followers. This means you don’t really have any support and that weakens the basis of your social presence. To avoid this, it’s important to build a steady network of real people.
5. Automated posting
Okay, there is a role for some automated posting and tweeting, and yes, automation eases the workload. But you do need some thought and structure to your social media marketing and, in the long run, random, automated posting doesn’t pay. You’ll look like just yet another spamming site! Always make it personal and engaging.
For more advice on successful social media marketing, visit Louise Hudson’s social media website here.