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Five mistakes for businesses to avoid when using social media

If you’re running a business, you’ll need social media. But how do you make the most of the platforms out there, and use them to build contacts and sales?

Here are our five top tips for getting social media to work for you rather than against you.

Not Showing Up

If you’re using social media to promote your business (and if you’re not, you should be), the cardinal sin is not actually turning up. If you’ve got a page or profile that looks neglected and unloved, people are likely to assume you’re either not invested in your business or it’s not successful. So make it part of your working day (or week) to schedule posts – or get someone to do it for you. There are plenty of social media consultants out there who can help (Lobster for example) if you’re short on time, interest or expertise.

Being Inconsistent

It’s great when you get started on social media in a flurry of ideas and excitement but then the ideas dry up and you stop posting. It’s confusing and you’ll lose people. The answer is to schedule, and get help if needed. Consistency is the name of the game and it’s vital for your followers to see that you’re active and responsive to their questions (should they have any). Another inconsistency to avoid is branding – keep your words and images consistent across all platforms, web and print communication so people can connect the dots and know that it’s your business they’re seeing.

A One Size Fits All Strategy

Some people try to be everywhere online, and take shortcuts to do it. If you’re automating content across platforms; for example, from twitter to Facebook – stop! For one thing, the language for each platform is different so it’ll look out of place. And for another - your audience uses multiple platforms too. If they see the same thing everywhere, they’ll switch off, feeling overloaded and as though you’re too pushy. The answer is to differentiate content: promotions on twitter, product demos on Instagram, for example.

Not Sharing

Social media’s all about communication and connection. Yes, you want it to drives leads and sales, but the way to do that it to find ways to connect with your audience.

There are two ways to share more:

  • Share more of your business. Not promoting more stuff, but share the inside scoop, the human side, the things that go wrong, the things that make you smile. This will help build trust from your followers.
  • Share helpful content. Especially from other sources. Being helpful is the number one way to build credibility and meaningful networks - and that’s where the sales will come from.

Not Driving Sales

While you don’t want to push your products down people’s throats, you do want to give them the opportunity to buy! Make sure you link through to appropriate landing pages on your website regularly, or mention offers when they arise. Make it easy for people to know what you’re about with your social media presence (hint: chances are you don’t want it to be all about funny cat photos) and how they can get a piece of what you’re offering.

One way to learn more about using Social Media is to sign up to our free Business Boost community. We send out a weekly newsletter with great tips and ideas for using Social Media and your website to drive more traffic and more leads.

 

By Lobster Digital Marketing Limited, Cardiff

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