Obtain some Facebook likes, even buy some fake Twitter followers, tell customers you are the best company in the world in your blog articles and start blasting away.
It takes time, effort and persistence.
The real premise of social media is adding value with content that engages your customers which inspires, educates, informs and maybe even entertains. This means forgetting about “you” and thinking about “them”
This means adding value to your audience by solving their problems with content that includes “How To” articles,white papers and ebooks on your blog and website.
Small businesses see the potential of tapping into Social Media. They come with different expectations that are built on the foundations of traditional marketing which include one way conversations, email blasts with only sales messages and not willing to listen to negative comments.
Here are three common mistakes you should avoid with your social media marketing.
Mistake #1. Delete unwanted comments
Some businesses think of social media as a free platform to broadcast commercial messages which will somehow go viral very quickly. Yet they have been slow to embrace this media due to one major concern.
The dreaded “negative” comment.
They are aware that this same channel can be used by the public to spread less desirable comments about the brand.
So instead of planning strategies that engage with the community, businesses have social media police on standby who are ever ready to delete unwanted comments or queries.
This is not necessary nor desirable.
Getting social is about making connections that would lead to further actions. That includes getting to know and listening to the views of your guests. It is in observing what your market likes, shares and comments that you get a better sense of what’s on their minds. And these insights help you adapt your products and services to cater to their needs.
A business that only wants to receive positive comments is not ready to go into a deeper business relationship with your audience. Your brand will be perceived to be defensive or narrow minded and conversion cannot take place. This fear-base mentality does not attract raving or loyal clients.
I recommend instead that clients be engaging and respond to comments in a positive and timely manner, and turn every conversation into an opportunity that builds trust.
Mistake #2. Auto-Post the same message on all social networks.
Many small businesses do not have the time to tend to their social media accounts. They want a magic button that would post their messages across different social media channels and give them unlimited coverage.
I tell them this magic button does not exist.
I suggest instead that businesses focus on one or two platforms and take time to show up authentically to connect with their market. People hang around Social Media networks looking to chill or have a conversation. They do not respond well to robots that auto post messages from other Social Media channels.
If you would not say the same thing in a board meeting as you would in a social party, why then would you auto post the same message across different social media platforms?
By the way, hash tags look really ugly on Facebook.
Mistake #3. Blast first, control damage later
This is one of the most popular mistakes that businesses make. They want to broadcast emails with commercial messages to contacts without first getting their consent such as via an optin on their blog. Some would happily buy or exchange email lists so they can reach more people in a shorter time.
While businesses are aware that response rate in these cases will be low, some are still willing to go ahead. Why? They see this as a quick and cheap way to get their messages into the mail boxes of thousands of people.
I tell them these mails may not never reach any inboxes let alone be read.
Businesses need to be reminded that their reputation is at stake and that relationships can be easily damaged with unsolicited emails. I spend a lot of time explaining the importance of permission-based marketing to potential clients.
Some would argue that since they are receiving this sort of mails they should be able to do the same.
But common practice does not necessarily represent best practice. I recommend that clients ask for specific consent from prospects before sending any commercial newsletters. After all I don’t want my clients to be flagged as spamming.
Forcing messages onto others, even if you provide them with the unsubscribe link, does not show respect and will not give you the happy loyal clients you are looking for.
So how do you use social media for marketing?
Social Media Marketing is not about putting up a Facebook page or blasting email messages. It is an additional tool in your total marketing plan. To better understand what Social Media is and how it can help your business you’ll need to invest time in learning this or hire someone who knows how this thing works.
Work with the specialist so you don’t end up losing more in the long term