For businesses, social media can present all sorts of exciting opportunities: new platforms to connect with your audience, a place to show your brand off and new ways to reach the people who are going to listen.

So why do so many get it wrong? Here are some of the most common mistakes that businesses make, when they foray into the world of social media:

Neglecting Your Brand

This is something that even big brands can easily get wrong. Posting, without considering what you really want to say can be a fatal mistake. Here are some easy ways to establish your brand on social media:
Decide what tone to write in. Are you a team? In which case you’d write as ‘we’. Maybe even sign off tweets with different team members names. Do you have an exciting working environment to talk about? Show your followers.
Be relevant. Only show us what your outfit of the day is, if it fits in with your brand.
Vary the content. Repetitiveness will switch followers off. Does your business write a blog? (Hint: if not, they should consider it). If they do, share it on your social.

Lack of Planning

Here is another trick that businesses miss. It can seem like a lot of hassle to think of content…so they simply don’t.

There are two reasons that this can damage your social media efforts. First of all, how many times have you headed over to a brand’s social media, only to find that it’s a neglected Facebook page and empty Twitter page? Secondly, you could be missing prime opportunities to put out quality content. Planning a little content and then leaving room for some ad-hoc posts is a very good mix, and will ensure that your presence does not fade out.

When planning your content, it need only be a week or so in advance. Making use of social media dashboards like Buffer can make the task much easier. Make a plan. What do you want to talk about? Now that you’ve established the ‘brand’ and decided what to post, it becomes easier. Businesses can begin to share content on their social media with purpose.

No Interaction

There is nothing worse than a social media account that constantly pumps out content, with no interaction with anyone else.

Imagine for example that a small e-commerce business is trying to establish its social media presence. You are likely to find customers on social media. After a while, this customer base will begin to interact. Did you know that 53% of under 35’s will interact with their favourite brand on Facebook? So, if you want to be one of those ‘favourites’, you had better get chatting. If a customer has a query, get on it quickly. Say ‘thank you’. Maybe even offer a small discount on their next purchase.

Are there Twitter chats relevant to your industry? Make a note on the company calendar and get involved. They’re a great way to gain exposure and get to know who’s out there and what is being talked about. Weigh in with valuable and interesting contributions.

Failure To Monitor or Analyse

It’s easy to throw out content on social media but many businesses fail to monitor what is really working. Does sharing photos on Twitter get more retweets? Do your customers flock to Facebook with complaints? Once a business has established what it wants to put out, they need to look at what works best, as it hones their efforts and saves wasted time in the long run. More importantly, there should be a person made responsible for this. Left as a free-for-all, a small business’s social media will fall flat. Heeding these warnings and making a solid plan will help it to flourish.

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