Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5 Mistakes Businesses Make in Social Media

Who wants to make the same mistake twice? No one. Wise entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others...including the wild and crazy world of social media. The following are 5 mistakes that can set your social media campaign back. We don't want that to happen to you so take a moment to "learn" from these tips (we sure wish someone would have mentioned these in the beginning).

Mistake #1 - No Plan
Imagine if you started a business without a mission or business plan. Imagine you didn't know who your potential customer was or what products you were going to sell. Do you think it could be a recipe for disaster? The same goes for your social media. Take the time to plan your strategy BEFORE you dive in to posts and status updates. It will keep you focused in the long run and allow you more success.

Mistake #2 - Picking the Wrong Platforms
You can drive yourself crazy trying to manage twenty different social media sites and the odds are - unless you have a whole social media team - you won't excel at any of them because you are spread too thin. The idea is quality vs. quantity. Part of your Plan (stated above) is to consider where do your potential customers hang out. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Pinterest, YouTube? Ask your clients  and narrow your focus down to one or two sites.

Mistake #3 - Tracking & Tweaking
Social media as a business is not a "just for fun" tactic. This is a legitimate marketing venue. Just like coupons, advertising and other marketing ploys, you have to measure your success to know how it's working. If you don't track what you are doing and make changes when you see success or failure - you're wasting your time. Most of the social sites offer analytics and there are free resources available.

Mistake #4 - "Push" Selling
When you spend all of your time pushing your followers and fans to buy - their going to do the opposite. They'll unfollow or unlike you and odds are, they're never coming back. Social media is about building a community and providing valuable information. Think about those potential customers and what they are interested in. Do they like DIY tips, quotes, funny images, special discounts, contests etc.? Give them what they want (integrated around your business/industry of course) and soon you'll be engaged in "pull" marketing which creates a much stronger relationship. They'll WANT to buy from you and will probably share those feelings with their friends too.

Mistake #5 - Thinking this is Easy
Social media is a huge venue for business and because there are so many tools available, it's easy to get sucked in to thinking this is all a piece of cake. It isn't. Creating a social media platform that engages with followers and nudges them on their way to becoming customers is HARD WORK. You didn't start your business without education of some kind, right? It's time to start learning the tricks of the trade and educating yourself so you can maximize your social media plan.

BONUS MISTAKE <--- (Quite possibly the biggest of them all!)
Giving Up Too Soon
There is no getting around it - social media takes time. Success won't happen overnight and if you're only spending a few minutes a day on your posts, it's going to take a long, long time to reap rewards. Expect to dedicate at least an hour a day to your social media marketing. Social media is about building relationships and there is no shortcut to creating trust. Remember, you have a plan and you are going to need to dedicate at least 6 to 9 months to achieve measurable results. Don't quit just yet!

Photo credit: Edn.com

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