Social Media Mistakes Small Businesses Must Avoid

Social media is an important marketing tool that can bring in business followers and customers.  To have a successful social media account, there are three things one must follow:

  1. Be relatable and authentic.
  2. Behave accordingly.
  3. Be active.

Small businesses benefit from social media because they don’t need to break the bank in order to gain followers. This opportunity must be nurtured to keep followers, gain new ones and keep the relationship going.

Mistakes do happen in social media and they may seem unavoidable. There are ways you can avoid them though if you know how. Let us go over some of the common social media mistakes.

  1. Do not lose the sensitivity chip.

In this day and age of political correctness, it can be tiring to be proper all the time but you have to because your followers represent a broad spectrum of personalities. You have to be conscious of posts that others may see as offensive. Remember that insensitive posts can turn people off and harm your online reputation.

How do you avoid doing this? Do not click the “post” button without analyzing how it will be perceived by your audience. It may seem innocent to you but there may be certain groups of people who might find it offensive. It also helps if you pull someone aside to check what you have written before it goes live.

If a post escaped your eyes, went live and offended anybody, take it down and apologize sincerely. You don’t need to beat yourself up for it. Even big businesses commit this mistake and have been forgiven.

       2. Do not ignore comments.

Social media is a means to communicate and communication must be two-way for it to work. Do not ignore comments in your blog, Facebook posts, Instagram photos and Twitter replies. You don’t need to write lengthy replies especially if you don’t have time. A short acknowledgement that you have seen the reply and appreciate it can be enough.

        3. Do not be spammy.

Spam posts are a social media reality that turns people off big time. These are unwanted social posts like the following:

  • Links that looks like a helpful article but just leads to sales pitches and hundreds of click baits.
  • Posting an update too often.
  • Posting product ads but without interactions. There are posts that advertise a product yet are no replies to inquiries.
  • Repeated promotional posts.
  • Robotic sounding posts.

Spamming is a sure way for followers to tune you out.

        4. Now you see me, now you don’t.

Followers can have a short attention span and you are likely to lose them if they don’t see you often. There are brands guilty of this. They will open a social media account, post often in the beginning then disappear for long periods of time. Worse, they don’t respond to followers who reach out to them. Doing this will push your followers to unfollow you.

How often should you then post in social media? These are the suggested frequency.

  • Pinterest – 5 posts per day; Top brands have experienced rapid growth by posting multiple times per day.
  • Twitter – 3 tweets per day; Engagement usually goes down after the third tweet.
  • Google+ – 3 posts per day; Traffic goes down by up to 50% when posting less than normal.
  • Facebook – 2 posts per day; Likes and comments usually drop off after the second post.

Do not be compelled to meet the numbers suggested if you don’t have any worthwhile posts to make. Remember that consistency and authenticity are more important than numbers.

        5. Do not waste your energy in the wrong platform.

There are many platforms that easily gain popularity like Snapchat. Do not readily jump into the bandwagon without having a game plan. Not because everybody is in Snapchat, you have to be there as well. But if you really want to be there, make sure you have a strategy and that you can build an audience there.

There are many social media platforms and you don’t need to be present in all. Invest your effort in one or two, do it well and they will work for you.