1. Not having a strategy. Social media should be part of your overall marketing plan, with well-defined goals to help keep your efforts on track and your messaging focused. Check out these three steps for creating an effective social media strategy.
2. Biting off more than you can chew. With all the social media channels out there, it’s tempting to jump into all of them. That can turn into a huge time drain, however. Spend some time determining which sites your prospects and customers are using, and which are the best fit for your overall goals and the time you have available.
3. Posting a few times… and then never coming back. If people visit your Facebook page or Twitter account and see you haven’t posted in months, they’ll quickly move on. Social media requires an ongoing commitment.
4. Posting too much. At the same time, if you post too much your followers may hide your updates or just stop following you. Try varying the frequency of your posts and measure the response to see what works best for your audience.
5. Being too promotional. Social media is a great place to tout your latest products, promotions and successes. But being too promotional can alienate followers. Aim to make your posts 20% promotional, with the rest focused on sharing news, tips and helpful information. Before you post, ask yourself: “Does this provide value to our followers?”
6. Monopolizing the conversation. Among all your marketing efforts, social media is the one that really allows you to engage with your customers and prospects. Be sure to take advantage of this. Rather than posting statements, ask open-ended questions and encourage questions, comments and feedback from your followers.
7. Posting the same message everywhere. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all very different venues. People use Facebook for personal as well as business use, so your posts can mix in some photos, video and fun. Twitter is for fast sound bites, so keep your tweets short and to the point. And LinkedIn is for business networking, so post appropriately.
8. Being a robot. There are a number of automated tools to help make your social media efforts easier. If you rely too much on these tools, however, you can lose the personal element that is vital to social media. Use tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to help schedule your posts, but spend time responding to others and interacting with your followers, too.
9. Not promoting your presence. Make sure your clients and prospects know where to find you online! Promote your social media accounts in your company’s e-mail signatures, newsletters, ads, signange and on your website. (Bonus sales tip: Suggest clients put social media icons and URLs on custom floor mats!)
10. Forgetting that it’s about the brand. Social media can be a lot of fun. It’s a great place to show your company’s personality and human side. At the same time, however, it’s vital to remember that everything you post is a reflection of your brand.
What social media mistakes have you seen companies making? Please share in the comments!