Most businesses nowadays realise they need to be on social media, but many don’t really know what they are doing. they don’t have the time to do it properly and they don’t have a strategy for what or why they are doing it. I’m sure you know someone like that. If you are trying to make your way on social media, then good for you.
But maybe you are making one or more of the following mistakes?
If so – read on for how to spot what you might be doing wrong and how to change it.
- You Sound Like A Brochure Instead Of A Conversation With A Friend
People don’t want to read stuff on social media that sounds like a brochure or a technical manual. Be yourself and talk like you’d talk to me if, I was sitting here next to you.
Trust comes through honesty and sincerity and from people who are being themselves without the use of jargon or big words to impress. And if you wouldn’t say it then don’t write it. Put your customer at the heart of your business conversations by speaking in their language. They’ll love you for it!
- You’re Not Creating A Buzz
Don’t you love being the first to know about something and that buzz you get when you tell your friends or work colleagues something which they are surprised / happy / shocked about?
Yeah – well, so do your potential customers. So, please, DON’T BE BORING.
No-one likes a ‘me, me, me, buy my shit’ social media account but your followers WILL share things that make them look good. People like learning new and interesting stuff they didn’t know before, having a laugh, or a WOW experience that they can pass on to their mates.
So, get the word out about your products and services in a way that promotes conversation AND that increases engagement with shares, likes, love and retweets.
- Your Branding Is Beige
It’s extremely important for a small business to create a recognisable identity for your product or service. Most small businesses or solopreneurs don’t get this.
Your Brand is not just your logo – it is what you want to be known as and for. So, don’t be vanilla – which is a great ice cream flavour but NOT good for branding. Let people know what you stand for – however controversial. Your goal isn’t to be liked by all the people all of the time on social media.
And the more successful you get, the more chance you’ll attract a few haters. You’ve arrived, baby! You can’t let it get to you and the sad fact is that some people have nothing better to do with their miserable lives than try to bring down people who they are jealous of (though they would die rather than admit it).
So – let the world know who you really are, what you stand for and what you believe in. If some people don’t like that – good – they’re not your customers so they can leave and make more room for people who love who you are and what you stand for. It’s better to be Marmite than Bran Buds, right? (My point has been proven – in that you have no idea what Bran Buds are, do you? Make like Marmite and be different!)
- On Again, Off Again Posting.
Most business owners are by nature very busy creatures. If you don’t have time to spend an hour or two a day on social media (and you shouldn’t have) – then make sure you have a solution to that. Get someone else in the business to take responsibility and that’s NOT the Office Junior because they’re the ‘Digital Native’ in the office. Better solution, outsource it to professionals who are experts in growing your business, brand and bank account through the smart use of social media.
Nothing says – “we may have possibly gone out of business” or “we’re not a serious/modern business” like not having posted on social media for a few weeks or having boring updates from the Office Junior. Oh dear!
- IT’S NOT SALES IT’S SOCIAL
People hate to be sold to but they love to buy. Most people like spending money on things THEY have chosen to spend money on.
They DON’T go on social media to be sold to. They go to be SOCIAL. It’s online networking. So, get to know people and show them how you’re the authority in your field.
With Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (among many, many others) you can hold personal conversations with each of your customers. Tell them about new products, sales and coupons, suggestions and tips – the topics are endless! Just don’t be selling all the time.
And really – this is where social media is going. With the changes in algorithm that makes it impossible for 95% of your followers to see your posts on FB, it is about either advertising CONTENT (not trying to make an immediate sale) – or seeking out one to one conversation opportunities.
- Small Business Owners Who Are STILL Thinking Social Media Just Isn’t For Them.
This couldn’t be more wrong! If you want to really succeed in business then go where your customers are. And your customers are all on social media.
In the past, it was very difficult to compete with the advertising and marketing budgets of large companies. And many small businesses still have this mindset – that it is something that big brands do, but it is not for them. And so they don’t do it. What a waste!
There’s never been a more level playing field for small businesses to be seen, heard and succeed. With the right type of viral social media, you could potentially get an immense amount of traffic which is like the gift that keeps on giving. And you can test FB and Twitter ads for a few measly pounds a day. If you don’t know how to do that – outsource it and realise the immense power of social media advertising.
- Online Reputation Management
Social Media is a good way to keep an eye on what other people are saying about your name, company, or brand online – and if any problems or complaints arise, they can be dealt with in real time.
As in real life, a genuine complaint (as opposed to a troll) is an opportunity to Wow your customer. Any old company can play nice when everything is going well, but it takes a proper company to react swiftly and gracefully when things go wrong. And that is where social media can work powerfully for you. Listen to what’s being said about you so you can respond appropriately.
Most companies aren’t monitoring online chat about their brand or industry but it’s easy to set up and really important for you to keep tabs on. It is vital to jump on any negative noise sooner rather than later. And if there’s no noise about your brand that’s telling you that you need to start making some positive noise!
- Thinking Your Big Fan Following Are Seeing Your Posts
We have a client with 12,000 followers. Of which between 120 and 480 at most see any one of her posts. Organic is no longer enough with FB and Twitter changes of algorithm.
However, the good news is social media marketing doesn’t cost a small business nearly as much as traditional advertising and you can track the results to see how effective they are. If you do it yourself it shouldn’t cost more than your daily cup of coffee. It will however cost you time as you learn the ropes and become a Master. If you don’t have the time or inclination to become a Marketing Superstar then outsource it and stick with your Zone of Genius that makes your business successful.
- Not Taking The Opportunity To Find Out Exactly What Your Customers Want
Social media is amazing in so many ways, as you can see from the points we’ve just covered.
But maybe one of the most amazing things about it is that you don’t have to wonder what your customers want. You want to know what they want? Just ask them!
This is something many businesses forget to do. They talk about what THEY find interesting and exciting (which is fine) but if that is not what your CUSTOMERs also find interesting then it is going to fall on deaf ears. So have a look at what they are talking about/commenting on and then provide the answers.
- Google Is Great But Social Media Works Better For Small Businesses.
A lot of small businesses waste money they can ill afford to lose on Google. Google CAN be a very effective way of finding new business but you have to have a BUDGET for it.
If you don’t then you can waste money that could be best utilised elsewhere. But if you’re not high enough in the search engines for potential customers to find you, don’t worry, they can still find you through social media.
Even if you’re not on the front page of Google, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive traffic. And Facebook and Twitter are much cheaper options for driving traffic.
So, there you have it. Here’s how a small businesses can take advantage of the benefits social media provides. It’s a complete no-brainer, right?
If you want to use social media to promote your business and you know you should be doing it, but you don’t know where to start, keep checking back here for more tips.
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