Social networking on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, while trendy, can be very daunting. Before you throw your hands up in frustration and give up altogether, you may be surprised to know that you are guilty of making some (or all) of the most common (and not so common) social media mistakes. The good news is that you can avoid them!
1st Mistake – Using bad language. Your page is what your clients see. It’s your image. First and foremost, be cordial and use good language. Unless you’re a rap star and your followers really don’t care, avoid using profanity in your tweets/posts or profile description at all times.
2nd Mistake – Hiding in the closet. Your profile reflects your company, so make an effort to be thorough. Fill out as many questions as you can in your ‘about me’ section. If you have spent time creating the page, people will notice your attention to detail. Your profile is an easy way to let your personality shine through the technology. Come out to greet your potential clients. To really become part of the networks you choose, network, fill out your user profile as completely as you can. Customize your personal profile by add a photo, filling out your description, sharing your hobbies, and uploading a photo. It makes you more real to your potential clients.
3rd Mistake – Becoming suddenly unavailable. Respond to all comments people write, whether those comments are positive or negative. This shows your social group that you are there. Offline and on, ongoing rapport is the stuff that builds relationships and maintains them. Post often to get your company noticed. Industry leaders have a better chance at finding you if you make yourself available on a consistent basis.
4th Mistake – Acting unsocial. Connect with people by joining groups. This tool helps you take full advantage of the chance to become a leader in your industry. But make sure that what you say is actually relevant and provides customer value. People want insights on your company. Your goal is to teach them more about your industry. Avoid the shortcut of always pushing the sale of your products. A far better approach is to provide lots of useful information, updates of your company, current discounts, breaking news of your company (events, community outreach etc), as well as responses to questions and retweets. Focus more on these tactics than on promoting your offerings.
5th Mistake – Boring the crowd. Avoid the common rut of posting the same type of content all the time. Try to vary your upload style to hold your readers’ interest. Post a table one week, an interview the second week, and a video the third week. The element of surprise, doled out in small doses, can mark your company as innovative, unique and adept at going the extra mile.
6th Mistake – Following everyone. Your company’s success depends on selecting clients wisely. Don’t invest your efforts in too many irrelevant people. Think about which of your followers are companies and individuals that will make your social media efforts worthwhile. Be discerning, and don’t waste your time spamming. Fake friends are the ones who won’t end up visiting your site, clicking your links, or buying your products. Friends like these won’t do anything for you. You have a right to pick and choose the people with whom you connect. As in offline relationships, quality is key in online relationships. Who will best promote what your company has to offer? Connect with these people only. Incite favor with them. Build something real. This is the secret of what makes social media such a powerful tool.
7th Mistake – Dancing at too many parties. Don’t try to get your presence known on every single social media website. Rather, try to determine which specific platforms are most likely to serve your aims. To do this effectively, take the time to research the various social media sites. They are not all identical. A few questions to ask yourself: Where are my users? Where are my users interacting most? For your sake, avoid the pitfall of Social Media Account Overload (SMAO). Be selective about finding the sites most helpful to you.
8th Mistake – Getting lazy about tracking your information. Stay focused on why you are networking socially. What do you plan to get out of it? Develop and implement methods to measure your goals.
9th Mistake – Neglecting to train employees. Clue your employees in about social media. Set clear policies so that your company’s representatives portray you in the best light.
10th Mistake – Losing interest. It can be easier to start networking socially than to maintain a presence. Stay in for the long haul. If you snooze, you leave the door wide open for your competitors to step in.
Avoid these common mistakes and you can end up being a social media success!