Ten Common Mistakes Small Business Make When Starting Social Media
Incorporating social media into your communications plan is important, so that your business is not left out in the cold while everyone else is tweeting away, updating their Facebook pages and having a building relationships with their customers (and yours).
If you don’t have a presence in that world, get one. sure today’s customers can find your website and might email or call, but many regard Facebook as a part of their everyday life. However, as you take the plunge, beware of pitfalls along the way.
Here are 3 of the top 10 most common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Planning.
Don’t just rush in make some noise and assume it will all be good. You need to have a specific social media plan and incorporate it into your larger business strategies. Dust off your business plan and figure out how social media can fit into your overall goals, tasks and benchmarks. Then study how social media works, how it can help businesses, which media are available, and which are most popular with your particular clientele. Consider surveying your customers to see how many use which outlets. Write down which media you will use, who will be in charge of your social media campaign, how often you will interact with customers this way, and how you will measure the success of your campaign.
2. Going Overboard.
Once you start learning about all the options, you may want to grab them all and go, but slow down. Just like other facets of business, it’s better to do one or two things well, rather a whole bunch of things poorly. If your customers are heavily into Facebook, start there. If you offer job-related services, such as career placement or resume building, consider starting with LinkedIn. If you can spin off some educational material related to your business, such as how-to videos on whatever it is you sell, look into YouTube.
Pick one or two outlets and develop your use of them as professionally as you would develop any other part of your business. After you have a successful campaign, consider gradually adding other outlets.
3. Not Maintaing It.
Using social media can be fun, but it’s also work. One of the biggest changes social media has brought is the immediacy of interaction. It’s a far cry from sending out a monthly printed newsletter. Your customers will expect regular updates on your Facebook page. They will expect a same-day response, perhaps even same-hour response, to a message they send you. Too many businesses create a Facebook page, create a flurry of excited activity on the first month, have fewer postings the second, only a handful the third, and then try to find someone else in the office to deal wiht the fourth. If you’re going to use social media, commit to it being a part of your daily routine, just like answering the phone.