Social media has only been around for a few years, but in that time marketers and researchers have found some pretty interesting findings. Before, sites like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook were merely sites that connected you with your friends online. Now however, businesses have taken advantage of the social network, integrating social media into their business strategies. This approached has yielded phenomenal results. But with that comes the growing pains of learning how to actually use social media.
Based on good old trial and error (and of course, well-funded studies) here are the most common mistakes and misconceptions of social media.
Mistake #1. Not Having a Plan
It is imperative that any business looking into social media establishes a plan. Determine goals for yourself. Set objectives for each site. Are you trying to get 10% more followers each month? How many people would you like to interact with each week? There are so many aspects to a businesses social media strategy, a plan is a must have advantage.
Mistake #2. Size Doesn’t Matter
Thinking that the size of your audience is most important. Totally wrong. Size doesn’t matter, activity does. You are better off having an intimate group of engaged followers that are constantly interacting with than having thousands of complacent followers that don’t. More followers and more traffic does not equal more money, you need the right people to engage with your business.
Mistake #3: Not Dedicating Time to All your Accounts
Each social media account should have a fair share of your business effort attention. Avoid biting off more than you can chew. If you only have time for Facebook or Twitter, it’s okay. Just be sure to do all you can with those sites. Don’t start a Pinterest, Foursquare, or Tumblr if you don’t have the resources to maintain them.
Mistake #4: Talking About Your Business in Every Post
Vary up your posts so you’re not always talking about your business! Sometimes you have to think of your business as if it were a real person. Don’t be like those people who constantly talk about how awesome they are. The more you force information in your audiences faces, the least likely they are to respond.
Mistake #5: Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
Their is nothing atractive about speling and grammer mistakes. (That sentence alone was painful for me to write.) Double check and proofread your material before you send things out to into the internet. Not only will you look silly, but you could also harm your credibility.
Mistake #6: Not Tracking your Stats
Statistics are important in every marketing campaign. More and more social media networks offer analytics and reports to track your page views, post reads, shares, activities, and more. This is all valuable information because it tells you through data which posts your audiences respond best too so you can do more of them.
Mistake #7: Lacking an Online Personality
Social media gives your business the opportunity have a strong and unique voice. Let your hair down a little! Be open, insightful, funny – whatever you feel like your business should embody, do it!
Mistake #8: Not Engaging your Audience
Ask questions! Get Feedback! Start discussions! Outlets like Facebook and Twitter give you the chance that no other marketing channel offers: the opportunity to socialize and connect with your audience on a public and social level. Not only does this strengthen customer relationships, it also brings more activity to your business.
Mistake #9: Getting Defensive or Negative with Comments
Let’s face it, the internet is swimming with people. And unfortunately not all of them are going to be nice or agree with your business. Keep you cool and handle these comment gracefully. Remember, everything is public! It’s always better to be the bigger person in these situations.
Mistake #10: Giving up!
Building your social media up takes some time! Don’t give up. Stay Active. Be patient. Your efforts will pay of, just give it some time!
Mistakes are part of the learning process. If you find that you’re sheepishly guilty of a few of these, don’t sweat it! Just take this information and learn from it. Get out there and conquer the social media world!
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