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Mistakes on Social Media

For small business owners, marketing has become synonymous with social media. Since 82% of Americans have some sort of social media profile, it’s a great, cheap way to engage with your customers and build an audience over the long haul.

However, while it might seem easy to throw together a picture and caption and post it on your business page, it can also be easy to make mistakes on social media that can potentially lose followers, cost you money, and damage your reputation. Here are a few of the most common mistakes we see regularly, and how to avoid them:

  • Lack of Strategy. Social media for your small business is a type of marketing, so make sure you have a marketing strategy. Just throwing up random pictures and captions whenever you want without consistency and a cohesive voice can make a page look amateur, and may have customers questioning the quality of your products or services. Identify a goal for your social posts, stick with the same tone (casual, professional, smart?), and use consistent branding. Check out your metrics, too. Who's looking at your posts? Do you want to keep growing in this area? Then keep your posts tailored to them. Want to draw in a new set of customers? Angle your posts toward this new group of people, and promote it to them directly. This will keep you from disappearing in the vast void that is social media.

  • Not Advertising. Social media is so appealing because you can make posts for free. However, gone are the days of organic reach, when all of your followers saw all of your content. Algorithms have changed the game, so if you really need all your customers (and future customers) to see a post or specific campaign, you will need to put some money behind it. Again, pay attention to those analytics! Figure out who you want to see your content, pay to target them directly, and watch your engagement grow.

  • Solely Self Promotion. If you run a small business, you probably believe that the services or products are the very best. While that might be true, your followers want to hear about more than that. Instead of only posting about how great you are, add in helpful articles, employee spotlights, community activities, and more. This is a great way to keep your brand relevant and keep followers coming back for more.

  • Not Being Social. If you’re a busy leader, it can be tempting to schedule your posts and never look at them again. However, social media is all about being social; i.e., interacting with your followers. So check on your posts regularly, answer questions, thank commenters for their feedback, invite your followers to your other platforms, and learn more about the platforms. Your engagement will lead to more engagement from your followers in return.

  • Lacking Links. So many people put lots of time, money and energy into building a social media presence, only to forget to link their pages! Make sure you have links to all your socials in multiple locations on your website, and make it so that when someone clicks on their chosen social media icon it opens into a new tab. Make it easy for your followers to find you all across the internet.

  • Getting Into the Wrong Conversations. The world today feels more polarized than ever, and many people have turned to social media as a way to share their views. This is a fine line to walk as a business. You want to be aware of what’s going on in the world (not acknowledging important events can be seen as tone-deaf and cold), but dive too far in and you can find yourself alienating yourself from customers. Do your research, and make sure that you are only engaging in conversations that align with your business voice and culture. Be respectful, and make sure that your conversations are maintaining brand integrity. Check out the Alpha Moose blog post that talks more about this.

  • Replying with Negativity. As noted above, social media is one of the first places many people go to air their grievances. If this happens on one of your pages, it can be very tempting to respond with aggressive, “eye for an eye” retorts, especially if they're rude or disparaging to your brand. Remember that your responses are representing your brand to a wide range of viewers, not just the first commenter, and your witty comeback might hit someone else poorly. Plan a strategy for handling negative feedback (ex: deleting the post or simply thanking them for feedback), and focus on keeping the conversation positive and constructive.

If you’re worried about making any of the mistakes that we’ve covered today, feel like your social media could use a revamp, or simply don’t have the time or energy to create a social media marketing strategy, we have good news! As a full service copywriting studio, social media marketing is one of the many services Alpha Moose is ready to provide. We can tailor a marketing strategy to fit your brand, voice, and budget that will have the clicks pouring in. Schedule a one-on-one today and let’s get writing!

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